Spain and Libya will reinforce industrial and cultural ties with projects in petroleum, agriculture, fishing, tourism, telecommunications, and education, their foreign ministers said Thursday.
Lybian foreign minister Abdel Rahmane Chalgham and his Spanish counterpart Josep Pique made the announcement during a joint press conference at the start of Chalgham's visit, the first by a senior Libyan official since 1995.
Pique said he hoped that Spanish investments in Libya, now concentrated in the petroleum sector, "will continue, increase, and diversify towards other sectors."
Spanish firms, he noted, are already actors in Libya's agricultural development, and are also involved in the fields of fishing, tourism, and telecommunications.
Libya's relations with the European Union have slowly begun to thaw since Tripoli turned over two agents suspected of involvement in the December 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland.
During their talks on Thursday, the Spanish foreign minister said particular attention had been paid to cultural relations.
These, he said, "will be reinforced in the areas of management and civil service training, student exchanges and through a series of concrete measures" to promote mutual understanding.
Pique qualified bilateral political relations as "currently excellent" and said Madrid hoped to include Tripoli in broader regional institutions.
Chalgham added that "objective conditions exist to develop these relations."
He is to continue his visit on Friday, meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar and Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro - MADRID (AFP)
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