By Hadi Fornji.
Tripoli, 27 July 2014:
The governments of France, Germany, The Netherlands, the UK and the USA have told their citizens . . .[restrict]to leave Libya saying that it is too dangerous for them to stay.
“The situation is extremely unpredictable and uncertain,” the German foreign ministry has said. “German nationals are at increased risk of kidnapping and attacks.”
“Given the deteriorating security situation, France requests its nationals to leave Libya” a similar statement today from the French Foreign Ministry said. It called on French citizens in the country, estimated at around 100, to contact the French embassy for help leaving.
The Dutch authorities likewise issued an “urgent” appeal to its remaining citizens in the country to depart. The Dutch Foreign Ministry said SMS messages and emails had been sent to those registered with the Dutch embassy.
For their part, the German, Dutch and Austrian embassies are to temporarily close and relocate elsewhere once their citizens have gone.
Yesterday, the US pulled out its staff, largely for practical reasons: the embassy is near the capital’s Airport Road, scene of continuing missile attacks.
Turkey pulled out its staff by road to Tunisia the day before.
Reports that the Italian embassy is also quitting are not true, diplomats have told the Libya Herald. They, as well as the British and French, are staying put for the time being, he said.
European diplomats met today in Tripoli in a regular meeting at which their presence in Tripoli was discussed. Other smaller European embassies may also temporarily close, the diplomat said.
The main reason for the embassies departing, the diplomat said, was again largely because of practical issues – he cited the power and water cuts and the disruption to internet and telephone services.
However, the dangers of attacks and kidnapping warned by the Germans were fully evident this morning when a British embassy convoy of four vehicles carrying eight people to the Tunisian border was attacked on the road to Zawia. Three vehicles were hit but no one was injured and the passengers continued on their way. [/restrict]