Libyan National Unity Government Prime Minister Abdul Hamid al-Dbeibeh announced the suspension of Foreign Minister Najla al-Mengoush, who met with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen in Italy, according to local sources.
In decree No. 368 announced by the Government of National Unity after the meeting that caused protests in Libya, it was decided to suspend Libyan Foreign Minister Najla al-Mengush and to open an investigation against her.
In addition to this, it was noted that the investigation into Mengush will be carried out by a commission to be chaired by the Libyan Minister of Justice.
In a written statement made by the Israeli Foreign Ministry yesterday, it was stated that "a historic meeting between the foreign ministers of Israel and Libya" was held.
The statement noted that Foreign Minister Cohen met with his Libyan counterpart Mengoush in the Italian capital Rome last week and that the meeting aimed "to examine the possibilities of cooperation and relations between the two countries".
Noting that the meeting was the "first meeting" between the foreign ministers of the two countries, the statement said: "During the meeting, the ministers discussed the historical ties between the two nations, the heritage of Libyan Jews, the possibility of cooperation between the countries, the assistance that Israel can provide in humanitarian issues, agriculture, water management, and many other issues."
In the Libyan capital Tripoli, a group of activists gathered in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to protest the meeting of Libyan Foreign Minister Najla al-Mengoush with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen in Italy.
Chanting slogans against the Libyan National Unity Government, the protesters demanded that Libyan Foreign Minister Najla al-Mengoush be held accountable for her meeting with Cohen.
Local media, citing eyewitnesses, reported that gunshots were heard in front of the Foreign Ministry.
The North African country Libya does not recognise Israel and has no diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv. Libya's passport states that it "may travel to all countries except the occupied Palestinian territories (Israel)". Furthermore, contact with Israel is prohibited by law and subject to criminal penalties.
The first article of Libya's 1957 Law No. 62, known as the "Boycott of Israel Law", states that "It is forbidden for natural or legal persons to enter into any agreement with persons or organizations in Israel or their employees".
Following the announcement of Mengush's meeting with the Israeli Foreign Minister, protests were organized in the Tajura region east of the capital Tripoli, Zawiya, and Beni Walid cities, and an Israeli flag was burnt in Beni Walid.
Source: Anadolu Agency