The two remaining diplomats who were still manning Malta’s Embassy in Tripoli have been recalled and arrived in Malta afternoon, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said.

The diplomats, the ministry said, have been subjected to “ever increasing political pressures” over the last days in the exercise of their official duties.

“Our diplomats were, on the one hand, sternly and officially warned by the Tobruk government not to communicate in any way with the self-proclaimed Parliament in Tripoli, while at the same time officials representing the Parliament in Tripoli were piling pressure on the Maltese diplomats and the Maltese authorities to recognise the Tripoli government,” the ministry said in a statement.

This was in spite of the fact that in a statement on November 17, the Maltese authorities, through the Ministry of  Foreign Affairs, emphasised that they had never, and would never, interfere in Libya’s internal affairs of Libya.

The ministry said that, last week, it also asked its ambassador to Libya to come to Malta for political consultations.

However, the diplomats were still subjected to “ever increasing political pressures”.

“In view of this deteriorating situation in Libya which could possibly expose our diplomats to unnecessary risks to their personal safety, the Maltese authorities had no alternative but to decide that the two remaining diplomats also be instructed to return to Malta.

“The Ministry for Foreign Affairs recalls that it had already advised that the Embassy in Tripoli would no longer be able to provide consular assistance August 6, and renews its travel advice against all travel to Libya. It also strongly advises all Maltese nationals in Libya to leave.

“In the light of this recent development, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs further advises that those in need of consular assistance should contact the Crisis Centre, which has been reactivated by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs as of today.”

The centre, at the ministry in Merchants’ Street, Valletta, can be reached on +356 2204 2200 or freephone 8007 2203.