13 February 2013

Libyan Prime Minister Meets Hollande, Debates Border Control and Security

French President François Hollande was due to meet Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan on Wednesday, the day after a little-publicised international meeting in Paris on Tuesday. Security and frontier control were on the agendas of both events.

About 15 foreign affairs ministers and representatives of international organisations met at the request of the Libyan government in the French capital Tuesday.


"It's now two years since the Libyan revolution," declared French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius. "We can say that considerable progress has been made. But a certain number of security problems remain."

With violence still erupting in Libya from time to time, Tuesday's meeting discussed how to disarm militias and integrate them into the armed forces, measures which some former anti-Kadhafi fighters are still resisting.

And, with arms and former members of Kadhafi's armed forces fuelling the Malian conflict, France and other countries want tighter control of Libya's 4,000 kilometres of border.

Islamists who attacked the In Amenas gas field in Algeria last month entered the country from Libya, in Libyan military vehicles, according to some reports.

"What is being asked for is that the international community helps us to rebuild our army and our police and provides advanced technology that will allow us to protect our land borders," Libyan Foreign Affairs Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz said.

The European Union is to send 50-70 experts to train border guards and France is proposing to train soldiers and officers.

The supply of electronic surveillance equipment and working with private companies were also discussed.

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