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Turkish ambassador says consulate in Benghazi will reopen when status quo allows

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Turkish Ambassador to Libya Kenan Yilmaz has confirmed that the closed consulate in Benghazi will resume operations if conditions in the eastern region allow, adding in statements to Anadolu Agency on the sidelines of the 13th Turkish Ambassadors’ Conference held in Ankara, that there are significant opportunities to develop relations between Turkey and Libya in all areas, and that both sides continue their efforts to strengthen bilateral relations.

Yilmaz said Turkey’s main intention is to overcome the current period of instability that Libya is going through as soon as possible, calling for ending political differences, consolidating reconciliation and holding elections.

He pointed to the possibility of developing Ankara’s relations with Tripoli in all areas, including trade, economy, investment, culture, health and security, in cooperation with a strong government that can have full power in Libya.

Yilmaz spoke about the trade between the two sides, saying that Turkey’s exports to Libya last year amounted to around 3 billion dollars and the bilateral trade volume was 4.5 billion.

The Turkish Ambassador reaffirmed the importance of the visit of the Speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives (HoR), Aqila Saleh, to Ankara in early August, and her meeting with her Turkish counterpart Mustafa Şentop and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan .

He reiterated that important steps have been taken to improve relations between the two parliaments, adding that members of the parliamentary friendship group led by MP Ahmet Yildiz are currently planning a visit to Benghazi.