Israel's Foreign Ministry denies leaking meeting between FM's Cohen and Mangoush

Alwasat - Cairo Mon 28 Aug 2023, 03:21 PM
alwasat radio

Israel's foreign ministry said Monday that neither it nor the minister was behind a "leak" about a meeting between the country's top diplomat and his now suspended Libyan counterpart.

On Sunday evening, the ministry had announced in an official statement that Eli Cohen held a meeting in Rome last week with Najla Mangoush, the foreign minister in Libya's Tripoli-based administration.

During the meeting, which the statement said was the first ever diplomatic initiative between the two countries, the diplomats discussed ways to have "great relations" between their nations.

They talked about "the importance of preserving the heritage of Libyan Jews, which includes renovating synagogues and Jewish cemeteries in the country", the statement said.

Soon after that announcement, riots erupted in some Libyan cities and Mangoush was suspended by the internationally recognised government in Tripoli of Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dabaiba.

But on Monday, the Israeli foreign ministry appeared to backtrack from the entire diplomatic furore, saying it was not behind the "leak" on the meeting in Rome.

"Contrary to what has been published, the leak regarding the meeting with Libya's foreign minister did not come from the foreign ministry or the foreign minister's office," the ministry said in a statement released to journalists on Monday.

The ministry did not offer details or clarify who was behind the so-called leak.

Turkey's Anadolu news agency, citing security sources, said Mangoush had already left for Istanbul following the diplomatic furore.

There was no official confirmation of the flight from Ankara or Tripoli, however.

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