Italy’s premier has hosted a meeting of Libya’s rival leaders on the sidelines of a conference aiming to help its former colony crack down on Islamic militants and human trafficking.
Witnesses say Premier Giuseppe Conte presided over a meeting and handshake Tuesday between the Tripoli-based U.N.-backed prime minister, Fayez Serraj, and rival Gen. Khalifa Hifter, commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army that is based in Libya’s east.
Other leaders attending the Palermo conference were reported to have participated. The office of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who backs Hiftar, confirmed he participated in a “mini-summit” Tuesday with Conte and other leaders, without providing names.
Italy’s anti-migrant populist government organized the two-day conference in hopes of making progress on ending Libya’s lawlessness and promoting a U.N. framework for eventual elections.
Source: The Associated Press