The Libyan Foreign Minister paid the price for her alleged transgression less than a day after Israel reported a dramatic meeting between Eli Cohen and Najlla Mangoush in Rome.
Prime Minister Abd al-Hamid al-Dabaiba of the Libyan National Unity Government suspended Mangoush because of the meeting last week, even though the Libyan Foreign Ministry called it „unofficial and unplanned.”
Al-Wasat daily reports that Mangoush departed the nation on a private jet and traveled to Turkey two hours after being placed on „administrative suspension” and under investigation.
During a meeting with her Italian counterpart, „What happened in Rome was a chance and unofficial encounter, which did not involve any discussion, agreement, or consultation“, the Libyan foreign ministry claimed.
The ministry said that Mangoush „refused to meet with any party” advocating for the Jewish state and emphasized „in a clear and unambiguous manner Libya’s position regarding the Palestinian cause.”
The announcement of the meeting prompted demonstrators to take to the streets of Libya, where Israeli flags were set on fire and Palestinian solidarity chants were heard.
Officials from the Israeli Foreign Ministery rebuffed criticism regarding the meeting’s disclosure by stating that the meeting had been planned at the highest levels and was intended to be made public.
They continued by saying that the Libyan government has a stake in keeping ties with Israel, since doing so can advance its relations with the West.
The historic meeting with the Libyan Foreign Minister, Najla Mangoush, is the first step in the partnership between Israel and Libya, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said in a statement following the meeting with his counterpart.
Liaisons with Libya are of immense relevance and potential for the State of Israel because of their size and strategic location, according to Cohen in a news release.
He continued: „I discussed with the foreign minister the immense potential for our nations with such links, as well as the significance of maintaining the heritage of Libyan Jewry, including refurbishing synagogues and Jewish cemeteries in the nation.”