States are underlining their support for Libya’s new unity government through a surge of high-profile diplomatic visits to the newly founded administration. Key European countries and the US are believed to be racing to land investment opportunities and reactivate partnerships in the North African nation.
In Tripoli, French, German and Italian foreign ministers on Friday met Najla Al Mangoush, Libya’s first female foreign minister. Other than reiterating their countries’ backing for the fledgling government, the top diplomats tackled reconstruction prospects for Libyan cities and towns.
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, in a Facebook post, openly stated that his country must partake in rebuilding Libya.
Di Maio said his government would facilitate the work of Italian businesses in Libya in order to “create new opportunities on both fronts.”
“We will work for new opportunities for our business companies,” he was quoted as saying by.
Nearly a decade of war has pushed the Libyan economy close to collapse. Parts of Tripoli and the center of Benghazi, Libya’s second most-populous city, have been reduced to ruins by fighting and need major renovation.
So far, no reliable estimates are found on how much reconstruction will cost, but some specialists are predicting a figure higher than $100 billion.
The trio of EU ministers who visited Tripoli also met with Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah and discussed the different ways their countries can support his government.
Dbeibah also held discussions with US companies at a virtual event hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Libya.
Washington’s ambassador to Libya Richard Norland expressed his country's aspiration to work with the new government.
Norland added that the participants in the meeting are aware of the difficulty of working in Libya, but they were encouraged after hearing out Dbeibah's commitment to transforming the country to a destination for foreign investment.
The diplomat reaffirmed that continued political progress could lead to new US and international investments, adding that commitment to the political process and holding elections on time are essential to improving the investment climate in Libya.