By Aydogan Kalabalik
TRIPOLI, Libya (AA) – Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh on Monday hailed recent deals signed between his country and Türkiye allowing for oil and gas exploration in Libya and its Mediterranean waters.
Dbeibeh said on Twitter that his country was pleased to receive a delegation from Türkiye and “to sign several agreements that serve the higher interests of the Libyan people.”
He also noted that Ankara and Tripoli are aligned to mobilize the international support needed to hold elections in the country.
“Welcome to those who want the friendship of our people and respect the unity of our country. Not those who support war, division and extension,” he added.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, along with a high-level delegation including Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Trade Minister Mehmet Mus, Communications Director Fahrettin Altun and Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin came to the North African country’s capital Monday for talks on bilateral ties and regional issues.
Cavusoglu met with Mohamed al-Menfi, chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya; Prime Minister Dbeibeh; Libyan counterpart Najla El Mangoush; and Khalid al-Mishri, head of Libya’s High Council of State, and signed memorandums of understanding on exploration for hydrocarbons in Libya's territorial waters and on Libyan soil by mixed Turkish-Libyan companies.
Oil-rich Libya has been in turmoil since 2011, when longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted after four decades in power.
For lasting stability in Libya, Türkiye deems the holding of free, fair, nationwide elections as soon as possible as crucial, in line with the aspirations of the Libyan people.
Last month, the capital Tripoli saw deadly clashes between forces backing Dbeibeh and those loyal to his rival Fathi Bashagha, who was appointed prime minister by the Tobruk-based parliament.
The violence -- the worst since a cease-fire was reached in 2020 -- came amid military buildups by forces affiliated with Dbeibeh and Bashagha, as both figures claim power and authority in the North African country.