Tunisia, Libya launch border security partnership

Tunisian interim Interior Minister Ali Laârayedh and his Libyan counterpart Fawzi Abdelali agreed March 30th to increase co-operation in security, stability and development.

At their meeting in Tunis, the Libyan minister stressed the importance of security co-ordination between Libya and Tunisia in the upcoming period, especially in terms of securing the joint land borders to combat organised crime, terrorism and illegal trafficking, especially smuggling of arms.

Abdelali also stressed the need to reactivate previous agreements signed between the two countries, especially in terms of security issues.

The Libyan minister also noted that the bilateral practical steps that were taken in security co-operation started to appear on the ground, and would contribute to the flow of movement of citizens between the two countries.

"We were able to overcome all security problems that took place, or expected to take place, along the border between the two countries," Abdelali said. "There is progress in securing the Libyan-Tunisian border after many Interior Ministry personnel were deployed to the crossings."

It is worth mentioning that the Libyan Interior Ministry has deployed regular police forces at Ras Jedir crossing following the security problems that were caused by the armed militias that were controlling the crossing.

The Libyan minister noted that a specialised border guard force would be created in the upcoming period, confirming that there is co-ordination in this regard between the interior ministries in the two countries to deal with all the expected security problems.

"That agency will have a strong presence on the Libyan border," he commented. "We won't allow the Libyan soil to be a source of any aggression or attempt to undermine the security, safety and territorial integrity of Tunisia."

Abdelali confirmed that Libya wouldn't tolerate the takfirist groups and would deal with them as enemies of the Tunisian and Libyan peoples alike. Meanwhile, he urged Tunisia to extradite wanted Libyans in Tunisia given the danger they pose to Libya's security and stability.

For his part, Tunisian Interior Minister Ali Laârayedh confirmed that no Libyan on Tunisian soil can engage in any activities that would undermine the security of Libya's revolution or affect it in any way.

"We're committed to protecting the Libyan revolution," he said.

He stressed the need to enhance bilateral relations between the two countries in security fields, especially in terms of exchanging information on terrorist activities and combating illegal immigration.

Tunisia is still worried about the proliferation of Libyan arms and the danger of terrorist groups that are trying to exploit the border areas between the two countries.

Tunisians agree that the deteriorating security in Libya would directly affect conditions in their country.

"Libya's stability and security are part of our country's security and stability, and therefore, it is a bilateral issue that should be the focus of continuous co-operation," said Tunisian citizen Mohamed Mihoub.

"I think that all regional countries have now become concerned with finding solutions, drawing up a strategy and helping in addressing security threats posed by the Libyan arms or terrorist networks," Imed Triki said.

(Source: Magharebia)

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