New Libyan PM says to focus on fighting militants, securing borders

TRIPOLI Mon May 26, 2014 9:53am EDT

Libya's Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq speaks during a news conference in Tripoli May 21, 2014. REUTERS/ Hani Amara

Libya's Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq speaks during a news conference in Tripoli May 21, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/ Hani Amara

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TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya's new premier said on Monday his government will focus on fighting militants, securing borders and strengthening the military with the help of the international community to stabilize the OPEC oil-producing country.

Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq, whose government was approved by parliament on Sunday, told Reuters he wanted to continue with a deal to end an oil port occupation by former rebels. But he said he would keep negotiating if the accord to free up the four oil terminals collapsed.

Maiteeq, a hotel owner and businessman educated in Britain, said he did not expect Libya to turn to borrowing to cover its budget needs though his new government was still studying its financial needs and options.

Libya's third prime minister since March, Maiteeq was voted into office with the backing of the country's Muslim Brotherhood. But he has been opposed by anti-Islamist factions competing for influence in the chaotic North African state.

(Reporting by Patrick Markey and Ulf Laessing; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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