Turkey pursues $2.7 billion compensation for Gaddafi-era Libya contracts

Turkey aims to sign by February a $2.7-billion deal to compensate for work carried out by its companies in Libya before former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed in a civil war, Reuters reported.

The long-running activities by Turkish businesses in the country were disrupted when rebels rose against Gaddafi in 2011 and have faced further disruptions when conflict returned to the country in recent years.

Unpaid debts have been a significant factor preventing the return of Turkish businesses to the country, Reuters said.

The news agency quoted Muzaffer Aksoy, chairman of the Turkish-Libyan Business Council, as saying the two countries were close to signing a memorandum of understanding.

The deal, which is expected to be signed in January or February, will encompass a $1-billion letter of guarantee, $500 million in damage to machinery and equipment and unpaid debts of $1.2 billion, he said.

“Work on the MoU regarding the old contracts is reaching an end. The problem of unpaid debts, damages and a letter of guarantee will be solved,” Aksoy told Reuters in an interview.

Turkey began sending troops to support the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord against its eastern-based rivals this month, after signing two memoranda of understanding related to military assistance and maritime borders in November.