LIBYA, EU LAUNCH LANDMARK NEGOTIATIONS – Elobeidi: Tripoli will Contribute to a Partnership as Much as EU can be Useful to Libya – Negotiations started in Brussels on Thursday on the EU-Libya Framework Agreement

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 15, 2008

15/11/2008 – 15:34:00

LIBYA, EU LAUNCH LANDMARK NEGOTIATIONS – Elobeidi: Tripoli will Contribute to a Partnership as Photo - EU Commissioner for External Relations Benito Ferrero-Waldner, right, addresses the media together with Libya's Secretary for European Affairs Abdulati Elobeidi at the EU Commission in Brussels, Thursday Nov. 13, 2008. Ferrero-Waldner launched negotiations for a Framework Agreement between the EU and Libya to strengthen the political, economic, commercial, social and cultural relations between both parties.(AP Photo)Much as EU can be Useful to Libya – Negotiations started in Brussels on Thursday on the EU-Libya Framework Agreement

European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, joined by the EU Presidency, formally launch the negotiations in a meeting with the Libyan representatives led by Abdulati Elobeidi, Secretary for European Affairs, and Mohamed Tahar Siala, Deputy Secretary at the General People Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation of Libya.

The future agreement will establish the framework of the relations between the EU and Libya.

Mr. Elobeidi, said Libya would “contribute definitely to an efficient partnership with the EU, as much as the EU on its side can be useful for Libya.

“We are very pleased with this beginning and we are very much aspiring to the future,” he added.

The accord will cover political, social, economic, commercial and cultural relations, between the European bloc and Libya.

“This was a long awaited moment since the 2004 EU’s decision to lift the sanctions against Libya and to start a policy of engagement with this country. I am pleased that we can finally launch these negotiations,” Ms Ferrero-Waldner said.

The future agreement, if concluded in line with the level of ambition currently stated by the parties, will have a high potential for the development of deep cooperation, opening the way to a strong political partnership and to the increase in trade and investments between Libya and the EU.

“Libya is the last south-Mediterranean country with which the EU has no contractual relations and we are keen to establish a clear, long-lasting legal framework in order to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with Libya. The Commission has received from the Council a broad negotiation mandate that proves the EU’s aims at concluding with Libya an agreement as ambitious as Libya is prepared to consent, covering areas such as political dialogue, trade, energy, migrations and environment,” Ferrero-Waldner said.

The Commission’s negotiations mandate was adopted on July 24, 2008 by the Council. The objective is to conclude a broad agreement providing for political dialogue and cooperation on foreign policy and security issues, for a free trade area which is as deep and comprehensive as possible, for cooperation in key areas of common concern such as energy, transport, migration, visa, justice and home affairs, environment and other topics like maritime policy and fisheries, education and public health.

At present, Libya benefits from an EC medical and technical cooperation program in the area of HIV/AIDS for a total allocated amount of €8 million, as part of the EU Action Plan for Benghazi.

In the field of migration the EU and Libya are already cooperating since 2004. Two projects have already been financed under the thematic program “Migration and Asylum” one concerning the control of the borders with Niger and one on assistance to voluntary return of migrants, while a third project should start in early 2009.

The EU statement also said fundamental principles underpinning the agreement would be respect for human rights and democracy, the non proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and commitment to the rules of the market economy.





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