Yesterday, May 18th, a series of talks were held between Tunisian and Libyan high-ranking officials touching upon the areas of military and defense, employment, and transitional justice.
Tunisian Defense Minister Abdelkarim Zbidi and his Libyan counterpart Youssef Mangouch stressed the two countries’ goals for greater military cooperation and border security enforcement agreements. In the aftermath of the April cross-border kidnapping of 150 Tunisians who were later released, it is evident that border security remains a crucial concern.
During the meeting between Libyan Employment Minister Mustapha al-Rahbani and Tunisian Employment and Professional Training Minister Abdelwaheb Matar, a memorandum of understanding between the two countries from March 1 was reinstituted. The document requires Tunisia to provide vocational training services for Libyans. In return, Libya will prioritize the employment of Tunisian workers in its own country, as well as Tunisian enterprises bidding for contracts.
In an interview with TAP, Libyan interim Prime Minister Abdel Rahim El-Keib stated, “Libya wishes to make the most of the steps made by Tunisia in matters of democratic transition, notably in light of Libya’s preparations for next June’s elections.” As both states navigate their political and economic futures, the ties between the governments will become increasingly important.
Tunisia and Libya’s relationship has taken on a stronger, more strategic bent in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Tunisia, viewed as a revolutionary success story, has become a model for post-revolutionary development. As Libya navigates its social and political development, bilateral cooperation between the two governments has become a priority.
Tunisia Live attempted to reach the Ministry of Defense for comment, but was unable to speak to a representative.