Turkey accuses Libya of targeting companies a Ankara throws weight behind political rivals

By REUTERS
February 24, 2015 13:52

 
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Turkey accused Libya on Tuesday of targeting its companies there after the internationally recognized government said it would cancel contracts of Turkish businesses operating in the troubled north African state.

Libya's beleaguered official government, which only controls eastern parts of the country, announced a ban on Turkish firms after accusing Ankara of supporting the rival administration that seized control of the capital Tripoli last summer.

A Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman on Tuesday rejected the official government's decision and appeared to question the legitimacy of its leader, Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni.

"The decision to bar Turkish companies ... carries no value, considering the political and security crisis Libya has been going through and the debate regarding legitimacy," Tanju Bilgic said in an emailed statement.

Turkey has close historic ties with Libya and Turkish businesses have traditionally had a strong presence there. But the country has been riven with conflicts since the toppling of strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

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