Need to stabilise Libya, Italy tells Russia

Italy's President Sergio Mattarella

Rome, ┬áItaly’s President Sergio Mattarella on Thursday stressed to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin the importance of stabilising war-torn Libya to keep Europe safe.

To end the deadly battle for Tripoli between Libya’s rival forces and break the current military and political stalemate, a ceasefire must be brokered and inclusive peace talks need to take place under a roadmap forged by United Nations envoy Ghassan Salame, Mattarella told Putin, AKI has learnt.

Salame’s roadmap aims to pave the way for democratic elections, which it envisages taking place by the end of this year.

Putin underlined the obstacles posed to peace in Libya by key powers in the Middle East backing different sides in the escalating conflict and warned Mattarella that it could destabilise the entire region.

Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have been named as supporters of eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar, who began a ground and aerial offensive to seize Tripoli in early April, while Turkey is said to back the internationally recognised government led by Fayez al-Sarraj, whose allied militias are fighting Haftar’s forces.