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Focus-Libya: Frattini, the NTC is Italy’s only interlocutor

04 April 2011

“We have decided to recognise the Libyan National Transitional Council as the country’s only legitimate interlocutor on bilateral relations” – recognition that will take place formally. This was Minister Frattini’s statement, who met today at the ministry in Rome with representative for foreign policy of the Libyan National Transitional Council Ali al Isawi.

Frattini explained that “very soon” an office for Italian representation would open in Benghazi, specifying that “we already have some officials in Benghazi operating with Italian bodies in various sectors, and there is a stable presence at the former Italian consulate”. “I believe that it is hard to replace Italy in the heart and historic relations with Libya”, Frattini stressed.

As for arming the rebels, Frattini did not rule it out although he spoke of it as an “extreme measure”. In any case, he said that “the proposals” of Muammar Gaddafi “to end the crisis”, outlined by his emissary in Athens, “are not credible”. Moreover, Frattini added, the Tripoli government is using “illegal immigration as a weapon”. The minister added that “Italian planes will be used to transport the wounded from the Misurata hospital to a hospital ship”.

“Italy is very important for Libya”, Ali al Isawi said, explaining that any action aimed at dividing Libya “is unacceptable, as is any policy initiative that does not lead to the end of the Gaddafi regime”.

Absolutely against the idea of replacing Gaddafi with one of his sons: "All of these people – he explained – have taken part in military operations against the Libyan people and have killed civilians. It would be unacceptable for one of his sons to remain in power”.

Al Isawi then assured that "extremism does not exist in Libya, and our attitude is to combat any intervention by al Qaeda”, reiterating that the NTC would be opposed to “any intervention by foreign ground troops on Libyan soil”.

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