By Libya Herald reporter.
Tobruk, 21 September 2014:
A year and a half after Egypt and Libya agreed to open consulates in . . .[restrict]Tobruk and Mersa Matruh, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry has finally sent officials to the Libyan border town to open their diplomatic mission.
The Egyptians arrived yesterday, according to House of Representatives spokesman Faraj Hashim who said that the Egyptian consulate would issue visas, deal with travel procedures between the two countries and provide services to the Egyptian community in the country.
However, the establishment of the consulate is seen not as a belated recognition by the Egyptians of the need for consular facilities for Egyptians living and working on the Libyan side of the border and for local Libyans wanting visa – rather that Tobruk is now the seat of the House of Representatives and the government.
The original decision to set up Egyptian and Libyan consulates in Tobruk and Mersah Matruh stemmed from the fact that the Awlad Ali tribe, which straddles the frontier zone had blockade the border after both governments decided that they needed visas to cross. Previously they had had special exemption.
Libya has not so far reciprocated to the latest Egyptian move and opened a consulate in Mersa Matruh.
Other foreign governments are said to be mulling over the idea of also opening temporary diplomatic missions in Tobruk. [/restrict]