Libya PM sacks foreign minister following meeting with Israel

Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh on Monday sacked Foreign Minister Najla Al-Mangoush, a Foreign Ministry source told Anadolu.  

The move came one day after Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said that he had met with Al-Mangoush in Rome, Italy, last week. 

Dbeibeh took the decision to sack Al-Mangoush during his visit to the Palestinian Embassy in Tripoli, the source said. 

The Libyan premier said during his meeting with Palestinian Ambassador Mohammad Rahhal that Al-Mangoush’s action “does not represent the position of the Libyan government and the people.” 

On Sunday, the Israeli foreign minister said that his meeting with his Libyan counterpart explored the possibilities for cooperation and relations between the countries and the preservation of the heritage of Libyan Jews. 

But the Libyan Foreign Ministry said the meeting was “informal” and “impromptu” and it did not involve any discussion, agreement, or consultation. 

Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, citing unnamed Israeli officials, said the meeting was “coordinated at the highest level” between the two countries and took place with the knowledge of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

The first-ever public meeting between the Israeli and Libyan foreign ministers has triggered a storm of anger and protests in Libya. 

The North African country does not recognize Israel and does not have diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv. It is forbidden by law to have relations with Israel. 

Six Arab countries have diplomatic ties with Israel starting with Egypt in 1979, Jordan in 1994, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco in 2020.   

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