'Rebel' Libyan Non Grata Consul Still in Bulgaria

Diplomacy | July 26, 2011, Tuesday // 13:17|  views

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov says diplomatic relations with the Libyan Embassy in Sofia will be suspended until the situation becomes more clear. Photo by BGNES

Libya's Consul General in Sofia, Ibrahim al-Furis, declared persona non grata Monday, is still in the country.

The news was reported Tuesday by the Bulgarian TV channel bTV.

The Consul remains inside the Embassy despite the expiration of the 24 hours deadline to leave Bulgaria. Now, it is the turn of the law enforcement authorities to take the matter in their hands, diplomats have commented for bTV.

On Monday, a group of Libyan diplomats, led by Ibrahim al-Furis, staged a riot, taking control of the Embassy's building and pledging allegiance to the rebel forces.

Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry explained that the decision for declaring al-Furis a persona non grata had not been taken as a result of him siding with the rebels from Benghazi.

He was declared declared as unwanted person in Bulgaria pursuant to Article 9 of the Vienna Convention.

Under Article 9 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, a receiving state may "at any time and without having to explain its decision, notify the sending State that the head of the mission or any member of the diplomatic staff of the mission is persona non grata or that any other member of the staff of the mission is not acceptable".

The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry claimed that Consul Ibrahim al-Furis had been asked to voluntarily step down weeks ago and he had started preparations for his departure.

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Tags: Libya, rebels, Gaddafi, embassy, consul, Foreign Minister, Foreign Ministry, persona non grata, Vienna Convention, Ibrahim al-Furis


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