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  National
Libya to Boost Overall Ties with S. Korea
Amb. Alghali Hosts Reception on Its National Day
Libyan Ambassador to Seoul Masaoud B. Alghali (center) poses with UAE Amb. Abdulla Mohammed Al-Maainah (to his right), Chairman Choi Phillip (2nd from left) of the Chung-Soo Scholarship Foundation, and Chairman Yun Ik-Han of The Seoul Times at the Libyan National National Day reception held at a Seoul hotel on Sept. 29, 2009.

Libya, once shunned by Western countries over the 1988 bombing of a PanAm plane above the Scottish town of Lockerbie, now emerges again as an active member of the world community. Its leader Col. Muarmmar Gaddafi was invited to the UN and he admonished world leaders about the justice on Sept. 23, 2009 and Libya is gearing up for playing active role in mending fences with other nations.

One good example is its relations with South Korea. It appears to be opposite on the diplomatic surface but in actuality the economic ties between the two nation is strong.

Libyan Amb. Masaoud B. Alghali (2nd from right) poses with Chairman Choi Phillip (right) of the Chung-Soo Scholarship Foundation, Minister Counsellor Ernesto Torres Pereyra (2nd from left), deputy head of mission of Dominican Republic. At left is Business Analyst Varova Aleksandra of Samsung Engineering.

Pinched by the world wide economic crisis, the oil-rich nation had to close its embassy in Seoul a couple of years ago. It was part of the Libyan government’s efforts to downsize its vast overseas embassies to save expenses. Some 20 of Libya’s 120 embassies including the one in Seoul were closed during this time.

Now with its new Ambassador to Seoul Masaoud B. Alghali at the helm the bilateral relations between Libya and South Korea is about to take off once more.

At a speech he delivered on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of its National Day celebrating the Libyan revolution, Amb. Alghali emphasized increased ties particularly economic ties with South Korea.

Chairman Choi Phillip (right) of the Chung-Soo Scholarship Foundation poses with Slovak Amb. Dusan Bella.

The Libyan National Day reception held at a Seoul hotel drew a number of guests including scores of top foreign envoys serving in Seoul. Libyan revolution refers to the bloodless coup in 1969 led by then 27-year-old Col. Muarmmar Gaddafi, who overthrew the king.

As the top Libyan envoy pointed out in his speech, the bilateral relations of the two nations are pivotal to each other.

Libya is the second largest construction market to South Korea only after Saudi Arabia. Over 10,000 workers and officials from six major South Korean construction companies have worked in Libya. South Korea enjoys trade surplus with Libya by exporting textile, constructions material, and steel. Seoul imports large amount of oil from Libya.

Libyan Amb. Masaoud B. Alghali (2nd from left) poses with Chairman Choi Phillip (2nd from right) of the Chung-Soo Scholarship Foundation, and Egyptian Minister Plenipotentiary Ihab Tahoon. At left is Chairman Yun Ik-Han of The Seoul Times.

In 1983 South Korea’s DonaAh Construction Company clinched a 3.3 billion US dollar deal from Libya to build the largest single construction of the Great Man-Made River.

The overall ties between the two nations harks back some 30 years. Libya and South Korea formed diplomatic ties in 1978 at the consular-level. The ties were promoted to ambassador’s level soon after.

In 1978 Daewoo Construction Company set its foot in the Libyan construction market. Since then Libya has emerged as the second most important construction market to South Korean only after Saudi Arabia.

Libyan Amb. Masaoud B. Alghali talks with Chairman Choi Phillip of the Chung-Soo Scholarship Foundation.

South Korea has earned close to 30 billion US dollars with 250 construction deals over the span of three decades. Still some 30 companies including Daewoo Construction, Hyudai Construction, Korea Express, and Korean National Oil Corporation (KNOC) are in operation in Libya.

Libya established ambassador’s level ties with North Korea in 1974. And in 1982 Col. Gaddafi visited North Korean capital of Pyongyang.

For details or inquiries contact the Libyan Economic Cooperation Bureau in Seoul at 797-6001/3




 

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