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Libya suspends foreign minister after meeting with Israeli foreign minister

JERUSALEM/TRIPOLI, Aug 27 (Reuters) – Libya’s prime minister suspended Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush on Sunday and referred her for investigation after Israel mentioned its Foreign Minister Eli Cohen had met her final week regardless of the nations not having formal relations.

Israel’s assertion on the meeting, wherein it mentioned the ministers had mentioned doable cooperation, prompted small protests in Libya, which doesn’t recognise Israel.

Libya’s Foreign Ministry mentioned Mangoush had rejected a meeting with representatives of Israel and that what had occurred was “an unprepared, casual encounter during a meeting at Italy’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.”

The Libyan ministry’s assertion mentioned the interplay didn’t embrace “any discussions, agreements or consultations” and added the ministry “renews its complete and absolute rejection of normalisation” with Israel.

Since 2020 Israel has moved to normalise ties with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan by way of the so-called “Abraham accords” brokered by the United States.

“I spoke with the foreign minister about the great potential for the two countries from their relations,” Israel’s Cohen mentioned in a press release.

The meeting was facilitated by Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, Israel’s foreign ministry mentioned, including they’d mentioned doable cooperation and Israeli support in humanitarian points, agriculture and water administration.

Cohen mentioned he had spoken to Mangoush concerning the significance of preserving Jewish heritage in Libya.

Libyan foreign coverage is difficult by its years of battle and its bitter inside divisions over management of presidency and the legitimacy of any strikes made by the Tripoli administration.

The Government of National Unity was put in in early 2021 by way of a U.N.-backed peace course of however its legitimacy has been challenged since early 2022 by the eastern-based parliament after a failed try to carry an election.

Previous foreign coverage strikes by the GNU, together with agreements it has reached with Turkey, have been rejected by the parliament and subjected to authorized challenges.

The Presidency Council, which capabilities as head of state, issued a press release on Sunday asking GNU Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah for clarification on what had taken place.

The High State Council, which holds an advisory position in Libyan politics, voiced its “surprise” on the reviews of the meeting and mentioned these accountable “should be held accountable.”

Reporting by Emily Rose and Reuters Libya newsroom; Writing by Angus McDowall; Editing by Sharon Singleton, Giles Elgood and Chris Reese

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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