Libya expels Syrian diplomats

Reuters , Thursday 9 Feb 2012

Libya's ruling NTC, one of the first governments to recognise Syria's opposition council, gives Syrian diplomats 72 hours to depart country

Libya has given Syria's charge d'affaires and his staff in Tripoli 72 hours to leave the country, Libya's foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) officially recognised the Syrian opposition council in October as the legitimate authority in Syria after months of unrest against President Bashar Al-Assad.

"Libya had hoped that the UN Security Council could adopt the resolution ... to help the Syrian people live in freedom and dignity," the statement said.

Protesters earlier demonstrated outside Libyan Prime Minister Abdurrahim Al-Keib's office, voicing their anger after Russia and China vetoed a weekend Security Council resolution backing an Arab plan urging Al-Assad to step down.

On Monday, Syrian and Libyan protesters hurled rocks, eggs and tomatoes at the Chinese embassy in Tripoli, a day after they sprayed graffiti on the walls of the Russian embassy and tore down its flag. Men replaced the Russian flag with that of the Syrian opposition and the NTC.

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