Libya tries for warmer relations with Lebanon
Libya will donate 5,000 tons of oil to Lebanon, in an effort to tighten relations between the two countries, it was announced in Tripoli last week.
The donation was part of an accord reached on Wednesday, which also
provides for the purchase by Lebanon of Libyan chemical fertilizes at "very
competitive prices," according to the announcement. The low-priced
fertilizers were earmarked for farmers in southern Lebanon, evacuated
recently by Israel.
Libya has begun in recent months sending signals to Lebanon that it wants to
warm relations. Visa procedures Lebanese wishing to visit the North African
country has been eased.
The Libyan authorities also pledged to help Lebanon's reconstruction efforts, following the liberation of southern Lebanon after 22 years of Israeli occupation.
After years of isolation, Libya is trying to comeback to the international scene. Its contribution in freeing hostages in the Philippines is a strong sign in this connection,
Improved relations with Lebanon is key to Libya's goal of greater international acceptance. In particular, Libya sees improved relations with Lebanon as helping it achieve closer ties to Europe.
Libyan leader, Moammar Kaddafi, who marks the 31st anniversary of his
coming to power, has openly called for his country to be included in the planned
European Union-Mediterranean free trade zone now under discussion.
The proposed agreement currently excludes Libya from the list of 27 Mediterranean countries to be included. But most observers agree that European leaders would like to find a way to include oil-rich Libya, whose oil revenues are valued at US$ 10 billion annually. –(Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)