Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini considered that Libya could be an example of a qualitative leap that must be taken at the European level to build a real defense and security policy, considering that the absence of a European agenda for Libya allowed others to become major actors, such as Russia and Turkey.
He stressed that Russia is getting, on average, what it did not get in the past, in reference to the two Russian bases in Syria and its role in Libya, noting that the lack of what he described as hard work, initiative and ambition; means that other actors can build an assertive presence for them and impose functional outlets for their own benefit.
The Defense Minister, who was speaking after a meeting devoted to discussing the Afghan issue; considered that the direct or indirect foreign military presence in Libya is not an element of adapting the decision, wondering about any future for the Italian military commitment and considering that the issue in Libya is political and diplomatic.
His fears of the Russian and Turkish role in Libya; were shared by the former Italian Minister of the Interior, Marco Minniti.
In an article published by the German newspaper “Die Welt,” he talked about the Italian-Libyan memorandum on migrants and the role of the European Union in the Mediterranean region.
In response to a question about the increase in migratory flows; Minniti said that after 2018, the issue of redistribution and internal resettlement of immigrants arose again, yet it is not possible to find consensus among European countries on amending the Dublin Treaty if the Europeans do not face the African challenge first, adding that the European division in Brussels brought Russia and Turkey to Libya, considering it an unimaginable historical geopolitical change.
Minniti saw that after Russia was in the Mediterranean; The European Union must realize that balances in the Mediterranean are changing, and that it must be dealt with for decades, considering that the problem is embodied in Europe’s failure to absorb the expanded Central Mediterranean region; It will be of critical importance to its future.
He added that Europe should propose a pact for migration and economic development with Libya and Tunisia and call on them to intensify the war against human traffickers, in addition to taking urgent action in this context. It will be difficult to hold elections in Libya on schedule, which will necessarily lead to an escalation of tensions again, with the possibility of dividing Libya into two “Russian and Turkish” areas of influence, as happened in the Syrian case, and this would be a heavy defeat for Europe, and another Afghanistan.