Libya shoots itself in the foot? cruise passengers refused!

From the evening of 11 November, visitors without an Arabic translation of their passports have been denied entry, even if they have valid visas.

Libya is the only Middle Eastern country to take such a step.

Correspondents say the sudden change of policy appears to go against Tripoli’s recent attempts to promote itself as a western tourist destination.

No warning of the change was given to foreign embassies.

“It was completely out of the blue” an official at the British Embassy in Tripoli told the BBC News website.

“The consular department has written to request an explanation and we haven’t received a reply yet.”

Official complaint

Switzerland has lodged a formal complaint to Libya after about 40 air passengers on board a Swiss carrier were denied entry to Tripoli on Sunday.

The travellers were forced to return to Switzerland on the same plane later that evening.

More than 170 passengers on board a charter flight run by France’s Air Mediterranee had to do the same. They were not allowed to get off their plane which had landed at Sebha airport, in southern Libya.

A passenger on board the P&O cruise ship Artemis has contacted the BBC to say the vessel was not allowed to land passengers in Tripoli on Tuesday morning for a planned day trip.

A P&O spokeswoman said the vessel was heading to its next destination, Malta, earlier than scheduled.

Libya’s status as a tourist destination has grown since UN sanctions were lifted in 2003.

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Seif al-Islam, unveiled a plan in September to protect and promote Libya’s ancient archaeological sites and unspoilt Mediterranean coastline.

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One Response

  1. Great tip on this info, thanks! I am going to link to your blog for this story, if you don’t mind?

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