Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has asked Libya’s interim government to pay a debt of $1.1 billion (5 billion dinars) for companies that were operating in the war battered oil-rich country, Egyptian state-run newspaper Al Ahram reported on Monday, citing Sky News Arabia.
The issue was discussed during the meeting between Erdoğan and Libya’s interim prime minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh on Saturday in Istanbul, it said, ahead of a meeting of Turkish and Libyan delegations.
Turkey for years backed the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) against the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), which was supported by Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, among others.
Libya in March saw the appointment of a new government in March, ending a six-year split, but Ankara remains heavily involved in the country and continues to offer significant support to Dbeibah’s GNA.
Turkey’s exports to Libya rose by 58 percent year-on-year between January and April of this year to $826 million, the head of a leading Turkish trade group said in May.
Turkey’s exports to Libya were almost double that of the country’s overall average of 33.1 percent, state-run Anadolu news agency cited Murtaza Karanfil, chairman of the Turkey-Libya Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEİK), as saying.