Libya vows to close border with Tunisia over “harassment” against travelers

border of Ras Ajdaiibya, Tunisia

Libya’s Deputy Prime Minister, Ahmad Metig, on Saturday threatened to close the land border with Tunisia, if the “harassment” of Libyan travelers on the Tunisian side continues.

According to a statement issued by the prime minister’s media and communication office, Metig had instructed the Foreign Ministry to take measures to “ensure the safety of the Libyan citizens in Tunisia.”

He also instructed the Ministry of Interior to “close the border if the Tunisian government does not take firm measures against those who seek to break the relationship between the two brotherly peoples, who have been linked to good neighborliness and common interests over the past decades.”

The statement also said the Metig’s instructions were issued following of “harassment by outlaws” of Libyans while traveling through the Tunisian area of Ben Gerdane in southern Tunisia towards the border.

Ben Gerdane is a trade center near the border. According to the source, Libyan security prevented Tunisian cars from transporting smuggled goods, such as electrical appliances and foodstuffs, to Tunisia. As retaliation, Tunisia started harassing Libyans travelling by cars towards Libya.

The border crossing between Libya and Tunisia was closed repeatedly for various reasons in the past. The crossing is about 600 km southeast of the capital Tunis, and only 200 km west of the Libyan capital Tripoli.

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