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Russian Embassy in Libya to Reopen Soon

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The Russian Embassy in Tripoli, evacuated after a mob attack in early October, is ready to resume its work this month, senior Russian and Libyan diplomats said Monday.

MOSCOW, December 2 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Embassy in Tripoli, evacuated after a mob attack in early October, is ready to resume its work this month, senior Russian and Libyan diplomats said Monday.

“We are waiting for visas to be issued to our employees. We are ready to return on December 8 if three of our employees get visas. Without them we have no right to return,” said Leonid Frolov, a senior adviser for the embassy.

Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz said in an interview with the Voice of Russia radio station that his ministry was “fully ready for the return of the Russian Embassy to Libya.”

“We hope that the team of Russian diplomats will return to Libya as soon as possible so that we can restore and strengthen our ties,” he said.

A group of unknown assailants fired shots at the embassy on October 2 and attempted to break into the building, but fled the scene after two of them were killed and two seriously injured.

Russia’s ambassador to Libya, Ivan Molotkov, told journalists that the attackers were “armed to the teeth” and engaged in “indiscriminate firing,” riddling windows, doors and walls with bullets.

The following day, Russia evacuated the entire embassy staff and their families – 52 people – to Tunisia.

Both Russia’s and Libya’s foreign ministries have said the presumed motivation for the attack was the October 1 murder of a Libyan Air Force officer allegedly by a Russian woman.

Libyan police have said the victim’s friends and relatives attacked the embassy in revenge.

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