During his visit to Tunisia, Libyan Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dbeibah promised the Tunisian President a quick settlement of the hospital debt.
During a visit to Tunis, Libyan Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dbeibah praised "the solidity of historical relations" between the two countries. But lately, between Tunisia and Libya, relations have been rather tense. According to the website Maghreb-Intelligence, Algiers would have exercised enormous lobbying to reconcile the two neighboring countries. At the heart of the discussions, in particular, the amount of the Libyan debt which would be around 250 million dollars, including 85 million for the electricity sector and 30 million for that of civil aviation. Another part of the debt concerns clinics. Many Libyans regularly come to Tunisia for treatment, without paying the bill.
A year ago, the Libyan Embassy in Tunisia promised an audit of the healthcare bills owed by its nationals to Tunisian clinics. In 2015, the president of the National Trade Union Chamber of Private Clinics (CSNCP), Khaled Nabli, assured that the debt of Libyans in this sector amounted to 30 million dollars. Last year, it had reached 80 million according to the new boss of the CSNCP, Boubaker Zakhama. According to the head of the Libyan government, it would rather be 100 million dollars. At the beginning of 2021, the Libyan Government of National Unity had launched a commission of inquiry to study the file of the hospital debt of its nationals in foreign countries – Turkey and Jordan are also concerned.
Abdel Hamid Dbeibah's visit will therefore have revolved mainly around the collection of Libyan debts. Because if we expected important agreements in the fields of oil or finance, Kaïs Saïed and Abdel Hamid Dbeibah preferred to concentrate on the Libyan dues. The Libyan Prime Minister has proposed a repayment in installments of Libyan debts in several sectors, and mainly that of health. Faced with a major financial crisis, Tunisia is counting on Libyan funds to reduce its debt. The Tunisian press claims that Libyan debts will be settled before the end of 2022.
But this recovery will not be free for Tunis. In return, Abdel Hamid Dbeibah set out some requirements. The Libyan Prime Minister thus asked the Tunisian President to facilitate the mobility of Libyans at the borders. Security agreements were reportedly signed, along with promises of legal reviews made. Among the expectations of the Libyan Prime Minister, a request for the repatriation of certain detainees currently behind bars in Tunisian prisons. Another discussion took place between Dbeibah and Saïed regarding the unfreezing of Libyan assets in Tunisian banks since 2011.