LIBYAPROSPECT – Washington
The Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, said, on Monday, that he was preparing to organise a conference to look for how to stabilise Libya.
Conte said after a meeting with the President of the United States, Donald Trump, in the White House that “in agreement with President Donald Trump, I’m going to organise a conference on Libya.”
He added that “we would like to deal with and discuss all of the issues related to the Libyan people, involving all of the stakeholders, actors, protagonists in the whole of the Mediterranean.”
Conte stressed that he believes that a conference in Rome, backed by the United States, “would help Rome establish itself as the major interlocutor for Libya’s warring factions.”
From his side, Trump had agreed Italy would become “a reference point in Europe and the main interlocutor for the main issues that need to be faced, with particular reference to Libya.”
Conte said that “we are going to discuss economic aspects, but also social aspects: the need for protection of civil rights, the problem of the constitutional process of issuing and passing laws to enable Libya, in particular, to get to democratic elections in a condition of the utmost stability.”
Observers said that Conte-Trump meeting means that Italy is becoming the leading actor to cut the way in front of the efforts of France in Libya.
It looks like that the Italian-French rivalry on Libya is coming to its end as Italy is becoming the primary player in Libya.
From its side, France considers itself the most deserving to solve the Libyan crises. But the obstacle that could prevent France from succeeding is that it supports the commander of the Dignity Operation, General Khalifa Haftar, who is supported by Egypt and the UAE as well.
It seems that the American- Italian rapprochement would stop the French ambitions.
The difference between Italy and France in Libya is that France looks at the target of holding the general elections in Libya regardless of adopting the constitution or not.
On the other side, Italy focuses on coming to national reconciliation in Libya to end the disputes and the clashes as well as the political divisions before coming to the elections.
Moreover, Italy considers the timelines of the Paris meeting as not enough, which means France would create another route that could affect the Libyan situation negatively and enlarge the crisis.