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Italian-Libyan cooperation key to energy security in Europe -- PM

ROME, Jan 28 (KUNA) -- Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said Saturday the energy cooperation with Libya will secure the energy supplies to Europe and contribute remarkably to stabilization of Libya.
During her visit to Tripoli, Meloni held talks with Libyan Prime Minister Abdul-Hamid Al-Dbeibeh and attended the signing of bilateral deals in the areas of energy and security, according to a statement from Chigi Palace.
The agreement between Italy's energy giant Eni and Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) to invest in Libyan gas is a historic step towards diversification of energy resources, the statement quoted her as telling reporters in Tripoli.
Such initiatives will ensure sustainable energy supplies for the Libyans, on one hand, and Europe, on the other, she said, noting that the continent undergoes a challenging moment.
In so-doing, Italy can play a more significant role from the strategic point of view, Meloni pointed out.
Lauding Libya as a strategic partner of her country, the Italian prime minister said the bilateral trade volume skyrocketed by 180 percent in 2021 and continued this positive trend last year.
Italy continued to by Libya's biggest economic partner, Meloni said, adding that her visit shed light on the significance of Libya to stability of the Mediterranean, the security of Italy and the great challenges facing Europe, notably the energy crisis. Highlighting the importance of cooperation with Libya to curb the flow of illegal migrants to Italy, she said the foreign ministers of both countries signed an agreement to build the capacity of the Libyan coast guards.
Meloni called on the Libyan government in Tripoli to step up the efforts to achieve all-inclusive national reconciliation and set the stage for general elections as early as possible.
Italy stands ready to support the correct and legitimate path to elections, which is the cornerstone of political and security stability in the country, she added. (end) mn.hss.gb