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Newsline: Libyan embassy in Bulgaria joins rebels

A Libyan diplomat declared persona non grata inBulgariarefused to leave the country and with other staff organised a minor rebellion at the embassy, denouncing Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. ‘A note … stating that the embassy’s adviser for consular affairs Ibrahim al-Furis has been declared ‘persona non grata’ was handed to the Libyan charge d’affaires,’ foreign ministry spokeswoman Vesela Cherneva told AFP. ‘He must leave the country within 24 hours,’ she added, without explaining why he was being expelled. Furis however refused to leave and together with other staff at the Libyan embassy inSofiainstigated a minor revolt, declaring the mission was ‘loyal to the revolution’, Bulgarian BTV television reported. BTV footage showed several men and a woman raising the red, black and green flag of the Libyan rebellion outside the embassy and smashing a gilded bust of Gaddafi to pieces. They also tore and trampled a dozen portraits of Gaddafi and ripped up the regime’s flag, an AFP photographer witnessed. Meanwhile, the charge d’affaires and first secretary of the embassy were held captive for a few hours inside the embassy before being freed, BTV said. Furis told the Dnevnik daily that he expected at some point in the next two weeks to be designated as an official representative ofLibya’s rebel-led National Transitional Council inSofia. Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov announced thatBulgariawould suspend its contacts with the mission for the time being until the situation was clearer, state news agency BTA reported.Bulgaria, which has several thousand nationals working in Libya, recognised last month the National Transitional Council as ‘a legitimate representative of the Libyan people’. It refrained however from recognising the rebels as the sole representative in the conflict-torn country. Under the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, any state can declare another’s representative persona non grata without having to justify its decision.

 

http://wap.news.bigpond.com/articles/World/2011/07/26/Libyan_embassy_in_Bulgaria_joins_rebels_642532.html

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