By Siham Ali
Interim Libyan Prime Minister Abdurrahim El Keib wrapped up a two-day visit to Morocco on Wednesday (August 8th) with a string of new partnership agreements.
El Keib was accompanied by a high-ranking ministerial delegation aimed at transforming the links of brotherhood into a working relationship at all levels. The Libyan prime minister indicated to the press that this was an opportunity to examine ways to boost bilateral relations and to identify projects in strategic growth sectors.
He also used the Morocco visit to reiterate his country’s support for a Maghreb Union. “The Maghreb Union is a vessel that contains many of our dreams,” the interim Libyan premier said. “We want this to happen quickly,” he added.
Ministers from the two countries held a variety of discussions during the trip. At the social level, Libyan Labour Minister Mustafa Rugibani was keen to stress that his government was looking to improve conditions in the workplace for Moroccans in Libya and to ensure that their rights are respected.
He said the government has taken all appropriate steps to facilitate procedures and protect the rights of Moroccan workers in Libya, who number as many as 100,000. Those measures will soon be in force, said the government official, who emphasised that there was high demand for Moroccan labour on the Libyan market.
Meanwhile, Morocco has promised to support Libya at a technical level on employment and administrative systems, as well as organisationally where training is concerned. A Libyan technical committee will visit Morocco over the next few months to explore the various training prospects for young people in Moroccan establishments.
Co-operation on higher education was also high on the list of priorities. Libyan Higher Education Minister Naim Abderrahman Gharbani said that his country hopes to benefit from Moroccan experience, particularly in human and social sciences. The minister raised the need for bilateral university exchanges.
His counterpart, Lahcen Daoudi, said that Morocco was prepared to encourage student exchanges with a view to promoting scientific research.
Furthermore, Justice Minister Mustapha Ramid said that Libya has made a request to Morocco for the extradition of certain Libyan suspects accused of having a criminal record. He gave an assurance that the Ministry of Justice would work together with Libyan officials in accordance with international legislation.
The two sides are also boosting their economic collaboration. Moroccan Economy and Finance Minister Nizar Baraka said that the kingdom was ready to support the Libyan authorities to rebuild the country through a real economic partnership.
“Morocco will equip Libya with all the technical skills needed to promote the Libyan economy and bilateral economic co-operation,” he said, explaining that brotherly relations must be transformed into a real partnership, particularly in the areas of the economy and finance.
Libyan Economy Minister Ahmed Salem Alkoshli struck a similar chord, indicating that the Libyan delegation’s visit to Morocco should help to “open a shining new page in the mutual exchange of services between the two peoples”.
The Libyan minister added that his country was going through a transitional phase and restructuring, and therefore needs Moroccan experience at the economic level.
“The partnership must not manifest itself purely at a governmental level. It must extend to the business sector. Libya is opening its doors to investment by Moroccan businessmen,” he said.