Posted by: africanpressorganization | 7 March 2011

Focus on Libya / Italian mission to help refugees continues. Contacts opened with the Libyan National Council, says Frattini





Focus on Libya / Italian mission to help refugees continues. Contacts opened with the Libyan National Council, says Frattini



ROME, Italy, March 7, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Italian mission to bring aid and support to the refugees at the Libyan-Tunisian border continues. The situation of the Egyptian refugees seems to have been resolved, thanks to the “shuttle service” provided by Italian C-130s to help the repatriation effort. Attention is now focused on repatriating citizens of other nationalities who may be in need of assistance. Margherita Boniver, Minister Frattini’s Special Envoy for humanitarian emergencies, is in Tunis, where she will have a series of meetings with the Tunisian authorities and with representatives of the international organisations currently operating in the country. The aim of Boniver’s mission is to assess the humanitarian situation at the border, not least with a view to modulating and targeting any further Italian initiatives. Boniver will be visiting the refugee camp at Ras Jedir. Here, the structure acting as the camp’s operations centre has been built under the coordination of Italian Cooperation in agreement with the Tunisian authorities.

On the diplomatic-political front, Minister Frattini said that Italy has opened contacts, “with discretion”, with the Libyan National Council.

“We know the situation and the people better than others”, explained Frattini. “Indeed, they’re asking to speak with us very often right now. We know the former Justice Minister, who is now leading the provisional Council in Benghazi, as well as the network of Libyan ambassadors who have said that from now on they’re at the service of the people, not the regime. Some of them are taking important action to build a consensus: we are doing so too, but discreetly. I think that’s the best solution”. On the possibility of a UN-NATO decision to establish a no-fly zone, the Minister underscored that “it’s difficult to imagine Italian military aircraft involved over Libyan territory. However, our Euro-Atlantic loyalties prompt us to say that we could not deny them our military bases and logistical support”.



Italy – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


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