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PM hopes for energy agreement with Libya

Dr Gonzi with Mr Zeidan. Photo: Jeremy Wonnacott, DOI

Dr Gonzi with Mr Zeidan. Photo: Jeremy Wonnacott, DOI

The Prime Minister has expressed hope that Malta would reach an energy agreement with Libya with a view to secure oil purchases from the North African state.

He was addressing a news conference at the Radisson in Tripoli following a meeting with Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, which was also attended by Finance Minister Tonio Fenech.

Dr Lawrence Gonzi said that the meeting discussed the dispute over the continental shelf, illegal migration and cooperation on a number of areas, including education, where the MCAST institute could be involved to help with Libya’s educational needs.

The Prime Ministers also discussed the freezing of assets belong to the Libyan state and assets which were believed to belong to the Gaddafi family and their associates.

Dr Gonzi said Malta was at the forefront in freezing the assets when the conflict began, in line with European Union and United Nations sanctions but, Dr Gonzi pointed out, he himself had made the point about the unfreezing of assets within the EU as a measure to help Libya fund its reconstruction.

He invited a team from the Libyan authorities to come to Malta and make the necessary fact finding to enable them to unfreeze the assets in line with international law.

“Malta is more than willing to make this process as fast as possible,” he said.

When asked about the prospects of reaching an agreement on energy, Mr Zeidan said Libya would do “the best it can” to reach an agreement in this area.

Asked by timesofmalta.com about the sort of help Libya needed to deal with illegal migration, Mr Zeidan said the country was in talks with the EU with a view to improve security in general, also incorporating the concern over illegal migration.

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