Libya’s Foreign Minister holds meeting with Israeli counterpart despite no diplomatic relations

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Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Libya’s Foreign Minister Najla Al-Mangoush has convened a meeting in Rome, marking the first-ever encounter between two top diplomats from the two sides and despite Libya having no diplomatic relations with Israel.

“in a historic breakthrough, the foreign ministers of Israel and Libya engaged in a groundbreaking meeting aimed at exploring potential cooperation and forging relations between the two countries.”

It added that Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Libya’s Foreign Minister Al-Mangoush’s meeting was hosted by the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Tajani.

“Cohen emphasized the importance of this unprecedented step, referring to it as the first step in the relationship between Israel and Libya. The size and strategic location of Libya give ties with it enormous importance and enormous potential for the State of Israel,” Cohen said in a press release.

“We are working with a series of countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia with the aim of expanding the circle of peace and normalization of Israel.” He added.

The Israeli FM acknowledged the strategic significance of Libya’s size and location, underscoring the immense potential for collaboration between the two nations.

“Cohen’s discussions with Al-Mangoush included exploring possibilities for mutual benefits and preserving the heritage of Libyan Jewry, which encompasses the restoration of synagogues and Jewish cemeteries within Libya. The conversation between the ministers also delved into the historical ties binding Israel and Libya and their shared interest in cooperation, including the potential areas of humanitarian initiatives, agriculture, and water management.” i24 said.

Meanwhile, the former Israeli Prime Minister’s spokesman for the Arab World, Ofir Gendelman, said on X that the regional circle of peace was expanding as Israel’s Cohen met last week in Rome with his Libyan counterpart and discussed having bilateral relations and sending Libya humanitarian assistance. He indicated that the historic meeting was the first step in Libya-Israel relations.