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Israel’s Netanyahu says publication of Libya meeting ‘not helpful’

September 3, 2023 at 3:43 pm

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [ABIR SULTAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday criticized the publication of a secret meeting between the foreign ministers of Israel and Libya, Anadolu reports.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen secretly met with his Libyan counterpart Najla Al-Mangoush in Rome last month, the first such meeting between the two countries.

The meeting has triggered a storm of outrage and protests in Libya, with Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh sacking his foreign minister.

Speaking to the Greek Cypriot administration’s national television ΑΝΤ1 ahead of his planned visit, Netanyahu said the publication of the meeting was “not helpful” and “an exception to the rule” of secret contacts.

READ: Libya’s prosecutor to investigate secret meeting with Israel

The Israeli premier said that his government would ensure this would not be repeated.

During the interview, Netanyahu indirectly blamed Cohen for the leak that caused outrage in Libya.

“There have been, just, innumerable confidential contacts made between Israel and Arab leaders, Muslim leaders… But we were very careful not to reveal this [ahead] of time,” Netanyahu said.

Libya does not recognize Israel and does not have diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv. It is forbidden by law to have relations with Israel.

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