Executive Intelligence Review


Italy’s Conte and Trump Discuss Russia and Libya, on Conte’s Return from Moscow

Nov. 3, 2018 (EIRNS)—In an interview with Corriere della Sera published on Nov. 1, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that upon his return from Moscow last week, he talked with U.S. President Donald Trump by phone:

“With President Trump we discussed various issues. We talked about immigration and I briefed him on my visit to Moscow. I updated him on the preparations for the Libya conference and he confirmed his support to the Steering Committee [between Italy and U.S. on Mediterranean policy]. Furthermore, Trump congratulated us for our efforts aiming at boosting economic growth.”

Both before and after his Oct. 30 visit to India, Conte has had intense diplomatic meetings to organize the Nov. 12-13 Libya conference in Palermo. He met separately with the UN envoy for Libya Ghassan Salamé; Tripoli Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj; Libyan National Army chief Khalifa Haftar; Libya House of Representatives head Aghila Saleh; and State Council head Khaled Al Meshri. They all assured their presence at the conference in Palermo.

Conte then went to Tunisia on Nov. 2 to meet with President Beji Caid Essebsi and Prime Minister Youssef Chahed. A major element of their discussion was Italy and Tunisia working together against illegal immigration and human trafficking, and new economic investment in the North African nation was announced. Conte said that Italy will invest €165 million in Tunisian projects, over the period 2107-2020. There will also be a new Italian credit line of €50 million for Tunisia.

As for the Libyan conference, Angela Merkel has already confirmed her participation at Palermo, while both Putin and Trump have assured there will be high-level participation from their nations, without committing themselves personally.

Undersecretary for Economic Development Michele Geraci who had joined Conte in India, wrote on his Facebook page: “We have been invited by the Indian government to help develop their agro-food sector: machines and food safety. A case-by-case approach will be crucial, as well as studying where are the best state-to-state opportunities.”