ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey reopened its embassy in Libya on Monday, 2-1/2 years after closing it due to the security situation, the Turkish foreign ministry said, as diplomatic missions begin to reopen in the divided country.
Turkey closed the embassy in Tripoli in 2014 as rival factions battled three years after rebels toppled long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi. Italy reopened its embassy earlier this month.
“The reopening of the embassy will allow Turkey to make stronger contributions to efforts to build peace and stability, as well as reconstruction in Libya,” the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.
Both Libya and Tripoli itself are home to myriad armed groups with shifting and conflicting loyalties that have sought to fill the power vacuum created when Gaddafi was killed.
In 2014, fighting between armed alliances backing opposing political factions resulted in rival governments being set up in the capital and the east. Since March last year a third, U.N.-backed government has been trying to establish itself in Tripoli, but it has been unable to win support from all groups.
“Turkey will continue to support the territorial integrity and national unity of brotherly Libya,” the statement said.
Turkey’s ambassador had been based in Tunisia during the embassy’s closure, while the Turkish consulate general in the western city of Misrata had remained open without interruption.
Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by Nick Tattersall