(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
Neighboring countries Libya and Tunisia pledged on Friday to cooperate in the fight against terrorism after Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid met with Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj in Tripoli.
“We will conquer terrorism but it will take time and cooperation,” Essid said in a joint press conference with Sarraj in Tripoli.
Sarraj said during the press conference that he agreed on the importance of launching a joint effort in the fight against terrorism, adding that “what happened yesterday in the Abu Grein area was very close.”
The meeting took place a day after Islamic State (IS) militants launched two deadly suicide attacks at the Abu Grein and Sadada checkpoints, killing eight and wounding over a 100 local security forces.
During their meeting, the two Prime Ministers agreed on several economic, social and security issues facing their countries.
They agreed on setting up a bilateral committee tasked with regulating the Ras Jedir border crossing, which Tunisia closed for two weeks in March due to a terrorist attack near the border.
Sarraj, said that the meeting he had with Essid was positive and constructive and they discussed resuming flights of airlines to Tunis and the re-opening of Tunisia’s consulate in Tripoli in the coming weeks.
“We also agreed to resume flights between the Tunis-Carthage airport and the Mitiga one in Tripoli. We will coordinate with Tunisia on security issues but also economic, political, border management and counter terrorism ones.”
In December Tunisia banned all Libyan airlines from using Tunis Carthage Airport, following a suicide bombing on November 24 which was reportedly planned in Libya.
Essid stated that Tunisia ”is standing by the side of the Libyan reconciliation government and is supporting it in everything it needs.”
He also stated that Tunisia was optimistic about Libya’s future and that he ”supports Libyans and the objectives that this government, which has an important role in the country’s history, has set.”
Essid is the second foreign leader to meet with the head of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, the first being Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Wednesday.