Tunis/Tunisia — Foreign Ministers of Tunisia, Khemaies Jhinaoui, and Libya, Mohamed Taher Syala, said that the preparatory meeting of the high joint commission has agreed on the need to resume trade and development agreements concluded between the two countries before 2011.
Syala said at a joint press conference with his Tunisian counterpart, held Thursday evening, at the end of the meeting of senior officials of the two ministries, that both sides agreed that Tunisia "will have the priority in the acquisition by Libya of its needs for energy products".
He stressed that the objective is to resume the pace of trade between the two countries, estimated at more than 1 billion dinars before 2011, and to reduce the phenomenon of smuggling and parallel trade in border areas.
In turn, Khemaies Jhinaoui affirmed that the two parties also agreed "to set up a new cooperation mechanism chaired by the foreign ministers of the two countries with the association of Ministers of the Interior and the economy of the two countries to examine the implementation of the agreements concluded ".
On the political side, the Tunisian FM said that "Tunisia is working to help the Libyan people to regain total stability on the basis of the initiative of President Beji Caid Essebsi became a tripartite initiative involving Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in Libya.
Recalling his recent visit to Tripoli and Tobruk, Jhinaoui said the Libyans "are determined to hold parliamentary and presidential elections in late 2018".
He also said he had discussed with his Libyan counterpart the case of the disappearance of Tunisian journalists Sofiene Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari in Libya.
"We have agreed to send a commission of Tunisian specialised services to Tripoli to meet with Libyan counterpart to corroborate the information available and allow the parents of the two journalists to meet their expectations and know the fate of the two missing", he specified.
On another level, he said that the two parties have agreed to accelerate the settlement by the end of 2018 royalties of Tunisian clinics to hospitalised Libyan citizens.