CAIRO (AP) — Libya’s chief prosecutor said Saturday he would launch a fact-finding mission to investigate a meeting last month between the foreign minister of one of the country’s rival governments and Israel’s chief diplomat.
The August 22 meeting caused an uproar in the North African country. Najla Mangoush, the foreign minister of the Tripoli-based government, and Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen met in Rome in the first-ever meeting between top diplomats from Libya and Israel.
Libya criminalizes ties with Israel under a 1957 law. The oil-rich country has long been hostile to Israel and supported the Palestinians.
In a brief statement, Attorney General Al-Sediq al-Sour said on Saturday that the fact-finding mission would investigate violations of Libya’s rules for boycotting Israel and “investigate the extent of damage to Libya’s interests” due to the Mangoush-Cohen -meeting.
Libya descended into chaos after a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 toppled longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. For years, the country has been divided between the Western-backed government in Tripoli and a rival government in the east of the country. Each party is backed by armed groups and foreign governments.