By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 19 May 2014:
Saudi Arabia has become . . .[restrict]the latest Arab state to pull its diplomats out of Tripoli because of fears for their safety.
In a statement published on the Saudi News Agency, the Saudi Ambassador to Libya, Mohamed Al-Ali, said that the embassy was closed as of today “because of the current security situation.” The decision had been taken in conjunction with the Libyan authorities, he said. Diplomats would return and the the embassy reopen “when the situation stabilises in the Libyan capital”.
Yesterday’s events in the capital appear to have been the last straw for the Saudis. Earlier in the day, when asked whether on not the embassy was pulling out, a Saudi embassy official told the Libya Herald that it was “working as normal”.
The Embassy of the UAE likewise closed today. UAE diplomats reportedly left the country by car to Tunisia.
There are now few Arab diplomats left in Tripoli.
On Thursday, the Algerians became pulled out their ambassador and 50 diplomats after an attempted raid on the ambassador’s residence.
Egypt called its diplomats home in January after five of them were kidnapped following the arrest in Alexandria of a prominent Libyan revolutionary leader. Its embassy is working with a skeleton staff of non-diplomatic employees, as is the Moroccan embassy.
The Jordanian embassy said yesterday it was committed to remaining open, despite the recent kidnapping of its ambassador Fawwaz Al-Eitan. He was finally released last Tuesday and flown to Amman after being held for four weeks by Libyan militants who had demanded the release of a Libyan jailed for terrorist offences in Jordan.
Lebanese diplomats are said to have left. Attempts to contact the Lebanese embassy were unsuccessful yesterday.
As for the Kuwaiti Embassy, an official told this newspaper yesterday that employees are working “as normal” but he would not “deny or confirm” news that diplomats had left. Qatari and Emirati diplomats are also reported outside the country for the moment.
Almost alone, the Tunisian embassy is working as usual despite the abduction of two of its employees almost two months ago.