Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Malta likely to be first in EU to open Libya mission

Malta will likely become the first EU member to open an embassy in Libya, its premier said Wednesday as he visited Tripoli in a show of support for the UN-backed unity government. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is the first head of a European government to travel to Libya since the UN-backed Government of National Accord arrived in Tripoli five weeks ago. “We’ll probably become the first (EU) country to return,” Muscat said after meeting GNA chief Fayez al-Sarraj. But he stressed his country “requires guarantees” before it can press ahead with the plan to open a diplomatic mission. Many countries closed their Libyan embassies in 2014 when conflict broke out between two rival administrations in the North African nation. But several European states have announced they are considering reopening them following the arrival of the unity government on March 30. The island of Malta is the nearest European neighbour of Libya, located about only 300 kilometres (185 miles) from its shores.



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