The NATO mission has come to an end and the skies over Libya are free once more. The United Nations Security Council has decided that the NATO mission to protect the Libyan population with all necessary means will end at midnight on 31 October. And with the mission, the “No-Fly Zone” that the Atlantic Alliance’s fighter jets have enforced for the past 7 months, will also come to an end.
The UN’s decision follows the announcement by the national transitional council (NTC) of the liberation of Libya, after the death of Colonel Gaddafi. The role played by Italy, which took part in the NATO-led coalition, was inspired by our robust historic relationship with Libya: a relationship based on friendship, good neighbourliness and cooperation with the Libyan people. It is now up to the transition authorities to guide the country towards a new political future where all members of Libyan society can identify with sound and representative democratic institutions.
This new page of Libya’s political history also includes human rights: the transition authorities have announced an investigation into the circumstances of Col. Gaddafi’s death, while Italy agrees with the United States on the need for the new authorities to investigate the reports of summary executions of loyalists or supporters of the old regime. It is in this light, explained the Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson, Maurizio Massari, that the Italian Ambassador to Tripoli, Giuseppe Buccino, has been instructed to deliver a message to the NTC.
“We are confident that on this point and, in general, on the various aspects of the transition, the key political figures of the new Libya will move in the right direction and succeed, within the envisaged timescale, in creating a Government that reflects and represents the spirit of the revolution in all its facets.
During this period, it is important for the international community also to maintain the utmost unity and coherence and respect Libyan political ‘ownership’”, continued the MFA spokesperson. Italy’s Relations of “neighbourliness” and friendship with the Libyan people have also made it possible to implement a full programme of development aid initiatives both during the emergency and now, during the reconstruction period.
The opening of the Italian Embassy in Tripoli was preceded by other significant initiatives. On 22 May 2011, a Development Cooperation Office was opened in Benghazi. And in May and June our Cooperation team were members of the international team charged with identifying sectors and priorities around which to structure the international community’s initiatives in Libya during the immediate post-conflict period.