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Libya ready for return of Russian embassy

December 02, 2013, 13:44 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“The situation calmed down long ago,” the Libyan foreign minister said, adding the Russian diplomats would return not to the former building of the embassy
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MOSCOW, December 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Libya is ready fully for return of the Russian embassy, Libya’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdelaziz said in an interview with the Voice of Russia radio station.

“We have continued intensive consultations with the Russian government, and first of all with the Russian Foreign Ministry, about the return of the embassy to Libya. We have been informed about a decision to return,” Abdelaziz said. Tripoli hopes “the team of Russian diplomats will return to Libya without delay in order to restore and improve our relations.”

“The situation calmed down long ago,” the Libyan foreign minister said, adding the Russian diplomats would return not to the former building of the embassy, but will be accommodated at a hotel and would have reinforced security. “That was a decision of the Russian foreign ministry to pick another location. This is not our decision,” he added.

The attack on the Russian embassy is not typical for the relations between the two countries, he continued. “We value the relations with Russia. The incident should not affect them, and development of relations between Libya and Russia is something to be done,” he said adding the options of expanding cooperation between Moscow and Tripoli, including that in the military-technical sphere, had been on the agenda of his recent visit to Moscow in September.

On October 2, 2013, an armed assault was launched against the Russian embassy in Tripoli, Libya. The embassy’s own security guards and a pro-government paramilitary group forced the assaulters out of the embassy’s territory. None of the diplomats or local guards was injured; the building was damaged, the Russian flag was torn down. The attack had been provoked by a Russian woman, who had killed a Libyan officer. The Libyan side said it was unable to provide security and safety of the Russian embassy then. On October 3, all fifty-two employees were evacuated to neighboring Tunisia, and then to Moscow. Some diplomats remained in Tunisia to support working tenses with Libya.

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