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Hungary ready to take part in Libya's reconstruction

Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi held talks on closer cooperation with Libya and Hungary's involvement in post-war reconstruction in the Libyan Tripoli in mid-December. The minister met with Mustafa Muhammad Abd al-Jalil, head of the Transitional National Council, and Abd al-Rahim al-Keeb, head of government as well as government ministers.

"This is a country that has a great future, as well as immense treasures, of course. The country also has relatively well-educated intellectuals who were stifled for four decades. I feel that you started something dynamic to develop. This is a young country, in every sense of the word where Hungary has and will have great opportunities," János Martonyi said.

Libya appreciates all the humanitarian and political support that it received from Hungary during the months of fighting against the Gaddafi regime. "This is a political asset that can be exploited in other areas of the bilateral relations," he added.

Hungary would like to actively join in the reconstruction of Libya. Hungarian companies can be competitive on the Libyan market primarily in agriculture and food industry, water management and in some areas of construction and oil industries.

Libyan officials said they counted on Hungary's experience in privatization, the training of security forces and health care, as well. Martonyi informed its partners that early next year, Hungarian businessmen will travel to Libya on behalf of the Ministry of National Economy to conduct concrete negotiations about how Hungary can participate in the reconstruction.

Hungary's relations with Libya and the 1970s-80s were characterized by intense economic relations, whose foundations were mainly laid by Libyan students studying in Hungary and Hungarian professionals working in Libya. The current transitional government has two members who had studied in Hungary, including the Minister of Planning.

Sándor Laczkó

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