By Vugar Khalilov
Libyan Transport Minister Mohammed Salim al-Shehubi has said that Turkish companies have undertaken projects worth 30 billion liras ($335 m) in all areas in the country, Yeni Shafak newspaper has reported.
“The agreements with Turkish companies are over TL 30 billion. One-year projects are going well. Agreements and negotiations will increase in the coming months,” he said.
Stressing Turkey’s role in the projects under the ongoing Return to Life Program, Shehubi underlined that the Libyan government currently is conducting development projects in various fields such as transportation, education, health among others.
He said that the government is interested in Turkish companies’ return to their projects in Libya.
“Our goal in the reconstruction of Libya is to work with Turkish companies in the ongoing and new projects. I think that we will jointly work with Turkey... in the field of [construction of] airports, roads, bridges and transportation. The Libyan government has a committee on work with Turkish companies” Shehubi added.
Reminding the historical ties between Libya and Turkey, Shehubi thanked the Turkish government for supporting Libya's stability throughout the civil war in the country.
“As the government of National Unity, our strong relations with Turkey continue in many fields and we will pursue this at the highest level. We see Turkey as a partner country in every sense. In addition, we will provide all kinds of convenience for Turkish companies working in Libya to carry on with their projects. In our contacts, the business and political worlds gave us hope for the continuation of the projects. These are very important for life in Libya to return to its old rhythm," he said.
Shehubi stressed that Libya attaches great importance to air transportation with Turkey, to the role of the Turkish Airlines
“We had an important meeting with the Turkish Airlines CEO. He gave the good news that Turkish Airlines will organize non-stop flights to Libya. Currently, there are seven daily flights from Libya to Istanbul. There are also flights to Antalya. But this is not enough. We hope that the flights will meet the demand of Libyan businessmen and citizens. In this context, the abolition of visas with Turkey will facilitate trade and investment relations. In particular, we conveyed our demands on this issue to the Turkish authorities and we believe that positive developments will occur. As you know, Libyan citizens travel to Europe and all over the world via Turkey. Turkey has now become Libya's gateway to the world," he underlined.
Speaking about the current troubles in the country’s energy sector, the transport minister expressed Libya’s readiness for cooperation with other countries in this field.
“We are open to cooperation with all countries on energy. But as I said, Turkey will always be our priority,” he emphasized.
Shehubi stated that the war in Libya is over and stability has been achieved and there is no security problem in the country.
“Libya is known for its richness of natural resources. Our priority is to make the best use of all these opportunities to serve our people and enrich our country. For a long time, the Libyan war images appeared in the media. These images are in the past. There is no security problem in our country. Our diplomatic talks are continuing and important steps have been taken to strengthen the country politically and economically,” he concluded.
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