On Monday, the Turkish capital, Ankara, witnessed the convening of the first high-level strategic cooperation council between Libya and Turkey, under the auspices of the Prime Minister of the National Unity Government, Abdul Hamid Dabaiba, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
According to a statement by the Media Office of the Prime Minister of the National Unity Government, during the meeting, the importance of protecting Libya’s sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and political unity throughout the country in the east, west and south was emphasized, in addition to emphasizing that the Presidential Council and the Government of National Unity are the only legitimate executive authority for Libya as per the elections held at the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum.
The meeting stressed that “the problems in Libya can be solved through political methods led by Libya and owned within the framework of the 2015 Libyan Political Agreement, the relevant Security Council resolutions, the conclusions of the Berlin Conference and the Libyan Dialogue Forum roadmap, in addition to the importance of Turkey’s contribution to ensure a permanent and sustainable ceasefire.”
Memorandum of Understanding between Turkey and Libya
The meeting highlighted that “the memorandum of understanding signed between Turkey and Libya, especially the maritime one, carries importance for the common interests of both countries, regional stability and cooperation, the validity of the principles contained therein, and the expression of the will to move forward in framing them, with an emphasis on the need to hold a regional conference for all parties to support dialogue and cooperation in the eastern Mediterranean.
It was also agreed that a regional conference should be held to ensure dialogue and cooperation in the eastern Mediterranean, and the attendees indicated the desire of the two sides to enhance cooperation for security reform and capacity building according to need and at the request of the Libyan government.
Emphasis was placed on condemning terrorism regardless of its motives and in all its forms and manifestations, stressing the importance of working in full solidarity in combating terrorist groups and criminal organizations that pose a threat to both countries.
According to the Libyan statement, the two sides emphasized continuing to strengthen their bilateral, regional and international cooperation against violent extremism, all forms and manifestations of separation, transnational organized crimes, drug smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering, crimes against cultural and historical heritage, cybercrime, disinformation campaigns, and smuggling of migrants as well as cross-border security threats.
The two sides agreed to cooperate in combating illegal immigration, human trafficking and migrant trafficking. The two sides will also share experiences in the field of illegal immigration. It was also agreed to increase the volume of bilateral trade to 5 billion US dollars in a balanced manner.
Resumption of FTA negotiations
The statement indicated that the next meeting of the Joint Economic Committee will be held as soon as possible in Libya, with the resumption of negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), in addition to the possible role of Turkish contractors and the private sector in the reconstruction process in Libya and the affirmation of commitment to address the outstanding issues of Turkish companies, in accordance with the correct contracts for the companies and within the framework of the legislation in force in the two countries, in a manner that guarantees the interests of the contracting parties.
The two sides stressed the importance of improving and deepening cooperation in the field of energy for the mutual benefit of both countries, and expressing their readiness to start work in this regard. A mechanism for reaching an understanding was discussed regarding conducting the required field examination for Turkish Airlines to resume its flights to Libya.
Training program for Libyan diplomats
During the meeting, the two sides agreed to organize a training program for Libyan diplomats in the first phase, according to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey and the Institute of Diplomatic Studies at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the State of Libya, which was signed on March 14, 2012.
It was also agreed to hold political talks between the foreign ministries periodically at a level to be determined by the concerned ministers through diplomatic channels, in addition tobthe commitment to strengthening coordination between their health institutions in combating epidemics, in the first place against the Coronavirus pandemic, and to work with unity on global, regional and national security issues, in compliance with their national interests and security concerns, according to the statement of the Media Office of Dbeibah.