West must avoid ‘past errors’ in Libya: Italian Minister

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West must avoid ‘past errors’ in Libya: Italian Minister

Rome: Italy and other western nations should learn from “past errors” in Libya and allow its people to “find their own path to democracy”, Italy’s far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said on Monday.

“For economic gain, someone is playing with fire, war mongering, and this is never a good solution,” Salvini said in an interview with public broadcaster Rai 2’s current affairs talk show ‘Povera Patria’.

“So I really hope that all western powers have learned the lessons of the past – the errors of the past – in Libya as in Iraq,” he added.

He urged nations to “respect those peoples and let them find their own path to democracy”.

Salvini’s comments came as Ahmed Maitig, the Deputy Premier of Libya’s United Nations backed unity government in Tripoli and Qatar’s Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Thani held talks with the Italian government in Rome aimed at halting the current military escalation in Libya.

Since eastern maverick commander Khalifa Haftar ordered his Libyan National Army militia to advance on Tripoli earlier this month, over 140 people have been killed and over 600 injured in fighting with forces loyal to the UN-backed government, while 16,000 people have fled their homes, according to the UN.

Libya has been in chaos since the Nato-backed ouster of late dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, with rival administrations in the east and west backed by a myriad of militias vying for control of the oil-rich country, which was an Italian colony from 1911-1947.

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