On Saturday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohamed al-Qiblawi announced that the Presidential Council approved the ministry’s proposal to reduce the Libyan mission’s staff and expenses in New York by 30%.
Al-Qiblawi added that the restructuring of the Libyan mission comes within the framework of pursuing a policy of austerity measures abroad. In the interest of the financial and economic situation, and in line with the recommendations of the supervisory and financial bodies in the country.
Libyan diplomats and activists launched a campaign on social media in November 2019, to rationalize spending on embassies abroad.
Participants in the campaign called for reducing the number of embassies or closing unnecessary attachés, and reducing the salaries and allowances granted to ambassadors.
The Administrative Monitoring Authority’s report for the year 2019 issued last July recorded several violations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including failure to follow up on embassies and consulates abroad, and failure to take the necessary legal measures against its failure to periodically refer political reports on the countries subject to accreditation.
The report also indicated that some of those in charge of embassies and consulates abroad dispose of deposits for purchase and maintenance on purposes not designated for them, indicating also their lack of commitment to reducing the number of employees in the embassies and reducing their salaries to the prescribed limit.
According to the Audit Bureau’s 2018 report, more than half a billion dollars are spent annually on 141 diplomatic missions, some of which did not achieve any interests for the state.
It is worth noting that the number of Libyan embassies and diplomatic missions abroad amounted to more than 134 embassies distributed in many countries all over the world, including small countries in which there is no significant number of Libyans or Libyan investments.