In a renewed effort to repair strained ties between Libya and the Kingdom, Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni arrived in the Kingdom on Wednesday at the invitation of the Saudi government.
Al-Thinni, who is accompanied by a delegation of government representatives, will hold in-depth discussions with high-ranking Saudi officials, with the major focus of talks being bilateral relations and regional issues.
“The visit of Al-Thinni to Saudi Arabia has added significance because Libya has experienced a tumultuous recent history,” said a diplomatic source, while expressing concerns over an explosion on Wednesday that affected two Libyan cities that were home to the nation’s elected parliament and government members.
When asked about the agenda of the talks in Riyadh, a Libyan government spokesman said that “the talks will focus on the whole arena of bilateral and regional issues including terrorism and the current security situation.”
“Al-Thinni believes in the importance of Libya’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and hopes that this visit will enhance bilateral cooperation in various fields,” said Reda Fahil, the government spokesman.
Fahil commented that Saudi Arabia had announced its strong support for the Libyan House of Representatives, which it recognizes as the only legitimate authority in the country. Last month, it was said to have pressured Sudan into adopting the same position. However, Libya still lacks central control over its oil resources, which have become a bargaining chip in the competition for power over the country.
Without steady income from its oil resources, observers predict that the Libyan government will be unable to maintain the high standard of living enjoyed by its citizens in the past.
Current GDP growth rate predictions for the fourth quarter of 2014 and into 2015 range from 15.3 to 22.4 percent. In fact, Libya, the fourth largest country in Africa, has the 10th largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world.
Referring to the Saudi support to the peace process in Libya, Fahil said that “Libya seeks the support of all MENA partners to ensure peace in the country and its neighborhood.”
In fact, UN Special Envoy Bernardino Leon met with President Nuri Abu Sahmain on Wednesday in Tripoli at the General National Congress (GNC) with a view to reinvigorating negotiations for a peaceful end to the current crisis.
The two men met to discuss the possibility of convening an inclusive dialogue aimed at reaching political agreement for the remainder of the transitional period.
Saudi Arabia closed its embassy in Libya as the country’s army chief ordered a powerful Islamist militia group to deploy in Tripoli after Parliament was stormed by troops loyal to a renegade general in May this year. All Saudi diplomatic staff subsequently left the Libyan capital.

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