The Tripoli-based unity government in Libya seeks a “win-win” relationship with Türkiye, the state minister for economic affairs said Monday.

“Libya and Türkiye are bound by economic integration as Libya needs a lot for reconstruction in terms of services and technology and Türkiye has the expertise and scientific advancement for this,” Salama Al-Ghwail told Anadolu Agency (AA) in an exclusive interview.

Last year, Al-Ghwail estimated the cost of reconstruction projects in Libya at 500 billion dinars ($111 billion).

Libya holds Africa’s largest crude reserves, producing 1.3 million barrels per day.

“It is important that Turkish-Libyan relations be characterized by integration in all aspects of life, whether in the fields of education, trade, economy, service sector, health, infrastructure, roads, or energy,” Al-Ghwail said.

“Libya constitutes an outlet for many African countries and has a strategic geographical location while Turkish industries need markets, which makes Libyan-Turkish integration unlimited.”

He said there is great potential when it comes to promoting integration between northern and southern Mediterranean countries.

“Southern countries have natural resources, favorable geographical locations, consumer culture and their need for Turkish goods,” he added.

Turkish experience

The Libyan state minister said his government seeks to learn from Türkiye’s experience.

“Libya and Türkiye have a lot in common, which gives Libyan-Turkish relations a special importance,” Al-Ghwail said. “We yearn to see Libya like Türkiye in terms of infrastructure, development and active role in the world.”

Al-Ghwail underlined the need to revive the signed contracts between Libya and Turkish companies.

Türkiye was actively carrying out many projects worth billions of dollars in Libya during the era of Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi. These projects are about to be completed.

Most of these projects are in the fields of energy, airports, hospitals, transportation and housing.

“Libya is the most qualified country to become a transit for the largest trade movement in the Middle East,” he said, citing Libya’s geographical location and its long coastline.

Oil-rich Libya has remained in turmoil since 2011 when Gadhafi was ousted after four decades.

The situation worsened earlier this year when the east-based parliament appointed a new government led by former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha.

But Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, leader of the Tripoli-based government, insisted that he would only cede authority to a government that comes through an “elected parliament,” raising fears that Libya could slip back into a civil war.

“Libya did not benefit from the global oil price hikes due to political divisions, the lack of a real will to reunite the country and attempts by many political parties to seek power,” Al-Ghwail said.

“Libya needs $100 billion as an initial cost for the reconstruction of its infrastructure,” the state minister said.


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