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Peace with Libya is Doubtful, But Contact, Aided by Local Jews, Started Years Ago

Gianluca Pacchiani
Times of Israel, Aug. 28, 2023

“One of the ambitions of today’s leaders is to gain access to Israel’s scientific advances and world-renowned technology for irrigation and agriculture, in the way Morocco did.”
 
On Sunday, Israel announced that Foreign Minister Eli Cohen met with his Libyan counterpart, Najla Mangoush, last week in Italy, the first-ever official meeting between the countries’ top diplomats.

Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid al-Dbeibeh quickly distanced himself from the move, suspending Mangoush from her position and launching a probe, while the country’s Foreign Ministry insisted the two diplomats had met accidentally and ruled out any steps toward normalization with Israel.

Following Israel’s announcement of the meeting, various Libyan media outlets pointed to one man as the possible mastermind: Raphael Luzon, chairman of the Union of Libyan Jews.

While Luzon was not connected to the latest diplomatic get-together, in an interview late Sunday with The Times of Israel, he described the first contacts he facilitated between high-ranking Israeli and Libyan officials some six years ago, opening the way to last week’s meeting.

… [To read the full article, click here]

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