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Stabilisation of Libya, free elections crucial, Italy and France agree

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

LIBYA- “Peace and security in Libya and the holding free and fair national polls are a” shared priority goal”, Italy’s foreign minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian agreed at a meeting in Rome on Sunday,” according to Adnkronos.

“The common priority goal reaffirmed by Ministers Le Drian and Moavero, is to re-establish conditions of peace and security in Libya in the interest of the Libyan people and their right to self-determination through free and credible elections,” the foreign ministry said in a statement, according to the Italian news agency reported.

Moavero and Le Drian underlined “the constant and fruitful cooperation” between Italy and France in preparing a high-level conference on Libya to be held in Palermo, Sicily on 12-13 November, which follows up on a meeting in Paris in May that was attended by key Libyan and international players, the statement said.

The two ministers also highlighted “their commitment to work together to constructively promote its success in favor of the stabilization of Libya, in line with the Plan elaborated by the United Nations and supported by the international community,” the statement added.

The UN action plan unveiled by special envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame last September includes holding presidential and parliamentary elections before the end of 2018 but Salame has since said that current conditions may not allow free, fair and peaceful elections this year.

In an address to the Italian Senate in early October, Moavero underscored the need to hold safe and secure elections with “solid institutions” but downplayed down differences between Italy and France on their timing.

“France’s president Emmanuel Macron has pushed for polls in Libya to take place on 10 December,” Adnkronos concluded.

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