Libya’s New Leader Calls On Egypt To Boost Trade And Economic Ties

The new leader of Libya’s National Transitional Council, NTC, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil has visited Egypt to improve bilateral relations and open up a new chapter in relations between Libya and Egypt. The two-day visit was his first trip abroad since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

During a meeting with Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Abdel-Jalil discussed cooperation prospects and boosting investments.

He also met with Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and Secretary-General of the Arab League Nabil El-Arabi.

Contrary to Gaddafi who maintained poor relations with most Arab countries that were at best lukewarm and in most instances demonstrating aggression and willingness to fight, Abdel-Jalil’s visit signals a new beginning in Libya’s dealings with Arab countries.

Abdel-Jalil assured his Egyptian hosts that prospects for the Libyan economy are particularly promising. The construction, agricultural, mining and manufacturing sectors are in need of Arab investments especially as the reconstruction process following the Libyan civil war might prove to be a lengthy process. Libya may also need Arab labor and technical expertise.

The so-called ‘Arab Spring’ the popular protests in the countries of Egypt, Libya and Syria, have cost the region more than $50bn. The three Arab countries paid the highest financial price, while the conflict in Libya has halted economic activity with a cost to GDP of $7.67bn. a new report by consultancy group Geopolicity.

Libya, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain and Yemen have all been hit hard economically. Their costs to GDP amount to $20.56bn while costs to public finance total $35.28bn.

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