Turkey ready for rapid reconstruction in Libya, Turkish official says

Turkey is ready to rapidly start rebuilding conflict-torn Libya, Reuters quoted a senior Turkish official as saying on Friday, after Ankara’s top officials visited Tripoli earlier this week to discuss cooperation on energy, construction and banking.

“Many parts of the country are in debris, there is a serious need for infrastructure and superstructure. Turkish companies ... are in a position to rapidly begin such work,” the official said.

Turkey already provides military support to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), whose allied forces have in recent weeks reversed the gains made in a 14-month offensive by General Khalfia Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) that is backed by Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

A Turkish delegation including Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalın, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak and intelligence chief Hakan Fidan held talks with the GNA in Tripoli on Wednesday.

The Turkish and GNA officials discussed how Turkey could help in energy exploration and operations, including cooperation “on every imaginable project” to help resources reach global markets, the senior official said, and reviewed on payments owed to Turkish companies for past energy and construction projects in Libya.

The accumulation of Turkish contract work in Libya amounts to $16 billion, including $400 to 500 million for projects which have not yet begun, Reuters quoted a sector official as saying in January.

Reuters cited another Turkish source who said the two governments had also discussed sending Turkish financial advisers to Libya to help rebuild its banking system.

Ankara and the GNA have reportedly discussed expanding their security cooperation, with the possibility of extending Turkey military presence in Libya by stationing at two Libyan military bases in Libya.