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News Analysis: Egypt-Libya relations likely to improve over extradition of Gaddafi-era officials

English.news.cn   2013-03-26 06:45:09            

by Marwa Yahia

CAIRO, March 25 (Xinhua) -- The Egypt-Libya relations are likely to improve after Egypt's handover of two ex-Libyan officials to Interpol for extradition, analysts said.

The decision came after an investigation confirmed that all legal conditions were met for extraditing Ali Mohamed al-Amin Maria, ex-Libyan ambassador to Egypt, and Mohamed Ibrahim Mansour, who headed a state fund under slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Three ex-Libyan officials were arrested Tuesday in Cairo over corruption charges. Besides Maria and Mansour, Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam, a cousin of Gaddafi and former coordinator of Libyan-Egyptian relations, were also seized and detained.

"The extradition, a goodwill gesture on part of Egypt, will help Libya to achieve its revolution goals, restore the stolen funds and speed up its progress to a better future," Yassin el- Samlousy, a Libyan political expert told Xinhua.

Egypt and Libya signed Saturday a legal and judicial memorandum of understanding to guarantee fair trial of extradited suspects.

Several local newspapers said Monday that other Libyan figures of the former regime living in Egypt are to be arrested in a few days.

Yassin said the latest judiciary cooperation between Egypt and Libya will give their bilateral relations a boost, benefitting their economies as well as labor force that flow back and forth between the two countries.

The Egypt-Libya relations were put under strain after hundreds of Egyptians were deported by Libya despite that they held valid documents.

Also Egypt's decision to stop Libyan anti-revolution TV stations using Egyptian satellite channels to broadcast their stories, adding more tensions to their ties.

State-run Ahram newspaper on Monday quoted a Libyan culture ministry official as saying that letters had been sent to Egyptian satellite channels to request restoring the services.

In addition, the bilateral relations were exacerbated after Libyan authorities detained a group of Egyptian Christians accused of proselytizing. Death of one of them triggered protests outside the Libyan embassy in Cairo last week that resulted in a two-day work suspension.

However, analysts are optimistic over a strong revival of Egypt- Libya ties.

Yassin said sources have predicted that Libyan authorities will soon exempt Egyptian travelers from visa application, though strict measures have to be applied for the sake of security.

Gamal Bayomy, chief of Arab Investors Union, pointed out that Egypt's extradition move will lead Cairo to better participate in Libya's reconstruction projects.

As a neighbor to Egypt, Libya and Egypt are interrelated in both history and human migration, said the expert, adding more than a million Egyptians live in Libya and that Egypt had mending ties with Libya in mind when making the handover decision.

On Sunday, a local newspaper reported Cairo and Tripoli have signed an agreement under which Egypt will refine 1 million barrels of Libyan petroleum monthly to provide for the two countries' needs in diesel.

The agreement came as Egypt is suffering a deep diesel crisis, which triggered chaos in the Egyptian streets.

The report added an Egyptian delegation, including private and governmental companies in real state and gas services, is visiting Libya to activate bilateral economic ties and secure Egypt's participation in Libya's reconstruction projects.

Editor: Chen Zhi
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