The Central Bank of Libya (CBL) will shortly transfer $2bn to cash-strapped Egypt, a CBL spokesman was reported as saying on 25 March by the Financial Times. “This is a deposit that is meant to be a long-term investment because we want to strengthen the relations between Libya and Egypt,” the spokesman added, noting that Libya wants to help Egypt’s government and economy. In addition Libya is to speed the issue of visas for thousands of Egyptian workers seeking jobs in the country.

The news of the imminent cash transfer to Egypt coincided with reports that the Egyptian authorities had begun to arrest and extradite a number of loyalists of the former Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi regime, although the CBL spokesman denied that the two matters are related. The daily Almasry al-Youm reported that on 26 March two relatives of Qadhafi wanted by Interpol were extradited to Libya, while another of his cousins, Ahmad Qadhaf al-Damm, who was previously in charge of coordinating Egyptian-Libyan relations, demanded after his arrest to be tried in Egypt. His lawyer in Cairo claims that his extradition to Libya would subject Egyptian workers in that county to danger at the hands of pro-Qadhafi tribes. (CONTINUED - 294 WORDS)