Libya's Abdul Hamid Dbeibah makes official state visit to Tunisia

Tunisian President Kais Saied confirms his country's 'firm belief in the common destiny and future of both countries'

Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah and Tunisian President Kais Saied meet in Tunis. Tunisian Presidential office
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Tunisian President Kais Saied welcomed Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah for an official two-day visit on Wednesday.

Mr Saied met the Libyan leader in Tunis during a high-level meeting that involved Prime Minister Najla Bouden, Central Bank of Libya Director Seddik Kebir and other officials from both countries.

The President confirmed “Tunisia's firm belief in the common destiny and future of both countries” and reiterated calls for a solution to the Libyan political situation to safeguard the stability and territorial integrity of the country.

In a statement published on Facebook, Ms Bouden called the visit “a renewed occasion for further strengthening the relations of solidarity and co-operation between Tunisia and Libya, in light of a regional and international context that requires uniting efforts to increase rapprochement and co-operation, in order to confirm the strategic nature of Tunisian-Libyan relations”.

Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah and Tunisia's Prime Minister Najla Bouden in Tunis. AFP

Ms Bouden said Tunisia maintains its position of standing by Libya and supporting their efforts to find a sustainable settlement of the political situation in the country that restores security and stability.

She added that Tunisia will spare no effort to help the country move towards a Libyan-Libyan dialogue and achieve reconciliation in a way that preserves Libya’s unity and national sovereignty.

Mr Dbeibah echoed the same sentiments, stressing the “untouchable”, distinguished relations between Libya and Tunisia, reiterating the importance of joint action between the two countries in the face of growing global challenges.

Libya has been in political deadlock since the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi. But it's most recent turmoil was sparked by December 2021 elections after which Mr Dbeibah, then head of the transitional government in Tripoli, refused to step aside.

The country's eastern-based parliament then appointed Fathi Bashaga as a rival priem minister.

The UN has called for renewed elections.

It's Special Representative Abdoulaye Bathily, on a visit to Libya in October, said a "consensus State re-legitimation proces" is needed.

"Legitimate institutions capable of providing for the basic needs of the people must be established on the basis of a genuine political will. In this process, the conduct of legislative and presidential elections is paramount,” he said.

The Tunisian Prime Minister also expressed her satisfaction with attempts to restore the normal flow of economic and trade co-operation with Libya, despite the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Ms Bouden said that Tunis aims to strengthen co-operation between the two sides in the health and security fields, as well as achieve food and energy security.

Stability in the Maghreb was at the centre of the meeting at Kasbah Palace, as Mr Dbeibah said that “any danger or destabilisation in Libya represents a threat to Tunisia”.

He said the common goal for the two countries is to ensure a free and decent life for their peoples and to pave the way for building a prosperous future.

Updated: November 30, 2022, 8:12 PM
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