By Callum Paton.
Tripoli, 4 January 2013:
Ali Zeidan has pledged greater access for Turkish energy companies to Libya’s oil resources and announced . . .[restrict]further Turkish support for the military last night. He was speaking after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In remarks made at a joint press conference at the Prime Minister’s Office in Ankara, Zeidan said that Libya would look to bolster cooperation with Turkey, increasing oil exports to the country and allowing greater opportunities to Turkish firms for hydrocarbon exploration.
The Libyan Prime Minister said that while a large number of foreign companies had returned to the country, more had to be done to bridge the gap left by those that have not. Zeidan explained that while the $4 billion of trade with Turkey was on the increase it could be much higher. He added that he had informed Erdogan of the creation of teams to study projects and old contracts with foreign companies put on hold.
The two prime ministers informed the conference that they had discussed regional politics particularly with regard to Egypt and Tunisia as well as greater collaboration between the banking sectors in their countries. Of the utmost importance, however, over the course of the Libyan delegation’s visit had been the subject of Turkish assistance to the country’s security forces.
Zeidan said that Turkey had decided to provide Libya with a gift of 20,000 uniforms and rifles with a number of helicopters, frigates and other vessels to be supplied to Libya once experts had decided on numbers.
Nearly 1,000 police and military personnel have already been trained in Turkey since the revolution and both men committed themselves to continuing the programme.
Zeidan stressed that he would “safeguard and encourage this relationship through all aspects of economic, commercial, industrial, military and security cooperation”. [/restrict]