AP: Dabaiba agreed in principle to normalization with Israel during February meeting with CIA Director William Burns but was concerned about public backlash

Alwasat - Cairo Mon 28 Aug 2023, 02:17 PM
alwasat radio

The Israeli and Libyan foreign ministers met secretly in Italy last week, Israel’s Foreign Ministry announced Sunday, in what it said was the first-ever meeting between the country’s top diplomats.

According to the Associated Press (AP), a Libyan government official said normalization of relations between the countries was first discussed in a meeting between the Tripoli-based prime minister, Abdulhamid Dabaiba and CIA Director William Burns, who visited the Libyan capital in January.

The official told AP that Burns proposed that Dabaiba’s government, which is recognized as Libya’s internationally backed government, join the group of four Arab countries that normalized relations with Israel under the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords in 2020. The Libyan premier gave an initial approval, but he was concerned about public backlash in a country known for its past support for the Palestinian cause, the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter with the media.

News of the meeting has sparked widespread anger inside Libya and prompted Dabaiba to suspend Mangoush and refer her for investigation.

A security source told Alwasat on Monday before dawn that Mangoush fled the country for Turkey on a government plane.

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