Turkey reopens embassy in Libyan capital

Turkey reopens embassy in Libyan capital

Turkey reopens embassy in Libyan capital

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Turkey has reopened its embassy in the Libyan capital after having closed the facility in 2014 due to the deterioration in security in the country. 

“Preparations supervised by our Ambassador to Libya, Ahmet Aydın Doğan (seated in Tunis until today) are now complete. As a result, activities of the Turkish Embassy in Tripoli have resumed today [Jan. 30] with a reduced staff at the initial stage,” read a Turkish Foreign Ministry statement issued on Jan. 30. 

Turkey had high hopes for a strong alliance with Libya after the 2011 NATO-backed ouster of longtime strongman Muammar Gadhafi and was the first country to appoint an ambassador to the new authorities in Tripoli in September 2011.

But Libya has been riven by lawlessness and violence ever since, with rival parliaments and armed groups vying for control of the country and its vital oil wealth.

In 2014, fighting between armed alliances backing opposing political factions resulted in rival governments being set up in the capital and the east. Since March last year a third, U.N.-backed government has been trying to establish itself in Tripoli, but it has been unable to win support from all groups. 

“Turkey will continue to support the territorial integrity and national unity of brotherly Libya,” the statement said.

“While enjoying close historical bonds of brotherhood and friendship with Libya, Turkey embraces all segments of the Libyan people. The reopening of the embassy will allow Turkey to make stronger contributions to efforts to build peace and stability, as well as reconstruction in Libya,” it added.

Italy also reopened its embassy earlier this month.

The reopening of the Turkish embassy in Tripoli comes months after Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu visited Libya on May 30, 2016 to issue an endorsement for a recently founded national government and start a process to reopen the embassy in Tripoli.

“The Turkish Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey in Misurata has remained open without interruption until today and with the reopening of the Embassy in Tripoli, Turkey thus reinforces its presence in Libya,” the statement said on Jan. 30.

"Turkish Embassy in #Tripoli reopened today. Our contributions to peace, stability&reconstruction in #Libya will continue even stronger," Çavuşoğlu also tweeted on Jan. 30.