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Updated: Libya, Nato sign air corridors agreement in Malta

Video: Mark Zammit Cordina

Libyan and Nato officials meeting in Malta have signed an agreement on the establishment of air corridors to be used by civil aviation.

The air corridors will cover flights which will link Benghazi to the rest of the world and Benghazi to Tripoli and Misurata. Air services will be managed by the Libyan Civilian Aviation Authority and aircraft using these routes will not need prior Nato clearance.

The agreement applies with immediate effect, despite the United Nations  no-fly zone over Libya.

The signing took place at the Hilton Hotel during a conference which grouped air traffic controllers from Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Nato and Malta. 

Libyan Provisional Government Transport Minister Anwar El Feitori signed for Libya and Lt General Ralph J. Jodice for Nato. 

Officials explained that over the past few months, the limited air traffic over Libya has been coordinated from Malta and other neighbouring countries. The lifting of the UN-imposed No Fly Zone will take place gradually.

The transition will be dictated by the military situation and the need for Libya to build its capacity, including personnel and air traffic control facilities including radars, which were damaged during the conflict. 

Dr al Feytouri earlier today had a meeting with Transport and Communications Minister Austin Gatt during which ways how Malta can help Libya restore its harbours and airports were discussed. Present for the meeting were representatives of Transport Malta who recently toured the badly-damaged harbour in Misurata.

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