Italy is sending its ambassador back to Libya, its foreign ministry said on Monday, making it the first Western diplomatic mission to reopen in the divided country after closing the embassy in 2015, Reuters reported.
The foreign ministry said in a statement the ambassador would present his credentials to the local government on Tuesday. A ministry spokeswoman said he would then start work in Tripoli almost immediately, having received the approval of U.N.-backed Prime Minister Fayez Seraj’s government in December, the reported continued.
“The Italian ambassador is returning to Tripoli after two years. A great gesture of friendship to the Libyan people. Now more controls on migrant departures,” Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano wrote on Twitter.
Dopo due anni ritorna ambasciatore italiano a Tripoli. Grande gesto di amicizia verso popolo libico. Ora più controlli su partenze migranti.
— Angelino Alfano (@angealfa) January 9, 2017
The pair pledged to tackle all forms of smuggling and protect Libya’s southern borders, an Interior Ministry statement said, adding, “The Italian embassy that operates from Tripoli will be the principal coordination center for all these projects,” the Reuters report continued.