Italy sent an official invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday to attend the International conference on Libya to be hosted in Palermo, Sicily.
"Of course, Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as other heads of state and government, have been invited," Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Melanesi said at the end of talks in Moscow yesterday with his counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
He said the aim of the Libya conference in Palermo was not "to set dates, but rather steps that would lead to full security and stability in the North African country."
"We strongly support the UN plan, which includes a series of steps before reaching the critical moment for the democratic expression of the people embodied in the elections. We have so far supported the work of UN envoy Ghassan Salamé. We have endorsed what was set at the Paris meeting in May. Italy always says that setting an election date can be a system to stimulate action, but at the same time we must have time and flexibility as preparatory stages are carried out."
Milanesi explained that the initiative to organize a conference for Libya has taken "on a wider scale than the May conference in Paris."
"We thought it might be a good moment for another conference, this time to include actors from the Libyan scene, neighboring countries, the Mediterranean region, permanent members of the United Nations and the Arab world who have an interest in the full stability of Libya," he added.