Turkey demands compensation for debts owed from Libya

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan has struck a deal with the UN-backed Libyan government for Tripoli to pay $2.7bn in compensation for debts owed to Turkey before Libya’s nine-year civil war began,

According to the details, Turkish companies were heavily involved in lucrative infrastructure and construction projects in Libya from the 1970s, but they collapsed when dictator Muammar Qaddafi was removed in 2011 and the country descended into chaos.

Now, as peace talks in Moscow edge toward an agreement between warring factions in Libya, the Turkish president is maneuvering to restore business links between the two countries. In addition to compensation for Turkey’s losses, the new deal paves the way for new contracts in the energy, housing and construction sectors.

Karol Wasilewski, a Turkey analyst at the Polish Institute of International Affairs, in Warsaw, said Turkey would welcome the cash, but the restoration of business ties was of more long-term benefit to Ankara.

“That compensation money for the construction sector is just a side effect, even if a very beneficial and a needful one for the Justice and Development Party and the businessmen connected to the party,” he told.

Turkish companies Ustay Yapi, Tekfen, Enka, Renaissance and Guris Insaat have mostly dominated the Libyan construction and infrastructure sectors.

Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a ceasefire to culminate the conflict in Libya.

Turkish President and Russian President agreed that the ceasefire should be enforced at midnight on Sunday. They said this while negotiations in Istanbul.

The decision has been taken after German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass had warned of a Syrian-Style civil war in Libya.

Turkey had sent troops to the North African state to boost the besieged UN-based government.

Turkey claims that Russia has about 2,500 mercenaries in Libya to support the main rival of UN-backed administrations Gen Khalifar Haftar. However, Russia did not agree with the claim.

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