Ministers Cohen and Mangoush
Ministers Cohen and MangoushSpokesperson

Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid al-Dbeibah commented for the first time on Thursday on the storm that erupted after the meeting between Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen with his Libyan counterpart.

Due to the meeting being publicized, Libyan Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush was fired and even had to flee the country.

During Thursday's cabinet meeting, al-Dbeibah stated: "We repeat and state our keen opposition to any sort of normalization of ties with the state of Israel."

He added: "The meeting between the Foreign Ministers, even though it was not of much importance, requires us to react severely."

al-Dbeibah claimed that political factors in his country attempted to take advantage of the meeting to get revenge on his government.

He stated that his Foreign Minister was very dedicated to the country, but she must pay the price for her meeting with the Israeli minister.

After Mangoush was suspended for meeting with her Israeli counterpart, the Libyan Foreign Ministry published a statement claiming that the meeting was held with the consent and knowledge of Prime Minister al-Dbeibah.

The ministry added that Prime Minister al-Dbeibah "met with the Italian Prime Minister last month in Rome and agreed with her on the meeting with the Israeli official. In return, the Italian government promised him to run an air route between Rome and Tripoli."