By Tom Westcott.
London, 12 December:
Mahmud Nacua, the new Libyan Ambassador to the United Kingdom, today presented his credentials to Queen Elizabeth . . .[restrict]II, and paid tribute to the UK’s support of Libya.
Speaking at the reception after the presentation, held at five-star London hotel the Lanesborough, Nacua said: “It is a great honour for me to be the first Ambassador of Libya to the UK after the fall of the old regime. It was also a great honour for me and my wife and colleagues to have met the Queen at the presentation of credentials.
“She was very warm and open and asked me a lot of questions about Libya and how the situation was in the past and how it is now.”
Nacua told Libya Herald that the Queen made a point of speaking to each of his colleagues. He also said she recalled how, on a royal visit to Libya made in 1954, she visited the school he had attended.
Nacua paid tribute to those who had participated in the revolution and said: “I take this opportunity to appreciate the huge support offered to Libya by the British Government.”
“Libya has a unique location with a small population but with areas that are very rich with resources,” Nacua said, “therefore, it needs strong and fair friends.” Based on this vision, he said he would be investing his skills and time in strengthening the relations between Tripoli and London. “I can see a promising future between our countries,” he said.
Nacua told Libya Herald that for fifteen months he had been rebuilding the embassy to be the new face of Libya and said: “We will do what we can to change the image of Libya to the world.”
Zintan-born Nacua spent many years exiled from the country after a two-year imprisonment for opposition to the Qaddafi regime. He has been living in the UK since 1988. Nacua helped found the National Front for the Salvation of Libya in 1980 and was politically active against the old regime until it fell in October last year.
In July 2011 he was appointed as the First Representative of the National Transitional Council to the UK and, a year later, became the Libyan Ambassador to the UK.
Since the fall of the old regime Nacua has been able to return to his home country three times. Laughing, he said that he noticed both an increase in the traffic as well as the population. On a sombre note he said he regretted that there had been such little improvement to the country’s infrastructure.
He said the best thing was how happy Libyans were now. “There is no fear like in the past under the rule of Qaddafi,” Nacua said, “people have tasted freedom and, despite the problems there are, they feel glad.” [/restrict]