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Italy opens its consulate in Benghazi – Consul meets Hafter

Italian Consul Carlo Batori finally arrived in Benghazi yesterday to reopen the Italian Consulate in the city.

Officially, his arrival was a very low-profile affair. The Italian embassy in Tripoli has made no official announcement.

Instead, it was left to the General Command of the Libyan National Army (LNA) to reveal his arrival after he paid a visit to Khalifa Hafter. The General Command made sure a phoro of the meeting was published.

The General Command said ‘‘The Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan Arab Armed Forces, Field Marshal Khalifa Abu Al-Qasim Haftar, receives at the headquarters of the General Command the Italian Consul, Mr. Carlo Batori, after the opening of the Italian Consulate in the city of Benghazi.’’

Coronavirus delay

It will be recalled that Batori was supposed to arrive in Benghazi on 26 May for the Consulate opening. However, the Italian embassy reported that he had tested positive for Coronavirus in control tests conducted in the run-up to his departure to Benghazi.

His departure was supposed to be ‘‘postponed for a few days’’, the Embassy had explained.

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