France, Libya sign economic, cooperation deals

20th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 19 (AFP) - France and Libya signed economic and cooperation agreements Monday during a meeting between French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and his Libyan counterpart Shukri Ghanim.

PARIS, April 19 (AFP) - France and Libya signed economic and cooperation agreements Monday during a meeting between French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and his Libyan counterpart Shukri Ghanim.

The two countries initialled an agreement aiming to protect investments by establishing a solid legal framework.

Libya also agreed to pay EUR 44.4 million (USD 53.4 million) in arrears owed to French export credit agency Coface.

Paris and Tripoli also signed accords on scientific and academic cooperation and in the field of tourism.

Libya has undegrone a radical diplomacy shift in the past year, first agreeing to award massive compensation to victims of the 1988 Lockerbie plane bombing, then publicly dismantling its illicit weapons programmes.

The moves have brought the oil-rich north African desert state led by Colonel Moamer Kadhafi back from pariah-status isolation to contact with Western powers, which have expressed eagerness to renew business ties.

Relations have gradually warmed between Paris and Tripoli, too, after years of tension over the 1989 bombing of a French airliner over Niger, which was blamed on Libya.

In January, a foundation headed by Kadhafi's son signed an agreement to compensate the families of the 170 victims of the Niger bombing, lifting the last obstacle to a normalization of relations.

The Libyan Prime Minister said Monday after meeting President Jacques Chirac that Chirac would soon make a trip to Libya. But Chirac's office said the trip had only been agreed to in principle and that no date had yet been fixed.

© AFP

                                                               Subject: French news

 

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