My thanks to the Prime Minister. This is my first visit abroad since I had the honour of being appointed as President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Government. This visit is in itself an evidence of how important the historic link between our countries is.
I also would like to point out that this is a unique moment for Libya: the government you preside over is a government of national unity, recognized and legitimized by the Parliament, a government that is working for national reconciliation. In this very perspective, I reiterate my belief that this is the best moment ever to rebuild what has been our ancient friendship and uninterrupted closeness; just think about the fact that the Italian embassy was the only one left open during the conflict, during all these long years of conflict and danger. And we must here acknowledge and recognize that our diplomats showed courage in keeping their office in such hard times.
I would like to stress it again, this is a unique chance for rebuilding, looking at the future and go ahead, quickly and decisively. The prerequisite for a strong and actual step forward is that the ceasefire is maintained and strictly observed. The security of the sites is undoubtedly a precondition for us to start cooperation. I was given important reassurances in this regard. We had, I must say, an extraordinarily rich, warm and satisfactory meeting. We have talked about our cooperation in the field of industrial engineering with precise references to civil infrastructures and the energy, health and cultural sectors. Italy is giving a new impulse to the Institute of Italian Culture abroad and increasing the number of scholarships for Libyan students learning Italian. We are willing to give a new impetus to the cultural and economic exchange between Libya and Italy.
In other words, we want to make our partnership a guide for the future of a fully sovereign Libya. Also on the migration issue; in this respect, I express satisfaction for Libya’s rescue actions. At the same time, we are willing to provide help and assistance. The problem is not only of geopolitical nature, it is also humanitarian. From this point of view, Italy is perhaps the only country that continues to keep the humanitarian corridors open. Migration problems for Libya do not stem only on its coasts but also on its southern borders. The EU has been invested with the task of supporting the Libyan government’s action in such regions as well. Number of projects are ready. The will to get started is also there. The joint committees on financial issues, also for the recovery of historical and more recent credits, are resuming work.
We are willing to take action, we are keen to build the future, we call for a swift recovery.