Spanish FM Jimenez speaks during news conference in Benghazi
Spanish FM Jimenez speaks during news conference in Benghazi Reuters

The Spanish government will expel the Libyan ambassador to Madrid as well as three other Libyan envoys, according to a statement from the Spanish Foreign Ministry.

The government of Spain has decided to put an end to the mission of the ambassador accredited in Madrid by the authorities in Tripoli, because the Gaddafi regime has lost all legitimacy due to its continual repression of the Libyan population, the Ministry said in a statement.

Ajeli Abdussalam Ali Breni, the Libyan ambassador to Spain, has 10 days to leave Spain, the ministry said.

The three other diplomats will be deported because they undertook activities incompatible with their diplomatic status, the statement added.

Spain has been participating in the UN-endorsed military campaign in Libya designed to impose a no-fly zone over the country.

However, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman added that Spain has not completely broken off relations with Tripoli. Indeed, Spain still has an embassy in Tripoli, although its staff was evacuated in March as the civil conflict in Libya intensified.

The spokeswoman noted that the Spanish Embassy in Tripoli, which comprises solely Libyan staff, is not closed in a diplomatic sense.”

She further noted that Spain’s Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez visited Benghazi, the Libyan rebel capital, last week where she said that the National Transitional Council is a valid interlocutor and a legitimate representative of the aspirations of the Libyan people.”