Italy mediates between Libya and Egypt to resolve maritime demarcation dispute
A Western diplomatic source in Cairo revealed that Italy had recently made contacts with Egypt aiming at mediation with Libya in order to resolve the crisis of demarcating the maritime borders between the two countries.
The Western diplomat, who spoke to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed on condition of anonymity, explained that the Italian mediation comes within Rome's efforts to maintain a minimum level of security and stability in Libya in light of the waves of illegal immigration that Italy is receiving coming the Libyan coast, given that the number poo f illegal immigrants increased in the last two months.
The source indicated that there is a second dimension to the Italian mediation efforts between Cairo and Tripoli, which lies in securing gas supplies coming from the Mediterranean in light of the energy crisis facing Europe in general, saying that there is a third dimension represented by the fact that the Italian company "Eni" is the largest player in gas exploration operations in the Mediterranean region, in Egypt and Libya.
According to the newspaper, there are efforts to mediate between Libya and Egypt by Tunisian President Kais Saied, who has good relations with officials in Egypt, as well as with the Government of National Unity and the Presidential Council in Libya.
"The Tunisian side put forward a scenario based on having demarcation negotiations between officials in Egypt and the Libyan Presidential Council, saying that one of the deputy heads of the Presidential Council who has good relations with Egypt would carry out the negotiations. There are consultations within Egypt on relations with Libya, discussing all proposals and mediations, in light of fears of increasing threats by Libyan officials about the Egyptian workers' file in Libya, naming it as one of the files to be used as a reaction to the Egyptian move." The newspaper said.
It also said that the “unilateral” border demarcation step was mainly of economic dimensions in order to reassure foreign companies wishing to explore for oil and gas in the Mediterranean region, specifically the area adjacent to the borders with Libya. It added that it was clear that the Egyptian decision had moved away from the maritime border line that was recently signed between Libya and Turkey.
Egypt recently placed an international bid to search for gas and oil in six regions of the Mediterranean, taking into account the distance from the border line that the Libyan government had set away from the Egyptian side in a clear message to the officials in Libya for openingthe door in the future to negotiate the joint demarcation of the borders when there is a stable government, according to the interpretation of a former Egyptian diplomat.