Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Staff pulled from UK Libya embassy

The Foreign Office has withdrawn staff from the British Embassy in Libya
The Foreign Office has withdrawn staff from the British Embassy in Libya

The Foreign Office has temporarily withdrawn some staff from the British Embassy in Libya in response to the "ongoing political uncertainty" in the country.

But the mission in Tripoli remains "open as usual", including for consular and visa services, a Foreign Office spokesman said.

The decision to withdraw some staff on security grounds follows armed groups disrupting access to a number of government ministries in Tripoli.

A Foreign Office spokesman 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."

The official Foreign Office (FCO) travel advice warned of the potential for violent clashes in the capital.

It stated: "Armed groups are disrupting access to a number of government ministries in Tripoli.

"Demonstrations against these armed groups are planned for Friday, May 10.

"In light of this political volatility, there is a potential for violence and clashes between rival armed groups. Avoid any demonstrations or large gatherings of people. If you become aware of any nearby violence you should leave the area immediately."

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, with the exception of Benghazi.

The FCO advised against all travel to Benghazi and the rest of Libya.

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