Amid fighting, Italy upbeat on Libya

Nov. 6, 2012 at 10:11 AM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Political developments in Libya are encouraging, though the new government there needs to ensure national security is enforced, a visiting Italian leader said.

Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi arrived in Tripoli to express Rome's support for a new Libyan government.

"The constitution of the new Libyan government is a fundamental step toward a stable and democratic Libya," the prime minister's office said in a statement. "The inclusive methods that led to the formation of the government by Prime Minister Ali Zidane ... are encouraging signs considering the task facing new government."

Libyan forces this week dismantled an illegal militia blamed for security violations in the capital, Tripoli. In mid-October, at least 22 people were killed in fighting between militias and rebel fighters near Bani Walid, a former stronghold of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The Tripoli Post reports that fighting this week between rival militias, both supporting the Libyan government, left five people wounded in a three-hour gun battle in al-Khoms, about 75 miles east of Tripoli.

Terzi's office said the Italian government considers Libya to be a key regional partner for increasing dialogue between Europe and Mediterranean states.

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