Italian Embassy Reopens in Tripoli

Jan 10, 2017 | International actors

On 9 January, the Italian Foreign Ministry announced it was sending its ambassador back to Libya. Italy was the last Western nation to close its embassy in Libya in 2015. Now, it is the first Western diplomatic mission to reopen.  The Foreign Ministry’s statement said that the ambassador would present his credentials to the Government of National Accord (GNA) on 10 January and would start work in Tripoli immediately. The Italian ambassador received the approval of the GNA in December along with British and French ambassadors; however the latter are now based in Tunisia. At a meeting in Tripoli on 9 January, Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti and Serraj agreed to reinforce cooperation on security, the fight against terrorism, human trafficking, smuggling and the protection of Libya’s southern borders. The intention is for the Italian embassy in Tripoli to be the principal coordination centre for all these projects.

On 8 January, the UN Envoy Martin Kobler met with GNA Prime Minister Fayez Serraj in Tripoli. They reportedly discussed transferring financial responsibilities within the Presidential Council (PC) from Fathi al-Majbari, PC member for eastern Libya, to Ahmed Metig, PC member from Misrata. On 4 January, Serraj issued a televised statement cancelling all decisions issued by Majberi in Serraj’s absence last week. These included the appointment of a new Chief of Intelligence, a new Minister of Justice, and the Chief of a new Counter Terrorism Unit.

On 5 January, Chad announced it was closing its 2000km border with Libya, saying that it will deploy troops to prevent fighters fleeing conflict in Libya from crossing the border.