By Libya Herald reporter.
Benghazi, 20 September 2017:
Mohamed Dayri, the Beida-based interim government’s foreign minister, is looking into the possibility of reopening foreign consulates in Benghazi. The issue was the main subject in talks he had yesterday with the city’s acting mayor, Abdulrahman Elabber.
Prior to the rise in assassinations and attacks in Benghazi in 2012, there were a number of foreign consulates in Benghazi. They were mainly from Arab states, such as Egypt, Tunisia and Sudan, but there were other countries present as well, notably Italy and Turkey. Almost all had left even before the collapse of law and order in the city during 2013.
So far, no foreign governments have indicated any plans to reopen their consulates; most are still mulling over when they should reopen their embassies in Tripoli, with security their top consideration.
Elabbar, however, has said that the municipality is ready to work with the various security services to ensure that consulates would be fully protected when they reopen.
It is expected that the first consulate to return will be that of Egypt.
Other countries which in normal conditions might be expected to go back are Sudan and Turkey, but they have strained relations with the authorities in Benghazi and the east.
Meanwhile, if foreign governments are still undecided about heading to Benghazi, it appears that the Thinni government is already planning to do precisely that.
It is reported that it recently rented premises on the city’s Venezia Street. This is being seen as a first step to it moving from Beida to Benghazi.