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Tunisia, Libya discuss strengthening oil sector cooperation

Workers at an oil port in Libya on 24 September 2020 [AFP/Getty Images]
Workers at an oil port in Libya on 24 September 2020 [AFP/Getty Images]

Tunisia's Ambassador to Tripoli Assaad Ajili met with Head of the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) Mustafa Sanalla to discuss strengthening cooperation in the oil sector between the two countries.

This came during Ajili's visit on Tuesday to the NOC headquarters in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, at the invitation of Sanalla, according to a statement issued by the oil organisation on Wednesday.

The statement disclosed that the meeting: "Discussed ways of endorsing bilateral cooperation between the NOC and Tunisian companies in the field of oil, energy and mechanical engineering."

Ajili affirmed during the meeting that: "Tunisian companies are seeking to enter the Libyan market with the aim of implementing many important projects in the oil sector."

Sanalla praised Tunisia's hosting of several meetings aimed at restoring stability in Libya.

He stressed: "The Libyan oil sector is promising and presents enormous opportunities for the participation of Tunisian companies."

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Libya is a key state in Tunisia's foreign policy as a neighbouring country with mutual borders in the West. Thus, the security developments that have taken place on Libyan soil in recent years have affected stability in Tunisia, particularly with regards to Daesh-affiliated militants who carried out more than one infiltration attempt that has been intercepted by local authorities.

Trade is also important for the economies of both countries, as the value of commercial exchange between the two sides reached 1.2 billion Tunisian dinars ($373 million) in 2018.

In March 2019, Tunisia and Libya established the first free-trade zone in the Shusha region, 11 kilometres from the Libyan border.

The Tunisian authorities aim to integrate the free-trade zone by establishing the unregulated market into the organised trade system, creating 2,000 direct and 6,000 indirect job opportunities.

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