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France, Libya sign economic cooperation accords

TRIPOLI, March 7 (AFP) – France and Libya have signed two economic cooperation accords and will shortly sign a third, French Trade Minister Francois Loos said Sunday during an official visit to Tripoli.

The signed treaties deal with investment and credit protection. The third accord, setting up a fiscal agreement between Tripoli and Paris, will be signed before Loos leaves Libya on Monday, the minister said.

Loos said France was keen to strengthen ties with Libya, long isolated as a pariah state until leader Moamer Kadhafi renounced programmes leading to weapons of mass destruction in December.

“French companies can develop their role in Libya in different ways, particularly in the environment and scientific research,” Loos told reporters.Loos held talks Sunday with Libyan Tourism Minister Ammar Altaef.

French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin would shortly meet his Libyan counterpart Shukri Ghanem, Loos added.

In January, Libya reached a compensation deal with Paris for relatives of those killed in the 1989 bombing of a French airliner.

The attack, blamed on Libya, lifted the last obstacle to a normalisation of relations between Paris and Tripoli.

Loos, who arrived here Friday, is accompanied by representatives from 70 French companies. He was scheduled to meet Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi and Ghanem, during his stay.


                                                              Subject: France news