Published On: Wed, Apr 14th, 2021

EYE ON LIBYA: Rekindling Life After a Decade of Conflict

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By Janet Ekstract

İSTANBUL (TURKISH JOURNAL)- Libya may finally be on the road to recovery and the possibility of rekindling life after a decade of conflict that had mired the North African nation. Interest is at an all time high with Libya hosting prime ministers from Italy, Malta and Greece last week, in an effort to push forward on business and infrastructure deals previously halted by the shadow of warlord and renegade Khalifa Haftar whose goal was to capture Tripoli in a bid to gain sole control of Libya. Last week, European Council President Charles Michel was in Tripoli to declare EU support for Libya. Michel said his aim was to deliver a “clear and strong message” to Libya: “We commend your efforts to come together in a spirit of national unity and reconciliation.” Michel said that the EU ambassador to Libya will return on a permanent basis by the end of April.

Meanwhile, a week ago, Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela said Malta has plans to reopen its embassy in Libya and to resume flights. Abela commented at a news conference in Tripoli:

“We are going to reopen our embassy and our consulate in Libya in the coming days.” Abela expressed his support for the new interim government in Libya and said: “We will work alongside the prime minister so his country regains its strength.” The Maltese leader also committed to support Libya’s new government “in the areas of security.” Libya’s current Prime Minister Abdulhamid Debeibah expressed his confidence in boosting ties with Malta. Malta, a key economic and political partner for Libya is also the closest EU state geographically to Libya. Also last week, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi reiterated that the Libyan government must strictly observe the ceasefire agreement. In comments Draghi made to the press alongside Debeibah, Draghi said they discussed immigration and economic cooperation, emphasizing the nations’ strong historic ties.

In addition, on April 13, Turkey and Libya reaffirmed their commitment to the 2019 maritime agreement which both Greece and Cyprus oppose. Turkey’s President Erdogan said after both leaders met in Ankara, that Turkey is committed to supporting Libya’s unity, reconstruction and military. Turkey will also send 150,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to Libya to assist the North African nation with the pandemic. Turkey will also be involved in the management of a pandemic hospital as well.

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