Italy defense ministry seeks closer ties with Libya

Prime Minister of Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord Fayez Al-Sarraj (R) meets with Italian Minister of Defense Lorenzo Guerrini (2nd L) in the capital Tripoli, on August 5, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 06 August 2020

Italy defense ministry seeks closer ties with Libya

  • Both countries will collaborate on reclamation and demining activities
  • The ministry cited a “mutual willingness” to cooperate on defense “for an improvement” in relations

ROME: Italy’s defense ministry said on Wednesday it would strengthen cooperation with Libya, citing a willingness for improved relations with the war-torn country’s UN-recognized government.
Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini met in Tripoli on Wednesday with Fayez Al-Sarraj, the head of Libya’s Government of National Accord, the ministry said in a brief statement.
Both countries will collaborate on reclamation and demining activities, the ministry said, while expanding cooperation in medicine and military health within the Misurata hospital, which it said would be moved to a “more functional area.”
The statement also cited construction of a new hospital center in Tripoli, and a plan to train Libyan military officers and cadets.
The ministry cited a “mutual willingness” to cooperate on defense “for an improvement” in relations.
Libya’s unity government, with Turkey’s backing, is battling forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar, who has support from Egypt, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. A year-long push by Haftar to seize the capital of Tripoli was repelled in June.
Italy’s foreign minister, Luigi Di Maio, met Al-Sarraj in late June, promising that a Mediterranean naval operation to enforce an ongoing arms embargo would be effective.
Italy, which is the main arrival point for migrants leaving Libya, signed an agreement with Libya in 2017 for its coast guard to block migrants before they can reach Europe.
Rights groups have severely criticized the deal, as migrants are returned to overcrowded detention centers in Libya, where many are victims of abuse and even torture.


Jordan reports 1,767 COVID-19 cases in highest daily tally since outbreak

Updated 26 min 55 sec ago

Jordan reports 1,767 COVID-19 cases in highest daily tally since outbreak

  • The country’s total number of confirmed infections now stands at 11,816 with 61 deaths

AMMAN: Jordan registered 1,767 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, its highest daily tally since the start of the outbreak, the health minister said.
The country’s total number of confirmed infections now stands at 11,816 with 61 deaths since the first case surfaced in early March, Saad Jaber said in a statement.