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BP withdrawing some Tripoli staff

Oil company BP has withdrawn some staff from its office in Libya's capital as a "temporary precautionary measure" following a similar move by the British Embassy in Tripoli.

The staff withdrawn are non-essential and non-Libyan, and were removed after guidance issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), a BP spokesman said. BP said "fewer than a dozen" people were affected and that the office will remain open.

The spokesman added: "In line with advice from the British Embassy in Tripoli, we have brought some of our non-Libyan staff - non-essential personnel - out of Tripoli as a temporary precautionary measure.

‬"This is a phased reduction of non-essential staff, but the office continues to operate normally with Libyan staff and some of our non-Libyan staff.‬ ‪ We will continue to monitor the security situation and move the people back into Libya when we feel appropriate.‬"

The decision to withdraw staff for security reasons follows armed groups disrupting access to a number of government ministries in Tripoli.

On Friday, a Foreign Office spokesman said the British Embassy in Tripoli was temporarily withdrawing some staff due to "ongoing political uncertainty".

He said: "Given the security implications of the ongoing political uncertainty, the British Embassy is temporarily withdrawing a small number of staff, mainly those who work in support of government ministries which have been affected by recent developments."

BP has long-term exploration contracts in Libya but currently has no operations in the country.

The FCO advised against all but essential travel to Tripoli, Zuwara, Az Zawiya, Al Khums, Zlitan and Misrata, and to the coastal towns from Ras Lanuf to the Egyptian border. The FCO also advised against all travel to Benghazi and the rest of Libya.

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