Posted by: africanpressorganization | 3 November 2011

First Alitalia Rome-Tripoli flight – Italy the first EU country, confirming frontline collaboration, says Frattini



First Alitalia Rome-Tripoli flight – Italy the first EU country, confirming frontline collaboration, says Frattini


ROME, Italy, November 3, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The first Rome-Tripoli flight in 8 months landed today at Mitiga military airport in Tripoli. Alitalia is the first major Western airline to resume connections with Libya after an 8-month suspension imposed by the conflict. The plane landed in the Libyan capital to the applause of the over 100 passengers on board, who included the new Libyan ambassador to London Mahmud Naku and the Imam of the Toronto Islamic Center Yusuf Mustafa. Italian ambassador to Libya Giuseppe Buccino was on hand to greet them at the military airport.

Hailing the event, Minister Frattini commented that “Italy is the first European Union country to have resumed commercial flights to Libya, confirming our frontline role in that country and the excellent collaboration we have established with the new Libyan authorities”. “This is a very important sign”, Frattini said, “of progress in the normalization of the situation in Libya and of our complete resumption of bilateral economic and human relations with a country with which we feel a special affinity and friendship”. The minister also deeply thanked “Alitalia for the skill and timeliness in with which it has interacted with the foreign ministry, our embassy in Tripoli and the Libyan authorities”

Ambassador Buccino also spoke of “a great day for Italo-Libyan relations”, underscoring that “this is a sign that relations between Italy and Libya have matured. Businessmen are beginning to come back, for the moment without their families, but we are working toward being able to provide all the necessary guarantees and to returning to normalcy. We are hoping to reopen the consulate shortly”, the ambassador added.

Libyan ambassador to London Mahmud Naku called this “the most wonderful day in my life”, because, “this is my first visit home after 33 years in exile”. “I am returning to a Libya without the dictator Gaddafi”, the ambassador said, “I have often dreamt of this day, and now my dream has come true. I am optimistic for the future of a Libya that will have good relations with the Mediterranean countries, especially with Italy”.

Flight number AZ 868 carried 110 passengers, mostly Libyan citizens with children going home after a long hiatus, but also a number of Italian and Libyan business persons and doctors. Some Libyans proudly waved their country’s new flag as they waited to board, barely able to contain their excitement.



Italy – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


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