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US Evicts Libyan Embassy from Washington

The U.S. is moving to close the Libyan embassy in Washington D.C. and freeze its diplomatic ties with the Qaddafi-led government in Tripoli.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 3/10/2011, 9:31 PM / Last Update: 3/10/2011, 10:27 PM

The U.S. said it is moving to freeze diplomatic ties with Libya in light of Qaddafi's continued slaughter of his people.

“We are suspending our relationships with the existing Libyan embassy in Washington DC,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on Thursday. “So we expect them to end operating as the embassy of Libya.”

The U.S. evacuated all of its diplomatic personnel from the West African nation last month and closed its own embassy in Tripoli.

American officials said at the time that communication with the Libyan leadership would continue through the country's embassy in Washington.

The U.S. State Department told reporters February 28 it received work that Libya had fired its ambassador to Washington, Ali Aujali after he defected to the opposition. Aujali was replaced with a regime loyalist, according to the AFP news service.

Peres: 'Throw Him in the Trash'
Meanwhile, President Shimon Peres told an audience in Jerusalem the Libyan dictator should be “thrown in the trash.”

Addressing a student association Thursday, Peres added a snide comment about Qaddafi's taste in clothing.

“I think he should have worked in Dior,” he said. “Every day he changes his style... [he] invests thousands of dollars in funny hats, in damned dresses. Every day he's with his damned dresses.”

Peres, who also began a four-day visit to Spain on Thursday, told reporters at the headquarters of the Jewish community in Madrid it was an “irony of history” the Libyan dictator had recently expressed his hope for “a Middle East without Israel.”

Now, he said, it looks as though “there will be a Libya without Qaddafi.”