Libyan, Italian premiers meet in Rome

Joint commitment to start political process to stabilize Libya reaffirmed during meeting, says Italian officials

Libyan, Italian premiers meet in Rome

Libya’s Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and Italian premier Giuseppe Conte met Saturday in Rome to discuss the situation in the northern African nation.

A statement by the Italian Prime Ministry said the two leaders stressed a belief that a permanent solution in Libya could not be based on military plans.

The ministry also said a joint commitment to start the political process to stabilize Libya was reaffirmed.

Meanwhile, a statement from the Libyan Prime Ministry Press Office said the two leaders stressed stability in Libya will be achieved through a political process in line with decisions by the UN Security Council and the Berlin Conference.

The two nations decided to establish a committee to monitor Italian companies' activities in Libya and agreed to sustain Italy's support for mine destruction in Libya, it said.

Libya has been torn by a civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The new government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by warlord Khalifa Haftar's forces.

The UN recognizes the Libyan government headed by al-Sarraj as the country's legitimate authority as Tripoli battles Haftar's militias.

The government launched Operation Peace Storm this March to counter Haftar's attacks on Tripoli and recently liberated strategic locations including Tarhuna, his final stronghold in western Libya.