Italy ponders Libyan request for help in fight trafficking

Sub saharan migrants wait to be rescued by aid workers of Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms in the Mediterranean Sea about 15 miles north of Sabratha Libya on Tuesday

English edition of Asharq Al-Awsat - the world's premier pan-Arab daily. Traffickers, exploiting widespread lawlessness in Libya, have sent hundreds of thousands of migrants in unseaworthy smuggling boats toward Italy. The latter was reported saying that Serraj had authorised Italian naval vessels to saild into Libyan waters.

"Such allegations... are without any foundation،" Sarraj was quoted as saying in the statement. "Libya's national sovereignty is a red line that nobody must cross".

After a meeting in Rome with Sarraj on Wednesday, Gentiloni announced the government was considering a formal request from the GNA to send naval ships into Libyan territorial waters to help fight human trafficking and said he the plan would be debated by Italy's parliament next week - remarks that appeared to have concerned Tripoli.

The cabinet was "discussing the details" of a request from Tripoli for assistance, he said.

French President Emmanuel Macron hosted a meeting Tuesday at which Libyan President Fayez Al Sarraj and military leader Gen. Khalifa Haftar committed themselves to a ceasefire.

The United States also welcomes new UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya Ghassan Salamé as the head of the UN Support Mission in Libya, UNSMIL, which plays a critical role in advancing lasting peace and stability.

While the Libyan people must lead the process of achieving political reconciliation in their country, the global community plays an important role in supporting those efforts.

The UNSC members urged all Libyans to support a negotiated political solution, national reconciliation, and an immediate ceasefire, as called for in the Joint Declaration.

In its statement, the 15-member Council praised "recent efforts to strengthen an inclusive political dialogue among all Libyans, supported by Libya's neighbours, worldwide partners and regional organizations".

In their 10-point joint declaration, Sarraj and Haftar also agreed to work on unifying national institutions such as the National Oil Corporation (NOC) and the central bank.

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