Libya envoy to UN no longer accredited

New York - Two Libyan diplomats, including the UN envoy, no longer represent the country after denouncing embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi , a UN spokesperson said on Monday.

Libyan ambassador Mohammed Shalgham and deputy ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi have been relieved of their duties following a request from Libyan authorities, spokesperson Martin Nesirky said.

"On the 27th of February, the UN received a communication from the government of Libya stating that Mr Dabbashi and Mr Shalgham are no longer authorised to represent or speak on behalf of the Libyan authorities at the United Nations," Nesirky said.

Days before the letter was sent, Shalgham and Dabbashi had defected and given impassioned speeches condemning Gaddafi as a "tyrant". They have accused the Libyan leader of committing genocide against his people.

The UN has received a second letter naming Ali Triki, a former foreign minister who was president of the UN General Assembly in 2009-1010, as Shalgham's successor, but he has not yet presented his credentials for recognition to the UN, Nesirky added.

The United Nations recognises the Gaddafi regime as the legitimate government of Libya, despite a resolution last week calling for "all necessary measures" to stop attacks on civilians.

Shalgham and Dabbashi were granted courtesy passes giving them access to the UN offices.

The UN Security Council on Monday planned to hold a closed door meeting on Libya, diplomats said, amid rising international criticism of air strikes directed at the Gaddafi regime.

Missile and air strikes launched over the weekend by US, British and French forces targeted Libyan air defence systems to impose a no-fly zone on Gaddafi’s forces, and on Sunday demolished a building in the Libyan leader's compound.

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