Libya foreign minister suspended after Israel meeting

Tripoli  -   Libya’s internationally recognised prime minister has suspended his top diplomat after she met her Israeli counterpart, with news of the encounter triggering demonstrations in a country that does not recognise Israel. Oil-rich Libya, which plunged into chaos after dictator Moamer Kadhafi was toppled and killed in 2011, has been divided since 2014 between the UN-supported government of Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeibah in Tripoli and a rival administration based in the country’s east. Angry protesters took to the streets of the capital and other western cities on Sunday night, blocking roads with burning tyres and waving Palestinian flags, after it emerged that Najla al-Mangoush had met with her Israeli counterpart in Rome last week. Mangoush was “provisionally suspended and subject to an ‘administrative investigation’”, Dbeibah’s government said, hours after Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said the “unprecedented” meeting had taken place. On Monday, Libya’s Internal Security Agency (ISA) said Mangoush had not been authorised to leave the North African country after reports on social media that she had flown to Turkey overnight as the protests flared. Internet users had posted the tracking details from the FlightRadar website of a flight said to be carrying Mangoush from Mitiga airport in Tripoli to Istanbul.

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