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Former Head of the Libyan Coast Guard: Italian Amb Perrone asked me to visit the Italian embassy without the approval of Libyan intelligence

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

TRIPOLI – Former Head of the Libyan Coast Guard, Brig. General Tarek Shanbor, revealed in a series of posts on his Facebook account details of his encounters with the Italian Ambassador to Libya Giuseppe Perrone and other Italian officials.

Following Perrone’s demand for boats transfer which was rejected by the Libyan Coast Guard, Shanbor said he was requested by Perrone to visit the Italian Embassy. When Shanbor declined due to absence of approval of such visit by the Foreign Ministry of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord and Libyan intelligence, Perrone responded, “It’s very normal”.

“One day I received a phone call from Italian Ambassador in Tripoli, Giuseppe Perrone. He requested that I visit the Italian embassy headquarters in Tripoli to discuss some issues related to the overall management of coastal security.

I, immediately and diplomatically, refused to attend and I told him that I am in a country whose laws prevent me from attending and that I need the approval of the Libyan Foreign Ministry and the Libyan intelligence service to enter the embassy.

The ambassador said, ‘there are many Libyan officials who came to us at the embassy and it is very normal.’ I told him that this is unusual for us and that it is against the law and the sovereignty of the state. I said ‘you can come to us at the General Directorate of Coast Security if you wish.’ He said ‘I need approval from the Foreign Ministry.’ I told him ‘you need to make the necessary arrangement and get the approval and you’re welcome to visit us at the headquarters of the General Directorate.’

After I finished the call, I informed the intelligence service and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the contents of the call as a customary and compulsory security procedure.

On Tuesday, February 6, 2018, a few days after the phone call, I received a call from the Embassy and I was informed of the Ambassador’s decision to visit the headquarters of the General Directorate of Coast Security at Al Andalus neighborhood.

Indeed, on that very day, the ambassador came along with his team and his guard. An officer of the General Directorate also attended and we recorded the minutes of the meeting in due course.”

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