UK re-opens its embassy in Tripoli

UK officially re-opened its embassy in Tripoli and appointed a new Ambassador to Libya, once ruled by Muammar Gaddafi.

Last Updated: Oct 17, 2011, 22:22 PM IST

London: UK on Sunday officially re-opened its
embassy in Tripoli and appointed a new Ambassador to Libya,
once ruled by strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

The Foreign Office here said its Secretary William Hague,
who re-opened the embassy and appointed John Jenkins as the
new ambassador, also held talks with National Transitional
Council head Mustafa Abdel Jalil, offering a package of
support and raising claims of prisoner abuse.

Britain closed its embassy in February, as rebels fought
pro-Gaddafi forces. The embassy`s building was set on fire
during the fighting.

The Libyan ambassador in London was ordered to leave the
UK on May 1.

Speaking after meeting Jalil, Hague said the re-opening of
the embassy marked "a watershed" in Britain`s relations with
Libya.

He said: "This is further recognition of the great
progress the National Transitional Council has made in
stabilising Libya and re-establishing the country`s role as a
full member of the international community".

Hague added: "The Libyan people`s decisive break with the
past means we are now able to open a new era in UK-Libya
relations, building on our military, political, diplomatic and
humanitarian support to the Libyan people during their
revolution."
Announcing the support package, Hague said the UK will
make available places - for Libyans injured in the conflict to
receive treatment in the UK.

Secondly, he said the UK was also increasing our
contribution to security and stability in Libya.

At the NTC`s request, UK experts on policing civil
society and public financial management are now working in
Libya.

The final requested shipment of Libyan banknotes frozen
in the UK will also be delivered to Libya, helping the economy
to get back on track and provide for the Libyan people, he
said.

So far the UK has allocated 20.6 million pounds to support
Libya`s stabilisation and up to a further 20 million pounds to
support political and economic reform.

Hague said: "Our Embassy will have an important role to
play as we build our relations with the new Libya, as will the
diplomatic office we are maintaining in Benghazi, and I have
every confidence that our diplomats here will do so with
distinction".

PTI