Italy–Libya relations

Italy–Libya relations refers to the bilateral relations between the State of Libya and the Italian Republic. Italy has an embassy in Libya's capital, Tripoli, and a general consulate in Benghazi. Libya has an embassy in Italy's capital, Rome, and two general consulates (in Milan and Palermo).

Italy–Libya relations
Map indicating locations of Italy and Libya




Between 1911 and 1947, what is now Libya was an Italian colony. Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1947.

In 1970, Libya expelled all Italians from Libya and confiscated their possessions.

While Libya was considered a pariah by much of the international community under the rule of Muammar Gaddafi, Italy maintained diplomatic relations with Libya and exported a significant quantity of its oil from the country.[1] Relations between Italy and Libya warmed in the first decade of the 21st century, when they entered co-operative arrangements to deal with illegal immigration into Italy. Libya agreed to aggressively prevent migrants from sub-Saharan Africa from using the country as a transit route to Italy, in return for foreign aid and Italy's successful attempts to have the European Union lift its trade sanctions on Libya.[2]

On the 30th of August 2008 Italy signed a Treaty confessing to and apologizing for the damages suffered by the Libyan people during the period of Italian colonialism, and that was the first time in history that a country had apologized and compensated (5 Billion Dollars plus the medical care for those who were Harmed from the remnants of colonialism) for its previous colonization. The Treaty on Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation between Italy and Libya is composed of three parts: general principles; closing with the past and ending the disputes; and partnership. The first part begins with an official condemnation of Italy’s colonization of Libya. The second part, closing with the past, contains the reparations payment of $5 billion to be paid in annual installments of $250 million over a 20 year period. The third, most important part of the Treaty deals with partnership. While the countries planned to cooperate in the areas of culture, economy, science, non-proliferation and more, the foremost area of cooperation pertains to immigration. Notably, the Libyan coast is to be patrolled by mixed (Libyan and Italian) crews on boats to be provided by Italy. Additionally, Libya’s land borders are to be monitored using a satellite detection system provided by both the European Union and the Italian government.[3]

The Treaty has raised some human right concerns about the fates of immigrants turned away as a result of this process. According to the European court of human rights, or ECHR, Italy working with Libya to return migrants to Libya against their will violates their human rights. In Libya the migrants are subject to inhumane conditions, beatings, rape, and other human rights violations. [4]

In 2009, Gaddafi visited Italy for the first time in his 40-year rule.[5] However, when Gaddafi faced a civil war in 2011, Italy imposed a freeze on some Libyan assets linked to him and his family, pursuant to a United Nations-sponsored regime[6] and then bombed the country with the violation of Libya of the No-Fly Zone. After the death of Gaddafi, Italy recognized the National Transitional Council as the government of Libya.

On 26 September 2011, Italian energy company Eni announced it had restarted oil production in Libya for the first time since the start of the 2011 Libyan civil war. The quick return of Eni to Libyan oilfields reflected the positive relations between Rome and Tripoli under the NTC.[7]

The Italian embassy in Tripoli is one of the few Western embassies still active in Libya during the Post-civil war violence in Libya due the fact that Italy is the most important trade partner for Libya.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Janni, Paolo (1999). Italy in the European Monetary Union. CRVP. p. 29. ISBN 1-56518-128-X.
  2. ^ Yaghmaian, Behzad (11 March 2011). "Out of Africa". Foreign Affairs.
  3. ^ Ronzitti, Natalino. "The Treaty on Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation between Italy and Libya: New Prospects for Cooperation in the Mediterranean?" (PDF). Bulletin of Italian Politics Vol. 1, No. 1, 2009, 125-133.
  4. ^ Ronzitti, Natalino. "The Treaty on Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation between Italy and Libya: New Prospects for Cooperation in the Mediterranean?" (PDF). Bulletin of Italian Politics Vol. 1, No. 1, 2009, 125-133.
  5. ^ "Gaddafi in historic visit to Italy". Al Jazeera. 12 June 2009. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
  6. ^ Martinuzzi, Elisa; Totaro, Lorenzo (8 March 2011). "Italian Sanctions Against Qaddafi Stop Short of Libyan-Owned Banca UBAE". Bloomberg LP. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
  7. ^ "Italy's Eni: Oil production resumes in Libya". Forbes. 26 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 August 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit