Algeria official in Libya in fresh support for unity govt

Tripoli - Algeria hopes to reopen its Libya embassy soon, the country's minister of Maghreb affairs said on Wednesday as he visited Tripoli in the latest show of support for the UN-backed government.

Algeria hosted several rounds of UN-brokered Libyan peace talks that helped paved the way for a December power-sharing deal under which the Government of National Accord was formed.

"An Algerian ambassador will be appointed for Libya very soon," Abdelkader Messahel told a Tripoli joint news conference with GNA deputy premier Ahmed Maiteeq.

"I hope that Algeria will be the first country to reopen its embassy" in Libya, he added.

Libya has been in turmoil since the 2011 uprising that ousted and killed dictator Mummar Gaddafi and the jihadist Islamic State group has set up a bastion in the oil-rich country.

It further descended into chaos in August 2014 when a militia alliance overran Tripoli following fierce clashes, forcing the recognised government to flee and setting up its own administration.

As a result many embassies and international organisations pulled out of Tripoli, some relocating in neighbouring Tunisia.

Algeria, which also shares borders with Libya, also closed its Tripoli embassy after a bomb attack in January 2015 killed three people, including a security guard, and caused damage to the building.

After the arrival in Tripoli of the unity-government at the end of March, several European countries as well as Tunisia have indicated their readiness to reopen their embassies in the Libyan capital.

The UN has also said that its staff had returned to Tripoli, which has seen a flurry of top-level visits from European foreign ministers in recent days.

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