Canada Temporarily Withdraws Staff from Libya

July 29, 2014 – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular), today issued the following statement regarding the situation in Libya and the temporary withdrawal of Canadian staff from that country:

“The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of our diplomats abroad very seriously. Due to operational challenges, including the unpredictable security environment in Tripoli, we have authorized the temporary suspension of operations at our office in Tripoli.

“Canada’s chargé d’affaires and Canadian diplomats in Tripoli will temporarily work out of the Canadian embassy in Tunisia until appropriate measures are put in place to respond to the changing operational environment.

“This decision is solely due to concerns about the security of our personnel and has no connection with our continuing and long-standing diplomatic relations with Libya. Canada remains committed to supporting Libya’s democratic transition, and we urge all parties to stop the violence and resolve their differences by peaceful and democratic means.”

Canadians in Libya seeking routine consular and passport services should contact the Embassy of Canada in Tunis, Tunisia at +(216) 70-010-200. Those who require emergency consular assistance may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa directly at +1 613-996-8885 (collect calls accepted) or by emailing sos@international.gc.ca.

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada has advised against all travel to Libya since June 1, 2014.

A backgrounder containing consular information follows.

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @DFATDCanada and @TravelGoC
Like us on Facebook: Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada-DFATD

Backgrounder - Consular Information and Services: Libya

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada has authorized the departure of all staff from Tripoli for security reasons.

Since June 1, 2014, the Government of Canada has continued to advise Canadians to avoid all travel to Libya. Approximately 350 Canadian citizens are registered with the Registration of Canadians Abroad website as being in Libya. Those who choose to remain in Libya despite this advice are urged to restrict their movements, ensure that their travel documents are up-to-date and keep abreast of the latest developments.

We strongly recommend that Canadian citizens currently in Libya register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to receive the latest travel advice and advisories from the Government of Canada.

As the security environment in Libya becomes more unstable and unpredictable, the ability of Canadian officials to provide consular assistance in Libya is extremely limited. Canadian citizens in Libya requiring emergency consular assistance should contact the Canadian embassy in Tunis at + (216) 70-010-200 or 71-268-080 or the 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at sos@international.gc.ca or +1 613-996-8885.

For the latest advice and to obtain more information from the Government of Canada, Canadians should consult the travel advice and advisories for Libya. Twitter users can also receive the latest updates by following @TravelGoC.