Meloni and Haftar discuss Italy-LNA partnership in Benghazi visit

May 7, 2024 | International actors

On 7 May, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni travelled to Benghazi where she met Libyan National Army (LNA) Commander Khalifa Haftar. According to the LNA, Meloni expressed her appreciation for the role of the LNA in maintaining security, stability and unity in Libya. She also stressed the importance of strengthening the partnership between Italy and the LNA in the commercial, economic and cultural spheres, as well as continuing cooperation in the fight against illegal immigration and human trafficking networks, and taking necessary measures to reduce this phenomenon. They also discussed the importance of continuing to support the political process.

According to Italian reports, Meloni asked Haftar to help limit the presence of Russia’s Africa Corps in Libya and prevent the country from becoming a logistical base for Moscow in the Mediterranean. She also encouraged Haftar to curb migrant departures. In return, Meloni is reportedly exploring ways to make local oil extraction more profitable for Libyan groups, supporting the development of Libyan sport facilities and athletes, facilitating access to urgent healthcare for Libyans and proposing to establish an Italian-Libyan business forum to foster economic collaboration.