Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said is organising a conference to look for ways to stabilise Libya, a main departure point for migrants from North Africa trying to reach Europe.
“In agreement with President Donald Trump, I’m going to organise a conference on Libya,” Conte told reporters at the White House after meeting with the US president.
“We would like to deal with and discuss all issues related to the Libyan people, involving all stakeholders, actors, protagonists in the whole of the Mediterranean,” said Conte, who took office last month promising a crackdown on immigration.
Italy told its allies it wants to hold an international conference on Libya this autumn and Conte was eager to get Trump’s blessing for the gathering at their Monday meeting.
Italy is competing with France over how best to deal with Libya, wracked by violence for years.
Conte believes a conference in Rome, backed by the United States, will help Rome establish itself as the major interlocutor for Libya’s warring factions.
After their meeting, Conte said Trump agreed Italy would become “a reference point in Europe and the main interlocutor for the main issues to be faced with particular reference to Libya.”
“We are going to discuss economic aspects, but also social aspects: the need for protection of civil rights; the problem of constitutional process – of issuing and passing laws to enable Libya, in particular, to get to democratic elections in a condition of the utmost stability,” Conte said.