Tunis — Tunisia and Libya agreed this week to bolster security collaboration in their mutual fight against terrorism and militant groups.
During a visit to Tunis by Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan, the countries expressed their readiness to protect their shared border and fight threats to national security, stability and prosperity.
Tunisia and Libya were also committed to protecting their respective revolutions, Tunisian Prime Minister Ali Larayedh said after the meeting on Tuesday (October 8th).
"The future of the relationship between Tunisia and Libya is very promising," Larayedh said, adding that a system of joint co-operation between the two sides was being developed.
Zidan said his country supported security collaboration with Tunisia.
"Our short visit to Tunisia is a message to the world that the relationship between Libya and Tunisia is one between brothers and is based on support and co-operation, notably in the security field," the Libyan premier said.
During his meeting with Zidan, Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki stressed the need to overcome security challenges facing all Sahel-Saharan countries, TAP reported.
Libyan blogger Zouhair Boujallad told Magharebia, "I think that the security turmoil experienced by Libya, and Tunisia, to a lesser extent, and the growing threats from terrorist operations aimed at the region, have become a source of concern."
"This explains the mystery of frequent visits between countries' leaders and officials in the recent period to discuss ways to communicate and co-operate with each other, in order to confront militant groups and their ambitions," he said.
"It will also put an end to the extremism that fuelled the region. In addition, the exchange of information about counter-terrorism is growing, especially on the border," he added.
For his part, international relations professor Mohamed Ben Zekri linked the quick visit, which he described as a surprise, to the capture of al-Qaeda operative Abu Anas al-Libi.
"I think that this visit is to consult on ways to support security co-ordination and co-operation between the countries of the region to counter any possible attack by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in the coming days in response to the arrest of one of its leaders," Ben Zekri said.
Al-Libi was wanted in connection with the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. Those attacks left 224 people dead and another 5,000 wounded, nearly all of them innocent civilians from Nairobi and Dar es-Salaam.
Tunisian security forces have recently reinforced their presence at the border with Libya and set up checkpoints to inspect incoming vehicles to intercept any potential armed jihadists.