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Italian doctor reported missing in Libya

An Italian doctor in his seventies who worked in a hospital in Tripoli has gone missing in Libya, Italian media reported on Thursday.

Italian doctor reported missing in Libya
The doctor had been working in a hospital in Tripoli, where there has been an increase in violence in recent months. Photo: Mahmud Turkia/AFP

The foreign ministry in Rome told AFP it had activated "all the search channels possible" and was "addressing the issue with the usual discretion".

The orthopaedic specialist who worked in a hospital in Dar Al Wafa in Suq Talat was reported missing by his colleagues on January 6th, the reports said.

Two female aid workers abducted in Syria five months ago were released and returned to Italy last week, while two other Italians are still missing.

Humanitarian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto disappeared in January 2012 in Pakistan and Jesuit priest Paolo Dall'Oglio, a promoter of dialogue between religions, went missing in Syria in July 2013.

SEE ALSO: Italy wants to help restore peace in Libya

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Libya conference to be held in Sicily in November: Italy

A Libya conference will be held in Sicily in November, Italy's foreign minister said Tuesday, with talks focusing on an "inclusive approach" to stabilising the war-torn north African country while not fixating on a date for elections.

Libya conference to be held in Sicily in November: Italy
The coastline of the Sicilian island of Lampedusa. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

The peace conference in Palermo on November 12 and 13 will aim to “identify the stages of a stabilisation process”, Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi told the Senate.

The meeting would drive towards “a common solution, even if there are differences of opinion between the parties involved”, he said.

Four key leaders from Libya agreed at a conference in Paris in May to hold landmark polls on December 10 as part of a French-led plan to stabilise the crisis-hit country despite ongoing violence and deep divisions.

France, however, has faced opposition to the election timetable from the United States along with other European Union countries, notably Italy.

Milanesi said he had received “confirmation of interest” in the conference from Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar as well as support from the US, and was planning on discussing the dossier with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Monday.

“No deadlines will be imposed on the Libyans, nor tasks dictated,” Milanesi said.

Italy, a key supporter of the UN-backed government of Fayez al-Sarraj in Tripoli, said in September it wants to “maintain an active dialogue” with all well-intentioned actors in Libya.

The Libyan capital has been at the centre of a battle for influence between armed groups since dictator Moamer Kadhafi was driven from power and killed in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising.

Sarraj's Government of National Accord has been unable to form a functioning army or regular security forces and has been forced to rely on militias to keep Tripoli safe.

Militias formed the backbone of the uprising that toppled Kadhafi.

Since then rival administrations, including one allied with Haftar and based in the remote east, and the militias have competed for authority and oil wealth in the North African country.

Accused by his opponents of wanting to establish a new military dictatorship, Haftar refuses to recognise the authority of Sarraj's Tripoli-based GNA.

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