By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 31 January:
At Wednesday’s multi-Ministerial press conference, Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdel Aziz insisted his and the Prime Minister Ali . . .[restrict]Zeidan’s travels were “to market and sell our message”, he insisted.
The remark came in response to the prompt by the Prime Minister who upon introducing his Foreign Minister quipped “we are accused of travelling all over the place and ignoring Libya and its problems”.
Nodding in my direction the Foreign Minister added that “Referring to the (earlier) Libya Herald question and Mali. We have a vision regarding Mali. We wanted debate and talk rather than the use of force. We now have to deal with the situation as it is. The French have intervened. We will not interfere in Mali. As long as it takes, there will be negative effects – not only on Libya, but for the entire region”.
“We learnt from NATO’s intervention in Libya. No one thought of the consequences after the intervention. We have asked for a post-intervention policy in Mali. The international community must unite because it is no longer a Mali issue. It’s a regional issue. We need to look at preventative measures.”
Regarding the work the Foreign Minister and his Prime Minister had done during their travels, Abdel Aziz explained that they had “met around 18 heads of states and 14 Foreign Ministers.”
He stressed that they had met African leaders “who had questioned” Libya’s policy towards Africa. “We said that we are seeking relations based on mutual respect and not based on personal whims. The same was the case with many European and Western nations in Addis Ababa as observers”, the Foreign Minister explained.
Regarding Libya’s huge investments in numerous African countries, Abdel Aziz reported that Libya had “assured them that our investments in Africa will be promising”.
On the point of Libya’s investments, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan added “we have many investments in Africa and therefore we must create good relations in Africa in order to secure our investments”. [/restrict]