21:05 GMT01 December 2020
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    Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has said that in its ongoing war on terror, the West should try to avoid the mistakes it once made in Libya.

    “Italy’s position in clear and serious… We must destroy terrorists, not just make commentators feel happy. We should scale down our advertising campaign because we don’t have a strategic vision… We can afford doing everything but repeating the mistakes we made in Libya,” Matteo Renzi said in an interview with Corriere della Sera.

    When asked if Italy thus risked playing a second fiddle in Libya, Renzi said that if being the main player meant running after others’ bombings, he wanted no part of that.

    “We did that in 2011 by grudgingly bending under pressure from [French President Nicolas] Sarkozy. Four years into the civil war in Libya we now see that we needed a different strategy,” Renzi emphasized.

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    He also said that Italy actively engaged in peacekeeping operations in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Somali and Iraq and, along with France, had the second biggest military contingent stationed overseas after the US.

    Saying that the recent terrorist attacks had been masterminded by those living in the European cities’ less privileged outskirts, the Premier said that to effectively fight Daesh the Europeans needed more than just bombs and missiles, they needed schools and theaters.

    “That’s why for each euro we spend on security we invest another one in culture,” Renzi noted.

    He also said that “prepared as we are to fight the terrorists with military force, we also need a clear strategy. That’s why in Vienna we must work hard to reach agreement on Syria and on Libya here in Rome.”

    “Things like this do not grab public attention as bombing raids do, but they are paramount to our effort to root out the scourge or terrorism,” Matteo Renzi emphasized.


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