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Archive for Libya

Newsline: Austria to reopen embassy in Libya

The Foreign Minister of the Libyan UN-proposed government, Moahmmed Sayala said that Austria is soon to reopen its embassy in Tripoli and resume flights to Libya. Sayala held Monday a joint presser with his Austrian counterpart, Sebastian Kurz, who described his meeting with Fayez Al-Sirraj – the Head of the Presidential Council – as fruitful and in line with establishing firm relations, speaking out his country’s support for stability in Libya on all levels. “We would also be glad to cooperate with Libya in fighting illegal immigration in coordination with the EU operations.” Kurz indicated. Sayala, on the other hand, said they discussed illegal immigration and monitoring of Libya’s southern borders as well as the efforts to persuade neighboring countries to secure their borders to disallow any more influxes of illegal migrants.


Newsline: Malta ‘continues to keep’ Tripoli embassy

The Maltese government reiterated its support to the Libyan people and pledged to continue to be engaged over the Libyan crisis. Malta has kept and continues to keep its embassy open in Tripoli demonstrating solidarity with all Libyans, said Foreign Affairs Minister George Vella. Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has also called for disarmament and, speaking in Arabic during the UN debate, he also said that the families and the children of Libya deserved a future. Malta, who is directly affected by the conflict in Libya, has appealed to the UN to help bring together the different factions round the table.


Newsline: Sudan not notified of the expulsion of its military attaché in Tripoli

Sudan’s foreign ministry on Sunday said it has not received a formal notification from the Libyan authorities or Libyan embassy in Khartoum demanding withdrawal of the military attaché at the Sudanese embassy in Tripoli. A statement by the Libyan government on Saturday night claimed that a Sudanese military transport plane bound for Tripoli airport that is currently under the control of an Islamist armed group entered its airspace. It noted that this action by Sudan violates Libya’s sovereignty and constitutes an interference in its affairs, adding that they formally informed the Sudanese military attaché that he is persona non grata. Sudan’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Youssef al-Kordofani, stressed in press statements that the plane mentioned in the media that landed at Kufra airport continued to conduct regular flights to provide the joint Sudanese-Libyan border control forces with supplies, food and ammunition. He added that Thursday flight was a regular one and has been carried out at the request of the joint forces in which the Libyan side is represented by Colonel Suleiman Hamid who gave landing permission in the presence of the national army commanders and tribal leaders in the area, pointing that the plane returned to Sudan after unloading its cargo. The spokesperson further said that Sudan maintained equal distance from Libyan rivals, recalling that Sudan expressed readiness to mediate among various Libyan factions and groups according to the decisions of the fourth ministerial meeting for the neighboring countries of Libya which was held in Cairo last month.


Newsline: Libya calls back ambassador from Turkey

Sources from the Turkish Foreign Ministry have confirmed the Libyan ambassador is on his way back to the North African country. However, it is not clear whether he was officially recalled.


Newsline: Libyan armed faction takes over US Embassy annex in Tripoli

Members of a Libyan militia have taken over an abandoned annex of the US Embassy in Tripoli but have not broken into the main compound where the United States evacuated all of its staff last month, US officials said. A YouTube video showed the breach of the diplomatic facility by what was believed to be a militia group mostly from the northwestern city of Misrata. Dozens of men, some armed, were seen gleefully crowded onto the patio of a swimming pool, with some diving in from the balcony of a nearby building. A takeover of the larger embassy compound could deliver another symbolic blow to Washington over its policy toward Libya, which Western governments fear is teetering toward becoming a failed state three years after a NATO-backed war ended Gaddafi’s rule. The United States withdrew all embassy personnel from Tripoli on July 26, driving diplomats across the border into Tunisia, amid escalating clashes between rival factions. The annex, apparently consisting of diplomatic residences and other facilities, lies about a mile (2 km) from the embassy compound. All sensitive materials were destroyed or removed from US diplomatic sites in the capital before the evacuation. US Ambassador to Libya Deborah Jones, in a message on Twitter, said the YouTube recording, posted by an amateur videographer, appeared to show “a residential annex of the US mission but cannot say definitively.” Jones, now based in Malta, said, however, that the embassy compound “is now being safeguarded and has not been ransacked.” The US government believes that while the annex has been seized, the main compound has not suffered a similar fate, a US government source in Washington told Reuters.


Newsline: Was U.S. ambassador in Benghazi actually kidnapped?

The official government narrative regarding the fate of murdered Ambassador Chris Stevens has some serious unreported discrepancies and leaves out key elements of the chronology of events, a forthcoming book on the Benghazi attacks demonstrates. The book presents strong evidence to support the case that Stevens or his body was held hostage for a period of time by rebels linked to the Ansar Al Sharia terrorist organization, which has since been implicated in the Benghazi attacks. These and other revelations are contained in “The REAL Benghazi Story: What the White House and Hillary Don’t Want You to Know,” by New York Times bestselling author Aaron Klein. The book is slated for release Sept. 9, two days before the second anniversary of the Benghazi attack. Thomas Pickering, the State Department’s lead Benghazi investigator and author of the State-sponsored Accountability Review Board report, or ARB, refused to deny there was a plan to kidnap Stevens. The kidnapping questions were further fueled by an al-Qaida member’s claim last year that Stevens was killed in a botched capture attempt.


Newsline: Sudanese in Libya demand embassy to evacuate them to Sudan

About 150 Sudanese gathered at the premises of their country’s embassy in Tripoli, demanding it to evacuate them to Sudan, regarding the renewed clashes between Libya’s warring parties and the deteriorated security situation. The reduced staff at the embassy, “without a high-level ambassador”, told the Sudanese people they were not able to evacuate them. “They told us they would contact the Libyan Red Crescent Society,” the spokesman said. Ten Sudanese were killed when a stray missile hit a house in Karimiya district in Tripoli, Libya, on Wednesday. It is the second incident in Tripoli with a stray missile causing Sudanese casualties in four days. 15,000 Sudanese people live in Karimiya and in the Sunday market area, considering these the two biggest areas with Sudanese inhabitants in Tripoli. The siege on their districts makes it very difficult to survive. The Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Karti, stated earlier this month that the situation in Libya has reached the stage that Sudanese nationals must be evacuated.