Kais Saied will travel to Libya to show his support for the transitional government

This is the Tunisian president's first trip to Libya in nine years
Atalayar_Kais Saied

AFP/ FETHI BELAID  -   Kais Saied will travel to Libya to show his support for the transitional government

Following the Libyan Parliament's endorsement of the new transitional government headed by Abdul Hamid Dbeiba, the first approaches from neighbouring countries have been made. In this case, just a week after being ratified by the House of Representatives, Tunisian President Kais Saied will travel to Libya tomorrow, Wednesday. It will be the first time that the Tunisian head of state has done so since 2012, and the government considers that "it is part of Tunisia's support for the democratic path in Libya, which hopes to hold general elections next December in an effort to end the conflict in the country", as stated in an official communiqué.

Tunisia's support for Libya's new government was voted on by Tunisian representatives and received 132 votes in favour out of the 133 deputies present in the assembly. After the vote, it was agreed that Saied, who will become the first Tunisian president to set foot on Libyan soil in the last nine years, would travel to Libya on 17 March. The country led by Kais Saied considers Libya to be one of its strongest allies with a vision for the future, as they also wanted to reflect in the communiqué issued on Tuesday: "The visit represents an opportunity to establish new visions and perceptions that reinforce the distinguished path of existing cooperation between Tunisia and Libya, and to establish a comprehensive solidarity that responds to the legitimate aspirations of the two brotherly peoples for stability and development".

President Saied has not had many meetings with foreign countries since he took office a year and a half ago in October 2019. He has made only two trips, to France and Algeria, which suggests that he may have some interest in Libyan territory. In fact, various sources suggest that Tunisia intends to strengthen its role on the political scene and mitigate the consequences of its poor diplomatic action on Libyan territory. Even more so when the action of regional powers has intensified in recent times, which has led Tunisia to place relations with the interim government in Dbeiba among its top priorities. 

Atalayar_Viaje Túnez Libia
PHOTO/AFP - Libya's new interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah speaks after being sworn in on 15 March 2021 in the eastern coastal city of Tobruk

The country presided over by Kais Saied has been one of the key players in the dialogue process in Libya that culminated in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LDPF), organised by the United Nations in the Swiss city of Geneva. In addition, the support provided by both countries to each other in the fight against terrorism has been essential in recent times. There have been several cases of attempted infiltration by members and family members of Daesh between the two countries, which have collaborated to put a stop to attempted terrorist actions. Mustafa Abdel Kabir himself, head of the Tunisian Human Rights Observatory, recently spoke of a new attempt by relatives of terrorists to circumvent security at the Tunisian-Libyan border: "On Monday evening, a second batch of Tunisian terrorists' relatives, who were present in several Libyan centres, was received at Ras Jedir, the border crossing with Libya".

Tunisia's cooperation in the fight against terrorism, as well as its neutrality during the Libyan crisis, has been firm. This is why they now have the opportunity to forge a great alliance with a country that is eagerly awaiting the upcoming elections on 24 December this year, which will finally consolidate Libya's democratic process.