Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan hosted his Libyan counterpart Ali Zeidan for an official visit at the Prime Ministry in Ankara on Wednesday. During a one-on-one meeting, the two discussed the Arab Spring, the situation in Syria and Libya's construction debt owed to Turkish firms.
During his stay, Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan also met with President Abdullah Gül and Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan. At a dinner held last night, Zeidan had the opportunity to meet with Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan who assured that Libya was ready to pay off 50 percent of their debt to Turkish firms immediately.
Çağlayan said during the meeting, "We closed out the year 2012 with a 3.4 billion dollar foreign trade volume. We hope to bring this trade volume up to five billion dollars in 2013 and to ten billion dollars in the years to come."
Zeidan responded by stating, "We are hoping that Turkish firms will return to Libya as soon as possible in order to restart projects that had to be halted. As a government, we have decided we are ready to pay off 50 percent of the outstanding debt owed to Turkish firms in order to ensure they return to Libya as soon as possible."
LIBYA'S DEBT TO TURKISH FIRMS
Turkish firms operating in Libya prior to the civil rising are now owed nearly 400 million dollars. The amount of damages incurred however, topples 1.4 billion dollars. There were 140 firms operating in Libya that have a combined 1.8 billion dollars in letters of indemnity. The outright debt these firms have coming to them surpasses 1.3 billion US dollars.
ZEIDAN: "WE WILL BE MAKING PAYMENTS IN THREE INSTALLMENTS"
Speaking at a joint press conference with Libya's visiting Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, Prime Minister Erdoğan said that the two had discussed the outstanding debts and compensation payments owed to the high number of Turkish firms that were forced to halt operations and even evacuate the nation during the uprising. "We have expressed that our greatest wish would be for our contractor firms whose work was left unfinished to be able to return to Libya to complete the projects they were working on as soon as possible," said Erdoğan. Zeidan responded by stating that they were ready to pay 50 percent of the outstanding debt owed to Turkish firms upfront and would pay the remaining half in two 25 percent installments.
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