Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Canada, siding with rebels, shuts Libyan embassy

Libyan rebels come under fire from Gadhafi loyalists in Bir Ghanam, southwest of Tripoli.

Colin Summers/AFP/Getty Images

Canada is shutting Moammar Gadhafi's Libyan embassy, an action to emphasize Ottawa's support for the rebels in that country.

In a statement Monday night, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said the diplomats now have five business days to leave the country. He added Ottawa was cutting the diplomats' access to embassy bank accounts in Canada.

The federal government kicked out five diplomats in May, saying they had engaged in "inappropriate" activities – a hint at allegations they had engaged in spying on or intimidating Libyan-Canadians.

Story continues below advertisement

But Mr. Baird did not immediately announce that diplomats from the rebels' National Transitional Council will take the place of the pro-Gadhafi embassy. Britain moved to allow a rebel mission in London when it recently expelled Col. Gadhafi's diplomats, and the rebels' Washington envoy, Ali Ajauli, travelled to Ottawa three weeks ago to press Canada to do the same.

"Canada declares all remaining diplomats at the Libyan embassy in Ottawa personae non grata, effective immediately. This is the latest step Canada has taken to isolate and de-legitimize the Gadhafi regime.

"These people now have five business days to vacate the embassy and leave the country.

"As part of this declaration, we are also cutting off these diplomats' access to the embassy's bank accounts," the statement said.\

Col. Gadhafi's regime recalled its ambassador to Canada, Abdulrahman Abututa, three weeks ago, leaving the embassy in the hands of a charge d'affaires.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Chief political writer

Campbell Clark has been a political writer in The Globe and Mail’s Ottawa bureau since 2000. Before that he worked for The Montreal Gazette and the National Post. He writes about Canadian politics and foreign policy. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.