Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte urged the Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan National Army, Marshal Khalifa Haftar "to stop his attack on Tripoli," warning of "the dangers facing stability in the entire region", during their meeting yesterday, Wednesday.
Conte called for abandoning the military option, stressing that the only sustainable solution can only be political, according to a statement by the Italian government, which was quoted by Agence France-Presse.
While Haftar visited Italy, the head of Libya's Presidential Council, Fayez Al-Sarraj, was in Brussels, where he met European Council President Charles Michel.
The European Council said in a statement that "Michel confirmed during the meeting that the European Union will increase efforts aimed at a political and peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict in the country, and also expressed concern about the ongoing military escalation in Libya."
Italian media and government sources expected that Al-Sarraj would visit Rome to meet with Conte, but he left Brussels directly for the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
Former Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini criticized Conte for receiving Haftar before meeting Al-Sarraj, describing the Italian Prime Minister as "ignorant of the most basic rules of the protocol" because he had to meet the internationally recognized prime minister first.