France’s defense minister visits Libya, deepen ties between both nations

French defense minister Gerard Longuet

To build and improve ties under the new leadership in Libya, France’s defense minister Gerard Longuet arrived in Tripoli on Friday on a three-day visit to the country.

French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet arrived in Tripoli on Friday on a three-day visit designed to boost cooperation with Libya, an AFP reporter said.

The trip comes shortly after the North African nation celebrated the first anniversary of the start of a popular revolt that toppled the regime of Moamer Kadhafi.

Longuet is expected to meet senior officials including Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of the ruling National Transitional Council, and Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib, on how to boost ties between the two countries.

Longuet is also scheduled to visit the war-ravaged coastal city of Misrata and Benghazi in the east, where the uprising started.

Libya and France agreed to increase cooperation in maritime security and controlling the North African country’s borders.  Being strategically placed joining Africa and the Mediterranean makes it exposed.  Neighboring states, especially those across the Mediterranean in Europe are worried about Libya’s capacity to secure its Mediterranean coast, which can be used as a gateway into Europe for arms traffickers, al-Qaeda insurgents and illegal migrants.

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