Two Libyan diplomats expelled from Sweden
TT/The Local/dl · 20 May 2011, 10:31
Published: 20 May 2011 10:31 GMT+02:00
- Libyan exiles protest as embassy drops rebel flag (18 Apr 11)
- Libyan embassy 'doesn't represent anything': Bildt (11 Mar 11)
"We've observed that both men's activities are in conflict with our regulations and we have therefore asked them to leave the country," Swedish foreign ministry spokesperson Anders Jörle told TV4 on Thursday.
He refused to elaborate on exactly what the two men are suspected of doing.
However, representatives from the Libyan Association in Stockholm (Libyska föreningen i Stockholm) have long claimed the diplomats were cooperating with the Qaddafi regime and the Libyan secret police.
"We're happy that Sweden's government has now reacted and expelled these men. That shows they have tangible evidence for what we've suspected the entire time," Abubakir Helmi Alnadori, vice chair of the association, told TV4.
According to Alnadori, the men have been collecting information on Libyan exiles in Sweden and sending the information back to Qaddafi government officials in Tripoli.
Jörle added that, in the eyes of the Swedish foreign ministry, Libya doesn't currently have any diplomatic representation in Sweden.
"For the moment, we don't believe there are any representatives for Libya in Sweden – and therefore it no longer has any diplomatic ties," he said.
On February 22, the Libyan embassy in Stockholm raised the country's independence flag, which was in use until Qaddafi came to power in 1969 and has been used by protesters as a symbol of the ongoing uprising in the country.
Since March 10th, the EU has ceased to recognise the Qaddafi regime as representative of the Libyan people.
"We no longer consider the Libyan Embassy in Stockholm to be representing anything," Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt said in a message on his official Twitter feed the following day.