Portuguese PM in Libya for energy talks

19:28, March 22, 2010      

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Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates arrived on Sunday night in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, the first leg of a North African tour that aims to boost energy ties with the country's major oil suppliers.

Besides Libya, Socrates, who is accompanied by a high-level delegation of officials and businessmen, will travel to Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.

In Tripoli, Socrates will meet with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and General Secretary of the General People's Committee al- Baghdadi al-Mahmudi. Talks are expected to explore means of balancing the trade balance between the two sides, which is in favor of Libya, one of Portugal's major oil suppliers, by 296.8 million euros.

Portuguese Minister for Economy Jose Vieira da Silva said Socrates' meetings will focus on promoting relations in energy, infrastructure, agriculture, and food industries.

Da Silva, who is accompanying the Portuguese premier, said the tour aims to broaden existing economic ties with Algeria and Tunisia, promoting neighborhood ties with Morocco, and bring more Portuguese companies to Libya.

On Monday, Socrates will head to Algeria where he will meet with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and will take part in a seminar on renewable energy.

Algeria's state-owned oil and gas corporation, Sonatrach, and Galp Energia, Portugal's leading oil and natural gas company, had an agreement under which 61 percent of Galp's natural gas is sourced from Sonatrach in the form of piped natural gas. Algeria is also one of Portugal's main oil suppliers.

Source: Xinhua
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