Libya's new prime minister to visit Turkey on Monday

Abdul Hamid Dbeibah to hold talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

FILE PHOTO: Libya's new Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh, speaks during a news conference in Tripoli, Libya February 25, 2021. REUTERS/Hazem Ahmed/File Photo

Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah and a delegation of ministers will make their first visit to Turkey on Monday since taking office last month, the Turkish presidency said.

Libya's new unity government was sworn in on March 15 from two warring administrations that had ruled eastern and western regions, completing a smooth transition of power.

Turkey had backed the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord against the eastern-based Libyan National Army.

Turkey's presidency said Mr Dbeibah will hold a two-day visit at President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's invitation.

It said he and Mr Erdogan would chair the first meeting of the Turkey-Libya High Level Strategic Co-operation Council in Ankara.

"At the council meeting to be held with the participation of relevant ministers, all aspects of Turkey-Libya relations, which have deeply-rooted, historic ties, will be discussed," the presidency said.

"Steps that can be taken to further improve co-operation will be evaluated."

Turkish state media reported that Mr Dbeibah would visit Ankara with a team, including 14 ministers, five deputy prime ministers, the chief of staff and other officials.

It said co-operation on energy and health would be discussed, along with the resumption of projects by Turkish companies that were halted over the war.

Turkey has said that it companies would take an active role in rebuilding the war-torn country.

In 2019, Ankara signed a maritime demarcation agreement with the GNA in the Eastern Mediterranean and a military co-operation accord under which Turkey sent military advisers and trainers to Tripoli.

Ankara also sent Syrian mercenaries, to the condemnation of much of the international community, to help the GNA block an LNA offensive on Tripoli last year.

Greece, which opposes the maritime agreement between Tripoli and Ankara, called for the accord to be cancelled on Tuesday, as it reopened its embassy in Libya after seven years.

Mr Dbeibah, selected through a UN-led process, said economic deals between the GNA and Turkey should remain.

Turkey, Egypt and the UAE have each welcomed the appointment of the new government, as have the US and EU.

Libya's new presidency council visited Turkey last month for talks with Mr Erdogan.

EDITOR'S PICKS