By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 21 July 2013:
The final preparations for the release of the new biometric Libyan passports are being completed these days, according to the Libyan government’s official Fecebook page.
Berlin-based German company, Bundesdruckerei GmbH (the Federal Printers) who are printing the new Libyan biometric passports, said that the first biometric passport should be issued in the last week of July if all sides keep to the agreed timelines.
The statement also revealed that all the steps have been taken to transfer the equipment and machinery necessary for the project from Germany to the Libyan Passports authority’s headquarters in the Salah Al-Deen district of Tripoli.
It will be recalled that Libya’s new biometric passport was first officially revealed by the Libyan government at a press conference back in February by Deputy Prime Minister Abdulsalam Al-Gadi.
At that press conference, Al-Gadi had revealed the new blue coloured passport, saying that since the new National Identity Number system had been completed and that Libya’s border points had been linked by computer, the new biometric passport, based on the new National Identity Number, could be issued.
Nasseredine Ghulab, Head of the Technical and Cooperation Department at the Passports Department added that with computerisation and e-government, “the system will now be able to monitor all Libya’s border points, including taking a photograph of all foreigners arriving in Libya. The system will also be linked to all our overseas embassies”, he added.
It was also revealed that all current old-type passports will remain valid and that the new passports would be phased in gradually.
Equally, since Libya has yet to draft its new post-Qaddafi constitution and decide on the state’s official name, the passport sample shown at the press conference (see photo), simply says “Libya”. Presumeably if the new constitution changes Libya’s official name to the Republic, Kingdon or State of Libya, the passports will have to be changed at some future date. [/restrict]