Turkey reopens its embassy in Libya after over 2 years

Libya flag with Turkey flag, 3D rendering

Turkey reopened its embassy in Libya on Monday, 2-1/2 years after closing it due to the security situation, the Turkish foreign ministry said, as diplomatic missions begin to reopen in the divided country.

The embassy has been closed since July 2014 but preparations to reopen the mission had been supervised in recent months by Turkey’s ambassador to Libya, Ahmet Aydın, who until now had been based in Tunis.

“As a result, activities of the Turkish embassy in Tripoli have resumed Monday with a reduced staff at the initial stage,” the ministry said in a statement and added: “Turkey will continue to support the territorial integrity and national unity of brotherly Libya”

While Turkey closed its embassy in Tripoli and consulate in Benghazi in 2014, its consulate in Misrata has remained open.

“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,” the ministry said

Turkey had high hopes for a strong alliance with Libya after the 2011 NATO-backed ouster of longtime strongman Moamer Kadhafi 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 since, with rival parliaments and armed groups vying for control of the country and its vital oil wealth.

Turkey strongly backed UN-brokered peace talks that led to an agreement in December 2015 to bring stability to the country.

Fayez al-Sarraj formed a UN-backed government of national accord in Tripoli last year but it has struggled to assert itself further east, where a rival parliament and Khalifa Haftar’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army hold sway.

Turkey has deep rooted relations with the Libyan people. Due to its historical and cultural bonds, Turkey attaches utmost importance to the security and welfare of the Libyan people.