Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has offered to help establish democracy in Libya. He made the offer during talks in Baghdad on Tuesday with a visiting Libyan delegation headed by Nasser Al-Mana, adviser to Libyan Prime Minister Abdurrahim Al-Kib.
Stating that the devastations resulting from dictatorship in both countries were similar, Al-Maliki said Iraq was willing to provide the new Libya with all necessary assistance, and at at all levels. “Dictatorships do not build”, he said, “but destroy”.
One of this issues discussed by the two sides was the number of Libyans imprisoned in Iraq. According to Iraqi reports there are more than 200 Libyans in Iraqi jails, many accused of being members of al-Qaeda.
Iraqi parliamentary speaker, Osama Najafi, who also had talks with Al-Mana on Tuesday pledged that his country would work to solve the problem the prisoners in its jails, saying that the Iraqi people support Libyans in rebuilding their country. “Al-Mana delivered a message from the Libyan Prime Minister Abdurrahim Al-Kib regarding Libyan detainees in Iraqi jails,” he stated.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari was quoted in the Iraqi press as saying that Iraq wanted to “solve the issue of missing persons and the Libyan prisoners” but that it had to be “on a legal and judicial basis”.
Al-Maliki is reported to have told Al-Mana the same thing — that the matter had to remain in the hands of the Iraqi courts. They had “the sole right to consider this matter”.
According to Baghdad-based radio station Voice of Iraq, this is the second official Libyan visit since November to try and gain the release of Libyan detainees.
According to Najafi the two countries also “reviewed ways of enhancing bilateral relations following a lapse which lasted for several years”. These included the reopening of the Libyan embassy in Baghdad and the Iraqi embassy in Tripoli.
On Wednesday, Al-Mana met with the opposition leader and former Iraqi prime minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, head of the Iraqi National Alliance. In their talks they discussed the Iraqi democratic experience. Al-Jaafari also expressed Iraq’s readiness to help Libya in its current situation.