On Monday, the Director of the Consular Affairs Department of the Libya Foreign Ministry, Najat Shaef held a meeting with the Tunisian Ambassador in Tripoli, Al-Assaad Al-Ajili. They discussed ways to overcome the obstacles facing Libyan nationals crossing the border with Tunisia.
In a press statement, the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the talks “dealt with issues of a consular nature, such as the similarity in names, and the transit delay of Libyan passengers at the border crossings.”
It added that the two sides agreed to form a joint committee to oversee the land and sea borders.
On his part, Al-Ajili expressed his full readiness to “solve these problems, overcome difficulties facing passengers, and facilitate entry procedures for them.” As well as stressing the “depth of the brotherly and historical relations that bind the two peoples.”
Notably, Tunisian products have been largely absent from Libyan shelves since the border was closed.
Libya shut its land border and suspended flights between the two countries on 08 July 2021, citing the explosion in COVID-19 cases in Tunisia.
But with the caseload rapidly dropping, officials on both sides agreed to reopen after Prime Minister Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba met Tunisian President Kais Saied in Tunis on 09 September.
The Ras Jdeir border post is the main crossing between Libya and Tunisia. Both sides rely heavily on cross-border trade — including smuggling.
Tunisia is also a key destination for Libyans seeking medical treatment not available locally. It is also one of a handful of countries that authorizes incoming flights from Libya, and allows Libyans visa-free entry.
Travellers, including children, are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and must produce a negative PCR test or face hotel quarantine.