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Tunisia says Libya embassy to reopen to back unity govt

AFP , Monday 4 Apr 2016
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Tunisia on Monday announced the reopening of its embassy and consulate in the Libyan capital following the arrival there of a UN-backed unity government.

Tunisia closed its diplomatic missions in neighbouring Libya in 2014 when a militia alliance seized Tripoli and set up a government and parliament opposed to the internationally recognised administration.

Prime minister-designate Fayez al-Sarraj arrived Wednesday in the Libyan capital drawing the fury of the Tripoli government, but also praise and pledges of allegiance from several fronts.

Tunisia's foreign ministry said as a result it was reopening the Tunisian embassy and consulate in Tripoli in a bid "to support the political process in Libya".

It was not immediately clear if the mission had in fact reopened or if it was about to resume work.

Last year Tunisia reopened its consulate in Tripoli but closed it again following the abduction of 10 staff members.

Tunisia has been wary of the chaos that spread across Libya in the aftermath of the 2011 uprising that ousted and killed longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Both neighbours have seen an emergence of militant Islam.

The militant Islamic State group has set up a stronghold in Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte and claimed attacks in both Libya and Tunisia.

Tunisia has built a 200-kilometre (125-mile) barrier that stretches about half the length of its border with Libya in an attempt to prevent militants from infiltrating.

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