French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron have been hosting talks on Libya’s reconstruction, attended by top politicians from across the world.
Leaders of the uprising that toppled Colonel Gaddafi are also taking part in the Paris meeting, 42 years to the day since the strongman seized power in a coup.
It comes as the European Union lifted a string of sanctions. Economic assistance for Libya is central to the talks, as the bloc’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told a news conference in Brussels.
She said support was needed “not just to ensure that the sanctions get removed and that the assets are unfrozen but to support the economy back into full activity and that also means looking at the return of workers who have left, who have been a core part of that economy”.
Western leaders are anxious to avoid mistakes made in Iraq but talks on the sidelines may expose early jostling for opportunities in key sectors such as oil.