The Joint Italian-Libyan Economic Technical Committee (CECIL) met for the first time by video conference on 17 December 2020. On the Libyan side it was headed by Dr Mahmoud Khalifa El-Tellisi, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Technical Matters, and on the Italian side by the Hon. Manlio Di Stefano, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The Parties set up this Commission as a further means of supporting the historical ties that bind Libya and Italy, in their common desire to go into further depth on and strengthen bilateral ties between these two Countries and friendly peoples.
In a spirit of friendship and far-reaching collaboration, the Parties engaged in in-depth discussions on the various aspects of cooperation of interest to the CECIL, with the involvement of functionaries of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, the Economy, Economic Development, Transport, Justice, and the Digital Sector in the two Countries.
This first meeting was specifically dedicated to assessing the opportunities for cooperation in sectors like information technology and transport, infrastructures, energy security and renewable energy, industry, agriculture, and the preservation of archaeological heritage.
The Parties dealt with some big questions of common interest in depth, first of all that of resolving of the problem of outstanding amounts owed to Italian Companies by the Libyan Government. In terms of infrastructure and transport, common interest was confirmed in constructing the motorway that will cross Libya from one border to the other, in the hope of possibly restarting the related works in spring 2021. The prospect of reinstating direct flights between the two Countries was also confirmed. The Parties undertook to engage in further work on these specific priority questions, by means of a specific table for moving forward and the cooperation and dialogue mechanisms in place on these matters.
The Parties also undertook to launch joint initiatives to overcome the socio-economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Parties welcomed the recent signing of the Memorandum of Intent for teaching Italian in Libyan secondary and other schools, as an optional subject. They also confirmed their willingness to delve further into cooperation in other strategic sectors.
In addition, the two Parties confirmed their hope that the Commission may once again meet in person in Rome, as soon as the health conditions allow.