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Russia evacuates embassy staff from Libya

October 03, 2013, 18:03 UTC+3

Libyan side unable to ensure the necessary protection of the embassy

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MOSCOW, September 3 (Itar-Tass) - Russia has evacuated its diplomats and members of their families from Libya, Alexander Lukashevich, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

“Libya’s Foreign Minister Abdel Aziz, who visited the embassy, told the Russian ambassador the Libyan side was unable to ensure the necessary protection of the embassy and the security of Russian diplomats, and that is why he made a recommendation that the diplomats and families should rather leave the compound of the diplomatic mission,” Lukashevich said.

“Considering the circumstances, a decision was taken to evacuate the staff-members of all the Russian overseas organizations from Libya via Tunisia,” he added.

A specially chartered jet will take the evacuees from Tunis to Moscow Friday.

Lukashevich also said that the Foreign Ministry had issued warning to Russian citizens it was highly desirable to stay away from trips to Libya in the wake of Wednesday’s armed attack by unknown gunmen on the compound of the embassy in Tripoli.

“Until all the issues pertaining to the secure operations of out legation in Tripoli are settled, a group of Russian diplomats from among the senior workers of the embassy in Libya will stay in Tunis so as to maintain contracts with the Libyan officials in Tripoli,” Lukashevich said.

Earlier, Russian State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Alexei Pushkov linked the attack on the Russian Embassy in Libya with the consequences of the Arab Spring.

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