Interim PM Al-Thani Discusses Issue of Libyan Citizens Stranded Abroad

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On Sunday, the Prime Minister of the Libyan Interim Government, Abdullah Al-Thani, discussed the issue of Libyans who have been stranded in several countries as a result of the global Coronavirus pandemic.

Al-Thani met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdel-Hadi Al-Hwaij, in Benghazi to discuss the measures the government is taking in coordination with the High Committee to Combat Coronavirus to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Libya.

The meeting also touched upon the issue of Libyan citizens stranded abroad and the importance of facilitating their return to Libya by uniting the efforts of concerned authorities.

During the meeting, the two officials also discussed the issue of interference by foreign Embassies who recently contacted local authorities in Libya without coordinating their efforts with either government, in contravention of diplomatic norm and international law.

Al-Thani stressed that the Interim Government welcomes cooperation with Embassies and international organizations, provided that this cooperation respects the country’s national sovereignty.

Following the meeting, Al-Thani tasked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation with providing information about Libyan citizens who are currently stranded abroad to the relevant entities in Libya with accuracy, professionalism, and scientific form.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it would work to repatriate Libyans who were stranded abroad, provided that their departure from Libya did not precede January 1, 2020 and that they wished to return to the country. It also said it would make provisions to register data relating to Libyan citizens stranded abroad electronically, via the Ministry’s website, no later than April 20, 2020.

In addition, the Ministry noted that Libyan citizens returning from abroad would have to self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

Prime Minister Al-Thani stressed that the Interim Government would work to provide accommodation for those who were stranded abroad as well as ensuring the provision of basic services to them until the crisis ends.