Spain reopens its embassy in Libya after 7 years of closure


CAIRO (AP) — Spain’s prime minister was within the Libyan capital of Tripoli on Thursday to reopen his nation’s embassy and present assist for Libya’s new interim authorities entrusted with main the nation out of years of civil struggle.

Premier Pedro Sánchez held talks together with his Libyan counterpart, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, who was elected in February together with a four-member presidential council. That election was a part of a U.N.-sanctioned roadmap to take Libya into common elections in December.

Sanchez mentioned was happy to reopen the embassy after Spain “had spent seven years with out illustration in a Mediterranean nation of such significance.” He added that not like different European consulates, the Spanish consular workforce shall be approved to expedite visas on behalf of Libyans to enhance mobility between the 2 Mediterranean nations.

“I hope at present’s go to marks a constructive turning level and paves the way in which for extra cooperation on this historic juncture that Libya stands at,” Sanchez instructed reporters at a joint information convention earlier than presiding over the ceremony of the reopening of the Spanish Embassy .

Spain and different Western nations pulled out their diplomatic workers and closed their missions in Libya in 2014, following the escalation of violence between Islamic militias and authorities forces in Tripoli. Since then, the Spanish diplomatic workers in Libya was working out of neighboring Tunisia.

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Dbeibah welcomed the reopening, saying it exhibits “how severe Spain is about enhancing bilateral relations and strengthening its diplomatic presence in Libya.”

“We’re trying ahead to extra constructive steps and the lifting of the embargo imposed on Libyan airways and the easing of issuing (journey) visas for Libyans,” Dbeibah added.

Libya has skilled years of battle and chaos since a NATO-backed rebellion toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. In recent times, oil-rich Libya has been break up between a U.N.-supported authorities in Tripoli and rival authorities primarily based within the nation’s east, every backed by armed teams and overseas governments.

However an October cease-fire has stopped a lot of the violence and stipulated that every one overseas mercenaries ought to go away.

For the reason that election of Libya’s new interim authorities in February, a sequence of senior European and American diplomats have visited the North African nation, to specific assist for the brand new Libyan adm inistration. France and Greece preceded Spain in reopening their embassies.

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“It’s time for peace, it’s time for the Libyan individuals to have what they’ve deservedly been wanting throughout these latest years: safety, wellbeing and prosperity,” mentioned Sanchez.

Each Spanish and Libyan premiers mentioned that they had signed a number of memorandums of understanding to spice up financial cooperation in numerous sectors similar to well being, infrastructure, agriculture, schooling, livestock and renewable vitality.

“We additionally need to have interaction on this part of financial transformation in Libya,” mentioned Sanchez, who was accompanied by a gaggle of Spanish businessmen eager on exploring enterprise alternatives in Libya.

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Related Press author Joseph Wilson in Madrid contributed to this report

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