“Italy warmly welcomes the ceasefire in Libya, which offers a new possibility to a political way out, the only one possible, to an intricate crisis” – Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Emanuela Del Re declared today at the Dire agency. “We will continue to play our role of facilitation towards all parties involved – Ms Del Re added – so that they follow the path outlined in the statements of the Presidential Council and the House of Representatives”. According to the Vice Minister, the developments announced in the notes issued by Prime Minister Fayez Al-Serraj and Aguila Saleh, President of Parliament based in Tobruk, “constitute an important and bold step towards stabilising the Libyan crisis”. Ms Del Re continued – “Only a shared path to overcome the current institutional stalemate in the country, starting with an immediate cessation of hostilities and the resumption of oil production, can make it possible to make progress towards lasting peace and stability”. According to the Vice Minister, “it is not an easy path, but as said, it has no alternative. Italy and, I hope, the whole European Union will support it”.
MALI, VM DEL RE – “RETURNING TO A PATH OF DEMOCRATIC NORMALITY”
Italy considers the release of political prisoners and the return to “a path of democratic normality” in Mali a priority, as declared by Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Emanuela Del Re today at the Dire agency. “The Italian government and the governments of our partner countries have already expressed themselves clearly,” Ms Del Re stressed. “The upheavals of the constitutional order through military force are not acceptable, neither in Africa nor elsewhere. On Tuesday in Bamako, army officers arrested President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse’, then setting up a National Committee for the salvation of the people, which pledged to call elections “within a reasonable period of time”. According to Ms Del Re, “now the priority is the release of political prisoners and the return to a path of democratic normality”. The Vice minister stressed that “Italy considers the stability of the Sahel to be a priority objective”. In Mali there is a United Nations peacekeeping mission, with more than 13,000 men, but there are also European and French troops. Paris has launched its Barkhane operation, with over 5,000 troops, also active in other Sahel countries. The deployment of the European Task Force Takuba, in which Italy should also participate, is planned to support this operation. In Bamako, the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) has already been present for some time, with the participation of some Italian soldiers. According to Ms Del Re, “what happened in Mali, with its possible repercussions in terms of instability in the area, confirms the need for greater non-military involvement of the European Union in the Sahel”.
LEBANON, VM DEL RE: “FROM MUNICIPALITIES TO COMPANIES, ITALY SYSTEM TO HELP”
In order to face the economic and social consequences of the explosion in the port of Beirut, the commitment of Italian cooperation for Lebanon is deepening, with a multiplicity of actors – as declared today by Vice Minister Emanuela Claudia Del Re at the agency Dire. The emergency following the explosion on 4th August, which caused more than 200 deaths and 5,000 injured, but also development commitments in the medium and long term, are discussed during a break at the Rimini Meeting. “On 14th August I held a first meeting with civil society organisations and a second one for the coordination between all the actors of cooperation for emergency response” VM Del Re affirmed. “The private sector also participated, with Confindustria, and then the municipalities of Anci, the Civil Protection and the Ministry of Defence”. According to the Vice Minister, this confirms “that cooperation is an approach of Italian foreign policy that involves everyone and truly represents us as a country”. Ms Del Re pointed out the role of national bodies and the “many projects” of Anci, universities, regions and provinces. Compared to the Municipalities, the Vice Minister stressed that “all of them have internationalisation departments and are producers of ideas and initiatives, often financed by development cooperation”. During the Virtual Coordination Table, chaired on Wednesday by Ms Del Re, the Vice Minister reported that in Beirut the United Nations and humanitarian actors on the ground are carrying out day-by-day assessments of the population’s needs. On 12th August, the Italian Cooperation provided funding of 726,000 euros to the Lebanese Red Cross for emergency medical services. On 14th August, the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) published a “Flash Appeal” to provide a response for the benefit of about 300,000 people over a three-month time horizon.