Austria’s Haider Visits Libya with Business Delegation

Published June 22nd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Right-wing Austrian leader Joerg Haider traveled to Libya on Wednesday with a business delegation to improve relations in tourism and learn more about a Libyan water project, media reported, quoted by The Associated Press. 

Haider and a delegation from the tourism, oil and pipe building sectors arrived in Tripoli to “lead the way towards concrete economic cooperation,” the Austria Press Agency was quoted by the AP as reporting Wednesday.  

It was the second time in two months that Haider visited the Libyan capital. In May, Haider made an unofficial visit to Tripoli, where he met with Libyan president Moammar Gadhafi, said the AP.  

On Wednesday, Libyan state media were reporting on the “official” visit of the governor of the southern Austrian province of Carinthia, the Austria Press Agency said.  

Haider said he expects to sign an agreement on tourism and learn more about a project of Kadhafi's to create a “manmade river” to carry water from the oases in the heart of the country to the coast, where most of Libya's industry and population are concentrated.  

“We want to establish the possibility for cooperation in this enormous project,” APA quoted Haider as saying.  

Haider, who stepped down as head of the far-right Freedom Party shortly before his May visit, is credited as the main reason Austria has become isolated by its partners in the European Union and other countries.  

The rightist leader is known for his anti-foreigner stance and his past praise of Nazi work policies.  

Austria's 14 EU partners imposed sanctions on the Alpine nation to express their displeasure with the inclusion of the Freedom Party's - then under Haider - inclusion in the Austrian coalition government run by Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel last January –  



© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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