Libya’s new prime minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, said he wanted to strengthen Libya’s “special relationship” with Italy, with a particular focus on immigration.
The two new governments, in Rome and Tripoli, must strengthen their country’s “special relations”, Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah said on February 21.
Offering congratulations to Italy’s new prime minister, Mario Draghi, Dbeiba specifically called for closer ties on the migration dossier. Libya will need as much assistance as possible from partners like Italy as it faces a turbulent transitional period, he added.
On Sunday, Libya’s interior minister, Fathi Bashagha, survived unscathed from an ambush by gunmen in his motorcade.
Migration documents are a priority for Italy and Libya
Managing the daily flow of migrants and refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe will be one of the main dossiers of the new Libyan government led by Dbeibah.
The newly appointed government will seek to unify the country and oversee elections in December.
This issue is also at the heart of Draghi who stressed that the wider Mediterranean region is “an area of major concern for Italy” when he presented his government’s program to Parliament last week.
The Italian prime minister is expected to capitalize on his prestige to rebalance responsibility in Europe with a goal that his predecessor has escaped – overriding the Dublin rule, which forced the first countries to step in to take responsibility for refugees.
Draghi wants European policies, not bilateral agreements
A European repatriation policy for migrants without asylum rights, protecting refugee rights, will be “important” for Draghi, knowledgeable sources said.
Experience shows that bilateral agreements with destination countries are not very effective. One example is Libya.
In fact, the institutions in Tripoli are too fragile to guarantee an effective migration policy. The country was badly rocked by a year and a half civil war between east and west. The truce agreed in October was extremely fragile, with tens of thousands of foreign troops still deployed on the two fronts.
Tensions rose on Sunday when an armored vehicle along a highway near Tripoli attacked the disembarking convoy of the government’s interior minister, Fathi Bashagha, who escaped unscathed.
Bashagha is a powerful figure in Libya, a Turkish interlocutor in spats with Russia and Egypt, which are not immune to risks, however.
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