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EU formalising friendship with oil-rich Libya

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EU formalising friendship with oil-rich Libya

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Europe is leaving behind political differences it has had with Libya in the past. The EU has launched talks on closer political and economic ties with Libya. This is part of cementing friendships with energy suppliers.

Pursuing further recent rapprochement initiatives, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said cooperation on foreign policy, free-trade and fisheries were among the main priorities, not leaving out human rights.

The envisaged framework agreement will also cover illegal migration and the environment. Brussels has not placed the negotiations under the EU’s so-called Barcelona Process. Tripoli had felt this would expose it to
liberalisation pressure.

Long ostracised by the international community until it renounced terrorism, Libya is the only Mediterranean country with no contractual relations with the EU. Europe does, however, buy the bulk of Libya’s oil exports. It has the largest proven oil reserves in Africa.