By Libya Herald staff
Tripoli, 19 April 2014:
The Italian Ambassador returned to Tripoli today, said the embassy this evening in terse statement . . .[restrict]scotching rumours that Rome’s top diplomat in Tripoli had quit Libya over security fears.
The embassy said: “Following rumours circulated in recent days, the Embassy of Italy wishes it to be known that the Italian ambassador has returned to Tripoli today after spending 36 hours in Rome with his family on the occasion of the Easter holiday”.
Perhaps more crushingly, a Libya Herald journalist went to the embassy this afternoon and spent some time talking in person to Ambassador Giuseppe Buccino Grimaldi.
Despite the denials, reported yesterday in the Libya Herald, social media users appeared today to have picked up on a Sky TV Arabian Service Tweet quoting sources to the effect that the ambassador was not returning to Tripoli at the end of his Easter home leave. There were also claims that Grimaldi had confirmed this in an interview given to the TV news station.
Italian officials yesterday told this newspaper that the speculation about the ambassador’s departure was both “ridiculous” and “a fantasy”. [/restrict]