ISTANBUL, Sept 2 Turkey has decided to reopen
its embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli as of Friday and
appointed Ali Kemal Aydin as its new ambassador, the Turkish
foreign ministry said in a statement.
World leaders agreed on Thursday to free up billions of
dollars worth of frozen Libyan assets to help the country's
interim rulers restore vital services and start rebuilding after
a six-month war that ended Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule.
Turkey, which once had close ties with Gaddafi, is expected
to take a leading role in efforts to rebuild Libya, eyeing
billion dollar deals and hoping to extend its influence in north
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said in February that NATO
intervention in Libya was "out of the question", but Ankara
shifted its position as Gaddafi grew more isolated
It reluctantly backed NATO operations, called on Gaddafi to
step down and recognised his opponents, the National
Transitional Council, as the legitimate government. Ankara has
provided the NTC with $300 million in cash, loans and other aid.
The foreign ministry said the new ambassador left Ankara on
Thursday and was travelling via Tunisia to Tripoli.
(Writing by Daren Butler, editing by Tim Pearce)