Ambassador says he asked for closure of embassy in Tripoli

Serbian Ambassador to Libya Oliver Potezica has denied in a protest letter that he had not sought the closure of the Serbian embassy in Libya.

Source: Danas

The Belgrade-based paper Danas writes on Thursday that Potezica addressed his letter to the Serbian president, the prime minister, and the minister of foreign affairs.

Quoting a source from the government, the daily said the letter stated the staff of the Serbian embassy in Tripoli proposed the shutting down of the embassy during working meetings, something that Potezica supported, and that reports about this were sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In addition, Potezica writes, the embassy could have been closed even without any opinion of the ambassador or the embassy's staff.

All this comes in the wake of Sunday's kidnapping in the Libyan town of Sabratha of two embassy employees - Sladjana Stankovic and Jovica Stepic. Potezica was in a convoy of vehicles that was stopped by the kidnappers.

Potezica now wants the president, the prime minister, and the foreign minister to stop the media campaign against him related to press reports about his alleged involvement in the kidnapping, and for the relevant institutions to deny these claims.

In a lengthy letter, Potezica said he was "shocked and horrified by the writing of our press about the kidnapping" and found it "unbelievable and sickening that this whole extremely difficult and complex situation turned into a disgusting campaign against Ambassador Oliver Potezica, whose head the media seem to want."

Potezica denied the writings of tabloids that he was behind the kidnapping of his embassy employees in order to ensure he stayed in Libya, and that he was "selling visas," and stressed that the most likely motive for this kind of media campaign against him was "the public's need for a scapegoat."

"But that will not be possible because Ambassador Oliver Potezica did not make a single mistake during his service. On the contrary. And, everyone who claims otherwise will have to prove it. But since they cannot prove it, they are smearing in the media, following familiar scenarios," Potezica wrote, and announced he would sue the media that reported such claims.

The Serbian ambassador to Libya has also asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to establish a commission that will revise all visas issued by the embassy in Tripoli.


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