Turkey, Libya issue joint statement following 1st High Level Strategic Cooperation Council

Turkey, Libya issue joint statement following 1st High Level Strategic Cooperation Council

Turkey and Libya issued a joint statement after the 1st High Level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting.

As a result of 1st High Level Strategic Cooperation Council between the two countries held on 12 April 2021 in Ankara under the auspices of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity Libya Abdul Hamid Dabaiba, Turkey and Libya express their desire to strengthen their relations, which are based on the deep-rooted bonds of friendship and brotherhood, on the basis of mutual benefit, respect and equality, deepening and diversifying cooperation.

They reaffirm the importance of maintaining sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and political unity throughout eastern, western and southern Libya.

They emphasize that the Presidential Council and the Government of National Unity, elected at the meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, are the only legitimate government structure in Libya.

They express their determination to act in coordination and co-operation to ensure that the political process scheduled for December 24, 2021, which will lead to the general elections in Libya, is conducted smoothly and on schedule.

They confirm that the problems in Libya can be resolved through political means under the 2015 Libyan Political Agreement, the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Results of the Berlin Conference and the LPDF (Libyan Political Dialogue Forum) Roadmap, under the leadership and ownership of the Libyans.

They emphasize the importance of Turkey’s contribution to creating and maintaining a permanent and lasting ceasefire in Libya.

They stress that the Memoranda of Understanding signed between Turkey and Libya are pivotal for regional stability and co-operation in the common interests of both countries, reaffirm the validity of the principles contained therein, state intentions to promote the Memoranda of Understanding, underline the need for a regional conference which will promote dialogue and cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean and guarantee the rights of all parties.

They determine the desire to strengthen cooperation in Libya in the field of Security Sector Reform and capacity building, in line with Libya’s needs and requirements.

They condemn all forms and manifestations of terrorism, regardless of the reason, and state that they will act in full solidarity with the fight against terrorist groups and criminal organizations, which pose a threat to both countries.

The two leaders further reaffirm that they will continue to strengthen bilateral, regional and international cooperation against violent extremism, all forms and manifestations of separatist tendencies, cross-border organized crime, drug trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering, cultural and historical heritage, misinformation campaigns, migrant trafficking and cross-border security threats.

They say they will collaborate to combat illegal immigration, human trafficking and migrant trafficking and share their experiences in the field of illegal immigration.

They confirm they will work together to increase the volume of bilateral trade to US $ 5 billion in a balanced structure.

They agree that the next meeting of the Joint Economic Committee should take place as soon as possible, and that negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement should resume.

Furthermore, the heads of state express the possible role the Turkish contract and private investment sector could demonstrate in the reconstruction of Libya, stressing that the resolution of outstanding issues of the Turkish companies will be based on the contracts of these companies, under the current legislation of the two countries and in a way that guarantees the interests of the parties.

They stressed the importance of developing and deepening energy cooperation in a way that would benefit the peoples of the two countries and in the common interest, noting that they were ready to start working in this context.

They agreed to carry out the necessary on-site inspections with a view to the resumption of Turkish Airlines flights to Libya.

They decided to organize a training program for Libyan diplomats in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding signed in Tripoli on March 14, 2012 between the Diplomatic Academy of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Institute of Diplomatic Studies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the State of Libya.

They decided to periodically hold political consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs at the level to be determined by the competent Ministers through diplomatic channels.

They express their commitment to improving cooperation between health care providers in the fight against epidemics, in particular the coronavirus (Covid-19).

They agreed to act jointly on global, regional and national security issues, in accordance with the national interest and security concerns of each of the two countries.

They expressed their adamancy that the regular activities of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council will strengthen the strategic and fraternal relations between the two countries and will contribute to the bolstering of historical ties between the two countries.

They decided to continue their efforts to improve bilateral cooperation in the fields of defense industry, health, tourism, education, culture, SMEs, mutual investments, the twinning of municipalities as well as the financial sector.

Finally, they agreed to closely monitor the results of 1st High Level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting and hold the next meeting in Libya.

The joint declaration was drafted and signed in Turkish and Arabic on April 12, 2021 in Ankara. /ibna