Libya suspends minister over meeting with Israeli official

Libyan Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush at a conference. Credit: AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic


Israel’s attempt to build ties with its neighboring Arab countries is facing a deadlock, as the Arab populace seems less inclined than their leadership to accept Tel Aviv’s peace offering.

Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah suspended Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush on August 27, and referred her for investigation over her meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, a report from Arab News says.

Cohen said, in a statement, that he held a meeting with Mangoush in Rome last week, during which the two officials discussed potential cooperation among other issues. 

The suspension of Mangoush came in the wake of nationwide protests voicing support for Palestine and denouncing the perceivable rapprochement between Tripoli and Tel Aviv.

Libya’s Foreign Ministry responded to the backlash by saying that the meeting was “unprepared” and a “casual” encounter that took place during Mangoush’s meeting with her Italian counterpart.

Meanwhile, the Libyan Presidential Council asked the government for a “clarification” on the incident and declared that the meeting does not reflect the country’s foreign policy, recalling that normalization with the “Zionist entity” is in violation of Libyan laws.


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