Algeria to reopen Libya embassy ‘soon’

 

Algeria has announced plans to reopen its embassy in Tripoli, foreign minister Abdelkader Messahel told Algerian parliamentarians this week.

 

“Algeria will be in Tripoli soon,” he responded when asked in parliament on the embassy’s position in Libya.

Algeria withdrew its envoys from Tripoli in 2014 along with other diplomatic missions but has since kept a close eye on the situation in neighbouring Libya. It has played an active mediating role in promoting agreement among Libyan players on the basis of the UN-backed Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) that was signed in Morocco in 2015 but has yet to be implemented.

Messahel did not reveal a date as security clearance will be necessary before the capital is deemed safe.

In January 2015, after the mission had been withdrawn, the embassy building was bombed allegedly by Islamists in which two diplomatic guards and a passer-by were injured.

Messahel last visited the country in April earlier this year when he travelled through the country to better see where the amendments to the LPA would be mutually acceptable to all. However, his visit angered some of Libya’s political players due to Algeria’s support for the Presidential Council (PC) lead by Fayez Al-Sarraj; he received accusations the visit was an “infringement of Libya’s sovereignty”.

Speaking in Algiers yesterday, the foreign minister spoke of his visit with new UNSMIL chief Ghassan Salamé where he stressed Algeria’s desire to see Libya’s rival parties around a negotiating table to find a consensus that would end the political and military crisis.

Last month, Kuwait’s deputy Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Jarallah refuted reports from the PC that Kuwait was planning to reopen its embassy in Tripoli.

The PC posted comments on its social media page that the Kuwaiti ambassador Mubarak Al-Adwani had “praised” the security situation in the capital and said that the embassy would be reopening following a visit.

However Al-Jarallah later refuted the claims to local Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida that no date had been set to reopen the embassy and that the reason Adwani had gone to Tripoli was to inspect the embassy buildings and the security situation in the country.

Libya has been enthralled in a civil war since the country overthrew long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The country’s security situation has since plummeted amidst in-fighting between rival political and militia groups hungry to fill the current power vacuum.

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