TRIPOLI, Libya, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin arrived Sunday in Libya on his first visit to the country for talks with leaders on boosting relations.
Martin's visit to Tripoli follows visits a number of senior European officials. Those visits started after Libya announced an abandonment of its weapons of mass destruction program, a desire to resolve its problems with the West and an opening of the nation to foreign investments.
Diplomats in the Canadian Embassy in Tripoli, which opened its mission in 2002, said Martin was leading an economic team of 130 businessmen, especially those in the oil, gas and communications industries.
They told United Press International the visit is primarily aimed at boosting political, economic and trade ties between the two nations, including striking joint investment deals in oil, energy, education and health.
Martin was expected to meet Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and discuss the possibility of Canadian participation in supplying Libya with advanced technology and preparing Canadian firms to enter the Libyan market in different sectors.
The diplomats said they expected a number of trade deals to be finalized during the visit.