Libya's prime minister on Monday stressed the country’s keenness to enhance relations with Turkey to become a 'positive example of what the relationship with Libya should be.'
Speaking at a press conference in the Turkish capital Ankara alongside President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh stressed that Monday’s meeting with Turkish officials was 'very important, as it constitutes the start of the work of the joint strategic committee between two brotherly countries that share many in common.'
'We are looking for strategic relations based on interests with all friendly and neighboring countries, especially the brotherly and neighboring country of Turkey,' he said, adding: 'With a little wisdom and will, we can do everyone's good.'
In meetings on day one of his official visit, he said the two countries “stressed the importance of protecting Libya's sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and political, social and economic unity.'
He also underlined that respect for Libyan sovereignty is the basis for relations with other countries.
'We are very pleased with the support shown by Turkey to cooperate in order to hold the elections on time and to assure that the problems in Libya can be solved through political methods with their known frameworks,' he said, referring to elections set for Dec. 24.
'We stressed the importance of Turkey's role in implementing a permanent and sustainable cease-fire.'
He also expressed hopes of cooperating with Turkey in security reforms and combating terrorism as well as cross-border crime.
'With regard to the agreements signed between the two countries, especially the maritime ones, we confirm the validity of the frameworks on which these agreements were built and that they achieve the interests of both countries at the same time,' Dbeibeh asserted, referring especially to a November 2019 pact on maritime boundaries between the two countries.
He said Libya is pushing for a Mediterranean dialogue in which concerned countries discuss the achievement of everyone's interests.
'Libya awaits great work in reconstruction and development, and it welcomes all Turkish companies and firms from friendly and brotherly countries to contribute to this matter,' he said.
'Certainly, Turkish companies will be the most important of these companies for their long experience working in Libya, and we will work to address any obstacles in this regard.'
Dbeibeh also said both countries expressed willingness to cooperate in the energy sector and an understanding was reached to resume flights to Libya of national flag carrier Turkish Airlines.
Strengthening cooperation in healthcare was also among the topics discussed, especially in combating pandemics, and especially the coronavirus, he said.
'We hope that relations with brothers in Turkey will set a positive example of what the relationship with Libya should be and what can be achieved toward mutual benefit,' he said concluding his message with greetings to Turkey and the Turkish people on the occasion of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Libya fell into chaos and civil war following the 2011 ouster of strongman Muammar Gaddafi.
Turkey has long supported the efforts of the Government of National Unity to bring the country together.
On Feb. 5, Libyan delegates elected Mohammad Menfi to head a three-member Presidential Council and Dbeibeh the country’s new prime minister.
By Mahmoud Barakat