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Turkey does not intend to halt actions of Libyan Embassy in Ankara

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News | 8/1/2011 12:00:00 AM | Sevil Küçükkoşum

Turkey does not yet plan to sever bilateral relations with the Libyan regime and will thus not work further to halt the actions of the current Libyan Embassy in Ankara, a Foreign Ministry official said Monday.

Turkey does not yet plan to sever bilateral relations with the Libyan regime and will thus not work further to halt the actions of the current Libyan Embassy in Ankara, a Foreign Ministry official said Monday.

“Since we have not broken off state-to-state relations with the Tripoli administration yet, the Libyan Embassy in Ankara remains functioning,” the official told the Hürriyet Daily News.

Though there are not “any issues to communicate through the Libyan Embassy right now,” the official said Turkey did not rule out making contact with the Tripoli administration to reach an agreement to solve the Libyan crisis.

Ankara is meanwhile open to the establishment of a representation office in Turkey for the Libyan opposition’s Benghazi-based administration. “They asked us to open a representation office in Ankara and we positively responded to that,” the official said. “We have been expecting the Benghazi administration to notify a name for their representation office.”

The mission of the Libyan opposition’s office would be coordinating humanitarian aid, but Ankara does not rule out diplomatic contacts through this office either, the official said. “We conduct communications with the opposition through our Turkish Consulate in Benghazi. We can carry it [out] through their representation office in Ankara,” he added.

Turkey temporarily closed its Tripoli embassy for security reasons in May, a move that seemed to indicate a change in Ankara’s approach to the Libyan crisis as it lost a key channel of communication with Tripoli and Benghazi. The closure came following attacks on British and Italian diplomatic missions in the Libyan capital.

Turkey has tried to mediate between the Libyan administration and opposition in order to declare a cease-fire and launch a transformation process for reforms. However, parties have not moved on Turkey’s road map to find a solution.

Britain expelled the remaining staff of the Libyan Embassy last week as it decided to deal with the Benghazi-based National Transitional Council as the sole governmental authority in Libya.

Germany’s foreign ministry said Sunday that it had ordered the expulsion of a senior Libyan diplomat because of his allegiance to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

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