Italian consulate ‘to reopen’ in Libya’s Benghazi

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Rome, Dec 22 (IANS/AKI) Italy will reopen its consulate in the eastern Libyan port city of Benghazi, which has been closed since 2013, Adnkronos has learned from sources.

The decision to reopen the consulate follows a visit to Rome by Libya’s powerful eastern military commander Khalifa Haftar earlier this month, according to the sources.

The consulate was closed after gunmen attempted to kill Italy’s consul in Benghazi on January 12, 2013 when they opened fire on his armoured car.

In September the previous year, Islamic extremists stormed the US embassy in Benghazi and killed ambassador Chris Stevens, a secret agent and two marines.

Chaos-stricken Libya has had rival governments in Tripoli and the east and has been riven by fighting among rival factions backed by a myriad of armed groups since the Nato-backed ouster of late dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a 2011 civil war.

–IANS/AKI

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