Turkish companies to return to Libya
Uğur Ergan - ANKARATurkish companies are set to return to Libya years after the downfall of Moammar Gadhafi’s regime following an agreement reached during a visit by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to the country.
Turkish companies will complete $18.5 billion worth of projects and play a role in reconstructing the country, according to sources close to the matter.
Turkey and Libya’s National Consensus Government (NCG) agreed on a joint understanding for the determination of the areas of solid cooperation between the two countries during Çavuşoğlu’s one-day visit to the country on May 30 to issue an endorsement for a recently founded national government.
Turkish and Libyan officials, which included Fayez al-Mustafa Sarraj, the head of the Presidential Council of the NCG, and the members of the council, determined the preferred areas of cooperation for joint projects as energy, air transport and infrastructure, according to sources. They also agreed to revive 304 projects worth $18.5 billion that were abandoned due to the civil war in Libya, sources added.
The value of the projects that were set for completion shortly before the outbreak of the Libyan civil war was around $3 billion to 4 billion. Their unpaid progress payments were totaled at around $1.5 billion, according to sources. The companies needed to leave machinery and equipment worth $1 billion behind in 2011.
Turkish companies were mainly active in infrastructure projects, power plant construction and other building projects in Libya.
The two sides also reached an agreement about restarting Istanbul-Tripoli flights by Turkish Airlines, which were suspended in 2015 due to security concerns. Representatives from Turkey’s national carrier made the required reviews in Libya during Çavuşoğlu’s visit. After international security conditions are again established in Tripoli Airport, the company will likely start its trips again, according to sources.
The both sides also accelerated the process to resolve visa problems between the two countries.