Ministers Evarist Bartolo and Luigi di Maio along with European Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi pay a joint visit to Libya

Ministers Evarist Bartolo and Luigi di Maio along with European Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi pay a joint visit to Libya

Reference Number: PR211021, Press Release Issue Date: May 28, 2021
Upon Malta’s initiative, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Evarist Bartolo, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio, and European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi paid a joint visit to Libya for talks with the Government of National Unity.

In Tripoli, the European delegation held talks with Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, Foreign Minister Najla El-Mangoush, and Interior Minister Khaled Tijani Mazen, wherein they asked the Libyan government to define its priorities for improving the lives of Libyans who are having great difficulty in coping with the cost of living and with the devastation brought about by the war in the last 10 years.

Ministers Bartolo and Di Maio and European Commissioner Varhelyi explained how a stable political framework is a condition for a broader partnership with Libya, with a view of including Libya in the New Agenda for the Mediterranean and in the European Union Economic and Investment Plan. In this context, they reaffirmed European support to the Libyan authorities in the difficult process of recovery and national reconciliation.

They also expressed their commitment to collaborate in various areas towards economic growth, job creation, and good governance. To this end, the joint delegation urged the Libyan authorities to engage constructively with the European Union for the good of the Libyan people.

In this regard, they also said that realistic prospects for economic growth and prosperity can only be achieved through the effective countering of illegal economies, criminal networks, and illicit trafficking in the region.

On irregular migration, the European delegation said that the EU will continue to contribute to strengthening the Libyan capacity to contain the situation, both with regard to the Libyan coastguard, as well as the control of Libya’s southern borders. This in full respect of international standards and human rights, primarily the rights of the most vulnerable people.

The two sides also spoke about the reopening of European airspace to flights from Libya and the reactivation of direct connections with Europe once safety and security conditions are met.

Photo taken during the meeting in Libya.