By Houda Mzioudet.
Tripoli, 26 June 2014:
Two Turkish workers are reported to have been kidnapped in Tripoli raising concerns that they may have . . .[restrict]fallen victim to pro-Hafter supporters in the capital.
Last Saturday, the spokesman for the general’s forces in Benghazi ordered Turks in eastern Libya out of the country, threatening action if they did not go. Several hundred have since left.
The two, who have not been named, went missing on Tuesday evening, a Turkish official told the Libya Herald. The pair, who worked for Turkey’s Summa Construction company, are said to have been kidnapped by unknown men.
Tripoli police are now investgating.
It is now reported that up to 600 Turkish workers, including 417 employees of Gama Construction which is building the Khalij Power Station have left the Sirte area as a result of the Hafter threat. In the east of the country, 200 Turks are also reported to have left. “They began to leave the country gradually since last week,” the Turkish official said.
The Prime Minister, Abdullah Al-Thinni, has meanwhile promised Turkey that the Libyan authorties will do everything in their power to protect Turkish nationals and companies in Libya.
In a meeting yesterday with Turkish Ambassador Ahmet Yakici, Thinni stressed that Libya “welcomes the Turkish people”, noting that Turkish companies had played a significant role during the revolution helping the country and subsequently in helping it establish itself as a new, free nation
Looking at ways to further bolster the two countries’ relations, Thinni and Yakici focused in particular on military cooperation and Turkey’s commitment to rebuilding and rehabilitating the Libyan army.
Thinni pointed out that Libya had been looking at ways to build on the military partnership after the first batch of Libyan trainees had finished their programme in Turkey.
The criteria for admittance into the programme would become more stringent, he said, and the government would devise plans to better prepare the troops before departing for Turkey.
Both agreed the need to continue to partner in training, while also committing to pursue more opportunities to cooperate in the defence industry. [/restrict]