Libyan official in Tunisia discussing aid

13:27, July 31, 2011      

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Slimane Shahoumi, visiting secretary of foreign affairs at the Libyan General Congress met with Tunisian interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi on Saturday, and the two sides discussed Tunisian food supply to Libya.

Shahoumi told reporters after the meeting that Tunisia has promised to "do its utmost to help the Libyan people in the situation they are living through," according to Tunisia's state-run TAP press agency.

Shahoumi, who was on a brief visit here, also praised Tunisia for its assistance including providing food and health care supplies to Libyans.

On the same day, Tunisian Finance Ministry announced that Tunisia will provide food and other necessities to Libya through "legitimate channels."

In addition, in an effort to facilitate border trade, a duty-free zone will also be established in the southeastern province of Medenine bordering Libya, according to the announcement.

Tunisia's food exports to Libya have increased by several folds since the Libya crisis began in February, hitting 192.2 million Tunisian dinars (142 million U.S. dollars) by June 30, accounting for nearly a quarter of its total food exports during the period.

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