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France expels 14 Libyan diplomats

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France expels 14 Libyan diplomats

2011-05-06 19:53:59 GMT+7 (ICT)

PARIS (BNO NEWS) -- The government of France announced on Friday that it had expelled 14 Libyan diplomats from the country, as it continues to support Libyan rebels in their fight against Muammar al-Qaddafi.

The French Foreign Ministry announced that 14 former diplomats stationed in France were declared persona non grata on Friday, requiring them to leave the country within 24 to 48 hours. The ministry, however, did not name the diplomats.

In late February, former Libyan Ambassador to France Mohamed Salaheddine Zarem announced his resignation in protest to the violence against anti-Qaddafi demonstrations in the African nation.

France is one of the several Western nations which does not recognize Qaddafi as Libya's head of state and was the first country in recognizing Libya's Transitional National Council, which is the anti-Qaddafi rebel's political group.

On Thursday, British Foreign Minister William Hague announced that the United Kingdom had expelled two additional Libyan diplomats from the Libyan Embassy in London, following Sunday's expulsion of the Libyan Ambassador Omar Jelban, which was triggered by an attack on the British Embassy in Tripoli.

Hague said the expulsion of the two diplomats was based on their activities, which were "contrary to the interests of the UK," adding that the status of the Libyan Embassy and its staff was under constant review.

Meanwhile, the expulsion of Ambassador Jelban was a result of the Qaddafi regime "failing to protect diplomatic missions in Tripoli," as required by the Vienna convention.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-05-06

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