On the 12th and 13th November the Summit on Libya took place in Palermo. In addition to the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the meeting was attended by the leaders of Algeria, Turkey, Tunisia, Chad, Niger Egypt, Greece, Malta, Russia, and the United Nations delegation represented by Ghassam Salamé, who is the UN envoy for Libya. The guests of honor were Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj and his rival, the general of Cyrenaica Khalifa Haftar.
The meeting was strongly desired by the Italian government to stabilize the situation in Libya, but the work and the confrontation between the different delegations proved difficult: so much so that it did not even come to a « final declaration » signed by the participants. According to Salamé, Palermo served to convene a new conference in Libya at the beginning of 2019 and allow elections to be held in spring. As expected, the Libyan general Khalifa Haftar left Palermo in advance of the end of the work, among other things releasing an interview in which he said he had not fully participated in the conference. A couple of hours later, the Turkish delegation also decided to leave Palermo early. Turkey left the Conference “with profound disappointment”. The reason is clear today: Turkey complained that it was not involved in the informal morning meeting with Serraj and Haftar.
“We cannot think of solving the crisis in Libya by involving the people who caused it and excluding Turkey. The informal meeting of this morning was presented as a meeting between the protagonists of the Mediterranean, but this is a misleading image that we condemn, which is why we leave this meeting deeply disappointed”, adds the vice-president of Ankara.
Maria Elena Argano
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