UK

William Hague Re-Opens British Embassy In Tripoli

17/10/2011 17:02 BST | Updated 17/12/2011 10:12 GMT

Britain has re-opened its embassy in Libya and appointed its former ambassador to Iraq as its new man in Tripoli.

Foreign secretary, William Hague, visited the Libyan capital on Monday and met National Transitional Council (NTC) chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil.

Hague said the re-opening of the embassy marked a new era in UK-Libya relations.

"Today marks a watershed in the UK's relations with Libya. Having been one of the first diplomatic missions back into Tripoli after its liberation, we have now formally re-opened our embassy and appointed an excellent new ambassador to Libya Sir John Jenkins," he said.

"This is further recognition of the great progress the National Transitional Council has made in stabilising Libya and re-establishing the country's role as a full member of the international community.

"The Libyan people's decisive break with the past means we are now able to open a new era in UK-Libya relations, building on our military, political, diplomatic and humanitarian support to the Libyan people during their revolution."

London's new ambassador will be Sir John Jenkins, formerly Britain's man in Iraq and Middle East director at the Foreign Office.

Sir John headed up the British team that flew into Libya at the height of the conflict to advise the rebels on how to take on Gaddafi.

During his visit Hauge announced that 50 more patients who have suffered traumatic amputations will be offered rehabilitation and prosthetics care on the NHS in Britain.

The UK has also agreed to ship the final stock of Libyan banknotes, that had been frozen, to the new government.

"To date, the UK has allocated £20.6m to support Libya's stabilisation and up to a further £20m to support political and economic reform," Hague said.

“The final requested shipment of Libyan banknotes frozen in the UK will be delivered to Libya, helping the economy to get back on track and provide for the Libyan people."