Libya’s Haftar gov’t reopens embassy in Damascus

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CCTV+BATIE GHAR (巴铁之家)Libya’s eastern government of Khalifa Haftar, which is opposed to the UN-backed government in Tripoli, reopened an embassy in the Syrian capital Damascus on Tuesday.

It was also the first diplomatic representation of Libya in Damascus since 2012.

The reopening ceremony was attended by a visiting Libyan delegation representing Haftar’s government and Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad.

The opening of the embassy came two days after the meeting between Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and Haftar’s delegation in Damascus. A memorandum of understanding was signed on Sunday by the two sides for the reopening of diplomatic and consular missions.

“The reopening of the Libyan embassy in Syria shows that we are now facing the same battle in both Syria and Libya, which is against terrorism and those who support it,” said Mekdad.

The Libyan conflict escalated in 2014, splitting power between two rival parties: the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in the capital Tripoli and a government in the northeastern city of Tobruk allied with self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar.

After the Syrian war broke out in 2011, most Arab states closed their embassies in Damascus, or reduced diplomatic representation with Syria.

But as the Syrian government has expanded its control and embarked on post-war reconstruction over the years, some Arab countries have sought to mend relations with Syria. In December 2018, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reopened its embassy in Damascus.

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