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Posts Tagged ‘Libya

President Obama, Secretary Clinton Commemorate the Benghazi Four

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Travel Warning: Libya

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Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for Libya on September 12.  It reads as follows:

Libya

September 12, 2012

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Libya.  On September 12, 2012 the Department of State ordered the departure of all non-emergency U.S. government personnel from Libya, following the attack on the U.S. Diplomatic mission in Benghazi.  The political violence has increased in both Benghazi and Tripoli.  The airports in Benghazi and Tripoli are open and U.S. citizens are encouraged to depart by commercial air.  This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated August 27, 2012.

U.S. citizens traveling to, or remaining in, Libya should use extreme caution and limit nonessential travel within the country, make their own contingency emergency plans, enroll their presence in Libya through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), and provide their current contact information and next-of-kin or emergency contact information. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by OSB

16/09/2012 at 12:19

Travel Warning: Libya

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Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for Libya on August 27.  It reads as follows:

Libya

August 27, 2012

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all but essential travel to Libya. The incidence of violent crime, especially carjacking and robbery, has become a serious problem. In addition, political violence in the form of assassinations and vehicle bombs has increased in both Benghazi and Tripoli. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated September 22, 2011, and notes the resumption of full consular services to U.S. citizens on August 27, 2012.

Libyans cast ballots on July 7 in elections deemed to be free and fair according to election observers. Libya’s General National Congress replaced the Transitional National Council in August 2012 and will lead the country until elections are held on the basis of a new constitution. Despite this progress, violent crime continues to be a problem in Tripoli, Benghazi, and other parts of the country. In particular, armed carjacking and robbery are on the rise. In addition, political violence, including car bombings in Tripoli and assassinations of military officers and alleged former regime officials in Benghazi, has increased. Inter-militia conflict can erupt at any time or any place in the country. Seven Iranian Red Crescent officials were kidnapped July 31 in Benghazi by local militia members, and as of the date of this warning, they have not been released. There have also been several reports of militias briefly apprehending and detaining foreigners due to perceived or actual violations of Libyan law. The Embassy’s ability to intervene in such cases remains limited, as these groups are neither sanctioned nor controlled by the Libyan government.

U.S. Embassy Tripoli resumed full consular services for U.S. citizens in Libya on August 27, 2012.  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by OSB

28/08/2012 at 13:37

Travel Warning: Libya

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Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for Libya on Thursday.  On a related note, US Embassy Tripoli has reopened. The travel warning reads as follows:

Libya

September 22, 2011

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all but essential travel to Libya due to the ongoing unrest. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated August 23, 2011 to note the resumption of Embassy operations and continuing limitations of consular services to U.S. citizens.

The United States recognized the Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC) as the legitimate governing authority of Libya on July 15, 2011 and returned our Deputy Chief of Mission on September 10, 2011 and resumed Embassy operations in Tripoli, Libya on September 22, 2011. However, services available to U.S. citizens in Libya are limited to emergency services. Individuals requiring routine consular services or assistance in obtaining immigrant or non-immigrant visas to the United States should apply at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate outside of Libya. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by OSB

24/09/2011 at 03:50

Travel Warning: Libya

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Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for Libya yesterday.  It reads as follows:

Libya

August 23, 2011

The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against travel to Libya, and recommends that U.S. citizens in Libya depart immediately due to the ongoing fighting between opposition and government forces throughout Libya. Currently, there is a risk of attacks against hotels and other public buildings in Benghazi and other opposition-held areas in Libya. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated February 25, 2011.

The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli suspended operations on February 25, 2011. The Hungarian government, acting through its Embassy in Tripoli, serves as the protecting power for U.S. interests in Libya. Services available to U.S. citizens in Libya are limited. U.S. citizens in need of assistance should first contact the Bureau of Consular Affairs at 1-877-407-4747 (if within the United States or Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (if outside the United States or Canada), or send an email to LibyaEmergencyUSC@state.gov. For emergencies, U.S. citizens in Libya may contact the Hungarian Embassy in Tripoli directly. The Hungarian Embassy is located on Talha Ben Abdallah Street in the Ben Ashur region of Tripoli. The telephone number is 218 21 361-82-18, or 361-82-19. The fax number is 218 21 361-82-20 or 361-37-95. Email contact is available at mission.tpi@mfa.gov.hu, or LGalli@mfa.gov.hu. Visas and travel documents to the U.S. are not issued at the Hungarian Embassy in Tripoli; individuals interested in visas should apply at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by OSB

24/08/2011 at 21:21

Travel Warning: Libya

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Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for Libya yesterday.  It reads as follows:

Libya

July 19, 2011

The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against travel to Libya, and recommends that U.S. citizens in Libya depart immediately due to the ongoing fighting between opposition and government forces throughout Libya. Currently, there is a risk of attacks against hotels and other public buildings in Benghazi and other opposition-held areas in Libya. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated February 25, 2011.

The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli suspended operations on February 25, 2011. The Hungarian government, acting through its Embassy in Tripoli, serves as the protecting power for U.S. interests in Libya. Services available to U.S. citizens in Libya are limited. U.S. citizens in need of assistance should first contact the Bureau of Consular Affairs at 1-877-407-4747 (if within the United States or Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (if outside the United States or Canada), or send an email to LibyaEmergencyUSC@state.gov. For emergencies, U.S. citizens in Libya may contact the Hungarian Embassy in Tripoli directly. The Hungarian Embassy is located on Talha Ben Abdallah Street in the Ben Ashur region of Tripoli. The telephone number is 218 21 361-82-18, or 361-82-19. The fax number is 218 21 361-82-20 or 361-37-95. Email contact is available at mission.tpi@mfa.gov.hu, or LGalli@mfa.gov.hu. Visas and travel documents to the U.S. are not issued at the Hungarian Embassy in Tripoli; individuals interested in visas should apply at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

The Department of State urges those U.S. citizens who decide to travel to or remain in Libya despite this Travel Warning to enroll their stay in Libya through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), online at https://travelregistration.state.gov/, and provide their current contact and next-of-kin information.

Written by OSB

20/07/2011 at 11:47

US Embassy Tripoli Security “…not the best…”

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CNN published this story yesterday regarding US Embassy Tripoli’s evacuation.  Acting Chief of Mission Joan Polaschik stated,

“We had not the best security… We don’t have the typical fortress America embassy compound (in Tripoli). In fact we have a group of residential villas…”

These statements are 100% true, but it should be understood that while Diplomatic Security lays out guidelines for embassy construction, we are totally dependent on the host government’s cooperation for security upgrades or new construction. In Libya’s case, new construction was not permitted due to the state of relations between Libya and the United States.  In other cases, new embassy construction may not be possible for other reasons.  In European capitals, buying land for a new embassy compound is often prohibitively expensive.  In others, embassy buildings were given as gifts in safer times and the host government would take it as a major snub if we moved out.  Luckily, these examples tend to be in countries in which we can rely on the host government’s internal security to partially compensate for the lack of physical protection we build into our new embassies.

In countries like Libya in which the host government is uncooperative, DS’s hands are tied.  It’s a no-win situation for us if things start to hit the fan.  We do our best to mitigate the possible threats within the restrictions that come down from the higher-ups and literally hope nothing bad happens.

Written by OSB

27/02/2011 at 11:01