Meeting between Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and H.E. Mr. Ashour Saad Ben Khaial, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Libya
June 6, 2012
On Wednesday, June 6, Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Ashour Saad Ben Khaial, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Libya, who is visiting Japan, from 4:10 pm for approximately 30 minutes. Prior to the meeting, a ceremony to sign a Memorandum on Political Consultations between Japan and Libya was held. An overview of the meeting is as follows:
- Beginning / bilateral relations
Minister Gemba welcomed Minister Ben Khaial's visit to Japan, which is the first visit by a Libyan foreign minister in 27 years. Minister Gemba expressed his intention to build new bilateral relations on this occasion and praised the steady progress of nation building in Libya.
In response, Minister Ben Khaial expressed his sympathy and condolences for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and his gratitude for Japan's prompt support for the efforts of the Libyan people in the wake of the revolution in Libya last year.
- Japan's contribution to the process of reconstruction in Libya and bilateral economic relations
Minister Gemba explained the policy of the Government of Japan to support efforts for reconstruction in Libya by utilizing the knowledge and technology of Japan. He also stated that Japan wanted to contribute to the development of human resources in Libya through technical cooperation on such matters as training on the manufacturing of prosthetic limbs, which the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) would begin from September 2012. In addition, Minister Gemba requested that the Government of Libya take measures to ensure security for the purpose of enhancing active investments by Japanese enterprises to Libya, mentioning that Japanese enterprises were gradually resuming their businesses in the country since the dispatch of a government-private sector joint mission on the economy to Libya in late January.
In response, Minister Ben Khaial expressed his gratitude for Japan's humanitarian support as well as its support for reforms after the civil war and also expressed his expectation that Japanese enterprises, which have both high technical capabilities and transparency, would be significantly present in Libya in the future. Minister Ben Khaial also stated that he expected Japanese enterprises to contribute to decreasing traffic jams in Libya.
In addition, both ministers shared the view that they would hold preliminary discussions at the working level toward the start of negotiations for an investment agreement, in order to enhance an investment environment in Libya.
- Regional / international issues
Minister Gemba requested Libya's support for Japan as a candidate for the election to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations (UN) in 2012 and the election to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member in 2015. He also requested the participation of a high-level official from Libya at the Third Meeting of the Japan-Arab Economic Forum to be held in Tokyo this December and at the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) scheduled to be held in Yokohama in June 2013. In response, Minister Ben Khaial stated that because Japan's roles in the international community were important, he would like to prioritize the requests from Japan for consideration. Minister Ben Khaial also stated that the Government of Libya would like to participate in the international conferences in an appropriate manner.
- (*The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)
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