By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli and Tunis, 14 April 2016:
The British, French and Spanish ambassadors to Libya today travelled from Tunis to . . .[restrict]Tripoli for talks with members of the Presidency Council.
Prime minister-designate Faiez Serraj was not at the meeting at the Bu Sitta naval base since he is in Istanbul for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit.
Unlike Spanish ambassador Jose Antonio, British envoy David Millett and his French counterpart Antoine Sivan were accompanied by their defence attachés.
After talks with PC members, the diplomats went on to meetings with the mayors of Tripoli’s six municipal councils.
At a joint press conference Millett said that the establishment of the Government of National Accord would help international efforts to combat IS in Libya. “We are working on enhancing the efforts to combat IS” he said according to AP. He added that he was delighted to be in Tripoli for the first time.
Sivan said that France was ready to deliver whatever support the GNA requested but emphasised that it would not interfere in the government’s internal work.
France and the UK are not yet ready to reopen their embassies in Tripoli. The French embassy was badly damaged in a car bomb attack in 2013 and diplomats relocated to the Mehari Radisson Blu hotel before joining the general evacuation in the summer of 2014. A new French embassy compound in Tripoli is not yet completed. British diplomats have said that a move back to the capital is under constant review but is not yet planned.
The Italians, whose embassy was the last European mission to close, have said that they are returning, as have the Turks. Both the embassies are close to the Bu Sitta naval base and within or close to the security cordon that has been thrown up around the current Presidency Council headquarters there.
The mayor of central Tripoli, Abdulrauf Beitelmal said today that the reopening of embassies was going to be a very positive sign, which would encourage the return of foreign companies and so boost the country’s struggling economy. [/restrict]