This week, international actors engaged in a flurry of diplomatic outreach with Libya’s new Government of National Unity (GNU).
On 30 March, the Chinese Ambassador to Libya, Li Zhiguo, stated that China intends to reopen its Embassy in Tripoli as soon as possible. In a meeting with the Vice-President of the Presidential Council Abdullah al-Lafi, the Ambassador stated that China intends to assist in Libya’s economic recovery of Libya. They also discussed the potential supply by China of Covid-19 vaccines.
On 31 March, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that Russia will do everything necessary to support Libya’s planned elections on 24 December 2021. According to Russian TASS news agency, Lavrov stated, ‘I don’t know if this specific timeline is realistic given Libyan conditions as they also scheduled elections for a specific date a few years ago and failed.’ Nevertheless, Lavrov stated, ‘we will do everything so that it works out’, adding that ‘the elections should be held in such a way that all Libyan political forces are satisfied with it’.
On 6 April, Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi met the GNU Prime Minister Abdul Hameed Dabaiba in Tripoli. In a joint press conference, Draghi noted that this was his first visit overseas as the head of the Italian government. He affirmed Italy’s intention to expand its cooperation with Libya, including in relation to infrastructure, healthcare, energy, and culture, as well as combating illegal migration. Dabaiba announced that the GNU intends to renew the 2008 Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Italy and Libya, as well as plans for customs co-operation, visas for Libyan nationals, banking transactions, counter-terrorism, migration, and security.