By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 23 February 2015:
The ban on Turkish contractors agreed at yesterday’s cabinet meeting in Beida, has yet to . . .[restrict]draw a formal response from the Turkish government.
However a Turkish diplomat has told the Libya Herald that the decision, which would have an impact and carry legal consequences, did not reflect the needs and hopes and values of the Libyan people.
“Wherever Turks go in Libya, in Tobruk, Beida, Misrata or Tripoli, we are welcomed” he said, “We are asked to invest. We are told that Turkish companies are needed in construction”.
He continued: “My personal reaction is that this decision comes from an interim prime minister of an interim government at a time when a National Unity Government is to be formed”. The move ignored Libya’s priorities.
Turkish contractors only picked up fitfully on projects abandoned during the Revolution. A few construction firms did resume work on a promise of settlement, but some $20 billion in payments and compensation remained outstanding. Almost exactly two years ago, it seemed that the Zeidan government had reached a deal to pay off the debt. But since then, though some companies have been given part of what they are owed, project resumption has been fitful. Collapsing security then ended capital works on the likes of Sebha and Benghazi airports.
The cabinet, chaired by prime minister Abdullah Thinni also decided to call in all existing foreign contracts for review, as well as impose the ban on Turkish companies.
This is not the first time that a Libyan government has decided to check on foreign contracts.
The first probe, in March 2012, initiated a review of all Qaddafi-era deals. But as the country has descended into chaos, big ticket items, won by foreign contractors, such as the projected Africa Cup of Nations football stadia in Tripoli, have been effectively abandoned. [/restrict]