29/08/2011 12:52 BST | Updated 29/10/2011 06:12 BST

Foreign Office Working To Reopen British Embassy In Tripoli, Libyan Capital

PRESS ASSOCIATION -- A team of UK officials has begun work in Tripoli towards the reopening of the British Embassy in the Libyan capital.

The Foreign Office said staff were on the ground preparing to re-establish Britain's diplomatic presence in the country.

The work comes as the rebel-led National Transitional Council (NTC) is trying to set up a post-Gaddafi government in Tripoli.

British Embassy officials were evacuated from the country in February as violence escalated early in the so-called Arab Spring.

The residence was looted and destroyed in May as part of a series of attacks on Western embassies in Tripoli.

A Foreign Office (FCO) spokesman said the move to re-establish the British Embassy reflected "recent military progress" against the Gaddafi regime.

"The Prime Minister announced on August 22 that the UK would establish a British diplomatic presence in Tripoli as soon as it is safe and practical to do so," the spokesman said.

"A small FCO-led team, consisting of diplomatic and technical staff, is now on the ground in Tripoli as part of the preparations for that wider diplomatic presence.

"This reflects the recent military progress which means that some members of the NTC have already moved to Tripoli.

"We remain in regular consultation with the NTC about our plans."