Government denies reports of Al Thinni visit

Government denies Libyan Prime Minister was in Malta for meeting with Joseph Muscat 

Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al Thinni and Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in October (Photo: Ray Attard)
Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al Thinni and Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in October (Photo: Ray Attard)

Government has denied that Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni was in Malta today for a meeting with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

A government spokesperson told MaltaToday that Muscat did not hold any meeting with al-Thinni or any other Prime Minister from the region on Monday.

For months, Libya has been in turmoil with two governments and parliaments allied to armed groups vying for power and control of the country's oil reserves.

Thinni, the country's internationally recognised Prime Minister has worked out of Bayda near Shahat since militias led from the city of Misrata seized the capital Tripoli and installed a rival government and parliament in summer.

“It’s absolutely untrue, there was no meeting with Al Thinni or anyone else from the Libyan government in Tobruk, nor with anyone from the government in Tripoli,,” the spokesperson said.

In October, Al Thinni came to Malta, accompanied by his deputy prime minister Abdel Salam al-Badri, Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammed Al Dayri, Economy Minister Manbar Asr, Education Minister Fathi al Magbari and Information Minister Omar Alqoira.

While in Malta,  Al Thinnihad held a number of meetings, including with UN envoy Bernadino Leon and US ambassador Safira Deborah.

Yesterday, a meeting between Al Thinni and Leon was the target of a car bomb explosion in eastern Libya. 

Luckily there were no casualties after at least one car bomb went off in front of the security headquarters in the eastern city of Shahat.

“Leon, and a delegation from the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, which he heads, were meeting Libyan PM Abdullah al-Thinni in the eastern Libyan city of Shahat earlier today when they heard an explosion,” Jose Luis Diaz, spokesman for the UN Department of Political Affairs said.

Thinni and Leon were due to meet in a different building, and a security official said the blast had been near the venue of a meeting of other government officials.