The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio has been working, in recent months, to strengthen the Italian diplomatic presence in Libya, with the aim of relaunching the economic cooperation projects interrupted due to the outbreak of the Libyan crisis.
On December 8th. the Embassy of Italy in Libya announced on its Twitter account that Italy and Libya have reached an agreement on the construction of a coastal highway that will link Ras Agedir to Misurata.
As reported by Italian online newspaper Sicurezza Internazionale, the agreement confirm “Italy and Libya’s determination to implement infrastructure projects that are of strategic importance for both countries and that were included in the Treaty of Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation”, an agreement that the two countries signed in 2008.
In particular, as the Italian Embassy specified, the Joint Commission in charge of these projects has agreed to send letters of invitation to pre-qualified companies to participate in the tender on lot 4 of the Ras Agedir-Misurata project. The commission has also expressed its will to reach an agreement with the consortium that won the tender for lot 1, in order to start the construction of the Emssad – al Marj section as soon as possible.
The coastal highway, which extends for more than 1,700 kilometers from Emssad to Ras Agedir, connects the eastern borders of the country (with Egypt) and the western one (with Tunisia), passing through the international airport of Tripoli. According to Article 9 of the Treaty of Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation, the Italian side is committed to providing an amount of $5 billion for the implementation of the project.
The construction of the coastal road is one of the most strategic and innovative projects for Libya, as it represents an essential pillar for the development and prosperity of the country’s economy.
By facilitating mobility between major cities, the traffic route promotes the development of agricultural, industrial and touristic areas, as well as the establishment of new residential communities and service centers.
The project also aims at strengthening strategic cooperation and partnerships between Libya and its neighbouring countries, also contributing to the progress of trade and economic exchanges between Africa and the European Union.
However, infrastructure is not the only sector in which Italy is involved in Libya. In fact, Italy is also committed to support Libya in the health sector – by constructing hospitals, providing medical personnel and providing care for children with cancer – as well as on renewable energy, a key sector for relaunching cooperation with Libya.