BEIRUT

Middle East

Riyadh closes embassy in Libya, evacuates diplomats

In this image made from video provided by the Libyan national army via AP Television, vehicles with heavy artillery of the Tripoli joint security forces move closer to the parliament building after troops of Gen. Khalifa Hifter targeted Islamist lawmakers and officials at the parliament in Tripoli, Libya, Sunday, May 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Libyan national army)

BEIRUT: Saudi Ambassador to Libya Mohammad Mahmoud Al-Ali said that both his country’s embassy and consulate had “completely suspended their work [in Libya] Monday,” the Saudi News Agency reported.

Al-Ali said that the entire diplomatic mission left the Libyan capital of Tripoli for Riyadh in light of unstable security events taking place in Libya.

“We are in contact with the Libyan side regarding all the updates,” the envoy said, adding that the mission will come back once the situation in Tripoli is stabilized.

The Saudi Embassy isn’t the first to be shuttered in the face of renewed fighting in the Libyan capital. On Saturday, Algeria also suspended its functions in the crisis-hit country, saying that the ongoing turmoil in Libya posed threats to its diplomats in the country.

However, Tripoli officials are attempting to downplay any disruption to daily life in the capital, with the Education Ministry insisting Monday that classes would continue to be held despite the recent uptick in fighting.

 

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