By Hadi Fornaji.
Tunis, 3 August 2017:
A new chargé d’affaires, appointed by the foreign ministry in Tripoli, has arrived in Moscow to head the Libyan embassy. Mustafa Abu Said and four colleagues were accredited by the Russians and arrived last week.
The media office of the Presidency Council’s government of national accord is presenting it as a successful takeover of embassy from diplomats supporting the Thinni administration in Beida. It reported that PC deputy head Ahmed Maetig had thanked deputy Russian foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov for enabling the embassy to be handed over.
In fact, there has been no head of mission at the embassy for several months and several diplomats said to support the Beida administration, Khalifa Hafter and the House of Representatives (HoR) are still at the embassy.
“It’s a mixed embassy,” an official explained.
Moscow, which recognises the Presidency Council but not the government of national accord on the basis that it has not yet been approved by the HoR, maintains contacts with both sides although it has been seen as being closer to Hafter. It, however, insists it is completely impartial.
In their conversation yesterday Bogdanov and Maetig also reviewed the situation in Libya and the efforts of international mediators to help resolve the crisis, in particular the meeting last week in Paris between PC head Faiez Serraj and Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar.