Hungary has the EU’s last functioning embassy in Tripoli

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, March 7, 2011.

From EurActiv:  Of all EU countries’ embassies in Libya, only Hungary has a diplomatic presence in Tripoli and provides information to the EU. . . .

Asked how the EU was gathering information from Tripoli in such difficult circumstances, Maja Kociancic, spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said the EU was still able to obtain a wide range of information "from many different sources".

In particular, Kociancic singled out the Hungarian embassy, which she said was the only diplomatic mission of an EU country still open in Tripoli and still providing official information. Romania also had a consular service open, she added.

Although it is a NATO member, Hungary, the country holding the EU’s rotating presidency, is not participating in military operations enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya.

Asked if the risks for the Hungarian embassy were not too great given the animosity against NATO, Kociancic said that EU members were responsible for their own decisions, in light of their security assessments and needs on the ground.

"The situation is definitely very difficult and we pay tribute to the Hungarian Presidency for the work they are doing," she said. . . .

Other embassies remaining in Tripoli include China, Russia (at the level of Chargé d’Affaires), Ukraine, Belarus, Serbia, many African countries, plus Cuba and Venezuela, with a total of approximately 40 countries.  (photo: Getty)

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