By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 5 June 2017:
An announcement published by the official Libyan news agency LANA that the Tripoli-based foreign ministry has appointed Mohamed Al-Dadi to head the Libyan embassy to the Vatican, has been challenged by the outgoing ambassador, Mustafa Al-Rujbani.
He says that there has been no statement from the foreign ministry and that he has not been informed of the appointment. Contrary to what was reported by LANA he says that there was no handover ceremony today. He says that Dadi came to see him about the embassy’s financial situation and simply asked that they be photographed together.
“Mr Mohamed Al-Dadi, from the finance department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs visited the embassy today to discuss the finance situation. There was no talk of handing over or any information to do with this matter whatsoever,” Rujbani said.
“We spoke only about the finance situation in the embassy and the foreign ministry allocating funds for the embassy.
“He had also asked a picture with me. There was no mention from the foreign ministry prior my meeting with Al-Dadi about any handover, either from the foreign minister himself or in an official statement from Siala”, he added.
“There will be no handover of the embassy until there is an official settlement between the two parties in Libya,” Rujbani stressed.
The foreign ministry announced last month that it had removed or retired 13 ambassadors plus four consuls-general. Abdulbasit Elbadri, the ambassador in Riyadh, was sacked because of his support for Khalifa Hafter, but most were removed because they had reached the statutory retirement age.
The move was also seen as a cost cutting exercise, although in reality, many embassies and ambassadors, including some of those now being retired, have not been paid for months.
According to LANA, Dadi has said that he wants to develop cooperation with the Vatican.
Rujbani previously served as labour minister in the Kib government.