Libya Conference in Palermo underway (UPDATED)
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Premier Giuseppe Conte said after a Palermo conference on Libya that “we leave Palermo taking with us a feeling of confidence” for giving “a prospect of stabilisation” to Libya.

He said “we mustn’t delude ourselves, but important premises have been laid in this path”.

Conte shrugged off the fact that Turkey had abandoned the conference, saying this “does not change the positive climate”.

United Nations Libya envoy Ghassam Salamè thanked Italy and Conte for organising the Libya conference, “which has been a success”.

He said “Palermo remains a milestone” in the Libyan political process.

Salamè said there had been “a serious commitment” towards stabilisation by all the Libyan parties.

He said “the national conference to beheld in Libya in January will be facilitated by this conference in Palermo.

“I received the clear commitment on the part of all the Libyan actors that will take part in it.

“And that reassures me on the possible success” of the national conference envisaged by the UN’s new road map, he said.


Earlier: Khalifa Haftar will not take part in Palermo Conference as stated in international and local news sources, his office reports, adding that his arrival to Italy last night was part of his meetings with leaders of neighboring countries to review the latest local international developments. (Libya Observer)

The Italian international conference for Libya in Palermo has kick-started with two meetings for the UNSMIL and Libyan parties discussing economic and security reforms in a row.

The Palermo Conference has been shunned by all international leaderships, who preferred instead to send ministerial delegations to Italy, including Russia, France, US, and Germany, The Libya Observer reports.

Read on how Italy and France rivalry is harming Libya.

France’s Foreign Minister’s office reported that the Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will be heading its delegation. Libyan stakeholders all registered their presence with delegations sent by the Presidential Council, High Council of State and House of Representatives.

However, the commander of the self-styled army in eastern Libya, Khalifa Haftar, changed his mind three times regarding his attendance, thus arriving at last late on Monday to the Palermo Conference and meeting with the Italian Prime Minister, but refusing to take part in the dinner event.

Khalifa Haftar will not take part in Palermo Conference as stated in international and local news sources, his office reports, adding that his arrival to Italy last night was part of his meetings with leaders of neighboring countries to review the latest local international developments.

On the Arab level, the Tunisian and Egyptian presidents arrived to the conference, in addition to delegations from Qatar, Morocco, Algeria, and Sudan. Neighboring countries Niger and Chad also sent delegations to the conference.

Meanwhile, the European Union announced that Federica Mogherini will be the head of the delegation to be present at the conference.

Malta is represented by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat

Prior to the start of the conference on Monday, the Head of the UNSMIL, Ghassan Salame, told Reuters that he will be discussing June 2019 as a date for the elections in Libya, after Paris-Brokered December 10 has been left out.

He added that he hoped Libyans would agree on a form for the constitution referendum in the National Conference in Libya in early 2019 and then carry out a vote for the constitution between late March and late June.

Meanwhile, the deputy head of UNSMIL for political affairs, Stephanie Williams, said at Palermo Conference Economic Working Group on Monday that the predatory behavior of armed groups, their exploitation of black market exchange rate system and government’s mismanagement of public finances were among drivers of recent Tripoli clashes.

Williams remarked at Palermo Conference that since the outbreak of violence in Tripoli, UNSMIL has relentlessly worked to challenge the status quo and push for measures that address political economy of predation.

She told attendees that Libyan parties to ceasefire agreement signed in Al-Zawiya committed to a series of long-awaited economic reforms.

image

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: