TUNIS, Tunisia

Tunisia on Wednesday reiterated full support for Libya’s democratic process and vowed to bolster bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Earlier in the day, Tunisian President Kais Saied arrived in Tripoli for talks with Libyan officials, one day after the unity government of Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh took power.

In a statement, the Tunisian Presidency said economy and development figured high on Saied’s talks with Libyan officials.

The discussions also dwelt on means of boosting bilateral trade and investments, the statement said.

Saied’s visit “demonstrates the depth and strength of historic relations between Tunisia and Libya,” the statement said.

Saied’s visit was the first by a Tunisian leader to Libya since 2012.

Former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki was the last Tunisian leader to have visited Libya in 2012.

Unrest in Libya affects stability in neighboring Tunisia as many Daesh/ISIS militants made their way into Tunisia across the border.

Trade exchange between Tunisia and Libya reached $373 million in 2018.

Libyans hope that the new unity government will end years of civil war that have engulfed the country since the ouster and killing of strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi in 2011.

The war was exacerbated when warlord Khalifa Haftar, supported by several countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Russia, and France, carried out a military onslaught to topple the Tripoli-based internationally recognized government for control of the North African country.

*Mahmoud Barakat and Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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