Benghazi Rebels Don't Recognize Non Grata Consul in BulgariaDiplomacy | July 26, 2011, Tuesday // 17:19| views
A Libyan man burns an image of Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi at the embassy of Libya in Sofia. Photo by BGNES
The Transitional National Council in Benghazi has sent a letter to the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating it does not recognize Libyan Consul in Sofia Ibrahim al-Furis.
The letter further recommends al-Furis' deportation, the Ministry announced Tuesday.
The Consul told the Bulgarian daily Dnevnik he was not aware of the letter and will ask for a political asylum in Bulgaria if the rebels do not recognize him.
al-Furis remains inside the Embassy despite the expiration of the 24 hours deadline to leave the country. The Foreign Ministry, which on Monday declared him persona non grata, points out they have not changed their position and hope the Interior Ministry will follow up on the deportation procedure.
Because the Consul is inside the Embassy, which is considered Libyan territory, Bulgarian authorities are banned from entering the building forcefully.
During the talk with the Dnevnik reporter Ibrahin al-Furis extended apologies to the Bulgarian people for the Monday incident when a group of, reportedly, Libyan diplomats staged a riot, taking control of the Embassy's building and pledging allegiance to the rebel forces. He now says those were Libyan citizens living in Bulgaria, not diplomats, but admits he had been the initiator and leader of the group. All employees who have refused to join the "revolution" had been chased away from the building.
The Consul further informed he had been seeking contact with the Benghazi rebels to ask for their recognition.
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