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Haftar opens Libya embassy in Syria’s Damascus

March 3, 2020 at 5:07 pm

Libya’s Khalifa Haftar in Athens, Greece on 17 January 2020 [ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images]

The Libyan embassy in Damascus resumed work today after eight years, SANA news agency reported.

The reopening ceremony was held by a delegation of the Tobruk-based government headed by Brigadier General Khalifa Haftar as well as a Syrian delegation.

On Sunday, the Syrian government and officials from Haftar’s government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to open diplomatic missions in each other’s countries and to coordinate stances in international forums, particularly against Turkish aggression.

As reported by Russia Today, the MoU was signed in a meeting between Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Maalem and a Libyan delegation chaired by Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Abdel Rahman Al-Ahiresh and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Abdul-Hadi Al-Hawaij.

READ: Foreign mercenaries are flocking to Libya

Diplomatic ties between Syria and Libya were cut in 2012 after NATO-backed forces ousted and killed Libya’s long-time autocrat Muammar Gaddafi.

Libya has had no stable central authority since Gaddafi was toppled and currently has two rival governments, the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Haftar.

Last year Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding with the GNA and sent troops to Libya to help fight the LNA. It is also currently involved in the war in Syria and hosts over 3.7 million Syrian refugees.