Eastern Libya, US firm close to signing Libya port deal

The development of a multipurpose, deep sea port in Susah, Libya, will give a big boost to the local economy. (Social media)
Updated 07 July 2019

Eastern Libya, US firm close to signing Libya port deal

  • It would be a coup for the parallel govt, which has not gained global recognition

TUNIS, BENGHAZI: Eastern Libyan authorities and US security firm Guidry Group plan to finalize an agreement to develop a major port in the east of the troubled oil producer, both sides said.
Talks have been going on for about a year to build a port in Susah, which would mark a rare sign of investment in Libya. Most of the country has been in chaos since the toppling of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.
“The Guidry Group and the State of Libya through the Sea Port Authority officially signed the concession agreement on May 13 for the development of a multi-purpose, deep sea port in Susah, Libya,” the Guidry Group said in a statement to Reuters.
“Next steps for the project will involve establishing all the technical, financial, operational and commercial requirements,” the firm said.
Salah Elhasi, head of the eastern port authority, said no final deal had been signed yet but 90 percent of work was done.
“We are in the final stage of the agreement. ...and are reviewing the agreement’s details,” he said.
Neither side gave details. In February, both had put the investment volume of the project at $1.5 billion.
A final signature would be a coup for the parallel government in charge of eastern Libya which has not gained international recognition. The UN-backed government sits in Tripoli in western Libya.

HIGHLIGHT

The Susah port is supposed to be the main entry port for goods into Libya as a sea depth of up to 40 meters would enable containers to load goods on smaller vessels headed for other cities.

The Susah port is supposed to be the main entry port for goods into Libya as a sea depth of up to 40 meters would enable containers to load goods on smaller vessels headed for other cities.
Officials hope the port will create jobs in a country where most look to a bloated public sector or join armed groups.
Since the negotiations started, tensions between the two governments have escalated as eastern Libyan forces led by Khalifa Haftar allied to the parallel government started a military campaign to seize Tripoli.
The port is meant to serve the whole of Libya.
The Guidry Group said it was “very close” to signing a funding agreement for the port.
Some fear a port may damage ancient historical sites.
Susah, with its sleepy fishing harbor next to historic temple columns and also some underwater sites, is close to the ancient Greek mountain city of Cyrene.


White House says Trump regrets not raising tariffs higher

US President Donald Trump arrives at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, on Sunday. Trump had been trying to use the conference to rally global leaders to do more to stimulate their economies, as fears rise of a potential slowdown in the US ahead of his reelection. (AP)
Updated 26 August 2019

White House says Trump regrets not raising tariffs higher

  • President’s comments appear at first to mark a rare moment of self-reflection by the US leader

TOKYO: President Donald Trump said Sunday that he had second thoughts about escalating the trade war with China, but the White House later reversed that message saying the president was misinterpreted and that his only regret in hiking tariffs is that he didn’t raise them higher. Trump faced a tense reception from world leaders meeting amid mounting anxiety of a global economic slowdown at the Group of Seven summit in France. During a breakfast meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Trump suggested he had qualms about the spiraling conflict. “Yeah. For sure,” Trump told reporters when asked if he has second thoughts about escalating the dispute, adding he has “second thoughts about everything.”
But hours later, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham issued a statement saying Trump’s comments about US tariffs on China were “greatly misinterpreted.”
She said Trump only responded “in the affirmative — because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher.” The comments appeared at first to mark a rare moment of self-reflection by the famously hard-nosed leader. But the later reversal fit a pattern for Trump in recoiling from statements he believes suggest weakness.

HIGHLIGHTS

• President Donald Trump faced a tense reception from world leaders meeting amid mounting anxiety of a global economic slowdown at the Group of Seven summit in France.

• White House said comments about US tariffs on China were ‘greatly misinterpreted.’

Trump had been trying to use the conference to rally global leaders to do more to stimulate their economies, as fears rise of a potential slowdown in the US ahead of his reelection. Trump’s counterparts, including Johnson, are trying to convince him to back off his trade wars with China and other countries, which they see as contributing to the economic weakening.

US-Japan agreement
Trump and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on Sunday a deal in principle on a major bilateral trade deal.
“It’s a very big transaction,” Trump said after talks with Abe on the sidelines of the G7 summit.
“Billions and billions of dollars,” he said. “It involves agriculture, it involves e-commerce. It involves many things. We’ve agreed in principle.”

Amazon fires
Also on Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron said that world leaders at the G7 summit have agreed to help the countries affected by the huge wildfires ravaging the Amazon rainforest as soon as possible.
“We are all agreed on helping those countries which have been hit by the fires as fast as possible,” he told journalists.