Palestine hails Libya for refusing to normalize relations with Israel

Palestine thanked Libya on Monday for reiterating its refusal to normalize ties with Israel.

Earlier in the day, Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh sacked Foreign Minister Najla al-Mangoush after she held a secret meeting last week with her Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen in Rome.

Dbeibeh also visited the Palestinian Embassy in Tripoli to reiterate his government’s support for the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation.

He “reiterated his absolute support for the Palestinian people in their legitimate quest to regain their full rights and for the establishment of their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital,” the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said it “appreciates the positions expressed by Dbeibeh and his personal attendance at the embassy.”

The first-ever public meeting between the Israeli and Libyan foreign ministers has triggered a storm of anger and protests in Libya.

The Libyan Foreign Ministry said the meeting was “informal” and “impromptu” and did not involve any discussions, agreements or consultations.

However, Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, citing unnamed Israeli officials, said the meeting was “coordinated at the highest level” between the two countries and took place with the knowledge of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Libya does not recognize Israel and does not have diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv. It is forbidden to do so by law.

Six Arab countries have established diplomatic ties with Israel, starting with Egypt in 1979, Jordan in 1994, and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco in 2020.

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