Libyan Navy Attempt to Detain Tunisian Fishing Boats


A spokesman for the Tunisian Ministry of Defense, Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Zakri, said that a Libyan naval unit tried to “take and detain” two Tunisian fishing boats, according to Tunisia’s Mosaique FM.

“The Libyan naval forces claimed that the boats were fishing in a Libyan marine area,” he added.

Zakri noted that two marine units intervened, given that the two fishing boats were in the continental shelf of Tunisia’s territorial waters.

He stated that the boats then headed towards Sfax, accompanied by a naval unit.

Earlier this week, the Tunisian Ministry of Transport said that Tunisian and Libyan officials from the shipping and ports sector met in Tunis. They held discussions, during which they agreed on a number of measures, including opening a maritime shipping line between the two countries.

The ministry indicated that these measures were agreed upon in meetings chaired by the Tunisian and Libyan ministers of transport in November. This is in order to remove obstacles that prevent maritime linkages between the two countries.

The Tunisian Ministry of Transport pointed out that this step comes to strengthen the link between Tunisia and Libya, and to diversify the means of transit for travellers and economic actors from both sides.

Last month, Libya’s Prime Minister, Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba said a total of $250 million dollars in debts, owed to Tunisia, will be paid before the end of the year. In press statements, Dbaiba said that such debts relate to medical bills for Libyan patients, and electricity dues.

He stated that “the localization of treatment at home is the goal to which all efforts must be geared to achieve, as soon as possible.” The Libyan Premier pointed out that “sending for treatment abroad should not be a goal in itself, and remain indefinitely.”