Libyan FM under investigation over granting diplomatic passport to foreigner

TRIPOLI, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- Libya's national defense and security committee of the eastern-based parliament on Tuesday called for an urgent investigation into allegations about the Tripoli-based UN-backed Foreign Minister granting a diplomatic passport to a foreigner.

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Tarek al-Jaroushi, a member of the committee, added that the defense committee called on the general intelligence agency and the attorney general to start an urgent investigation into this case, plus "officially order cancelling of passports issued to foreigners, and circulate the cancellation of passports to the ports."

Tarek Shoaib, deputy foreign minister of the government of national accord, accused earlier foreign minister, Mohamed Sayala, of granting diplomatic passports to foreigners, including the Syrian wife of the Vice President of the Libyan-Arab bank Mohamed Abdel-Jawad.

Sayala responded, saying that the passport was renewed "because it was issued during the time of former regime by order of the previous leader (Muammar Gaddafi) ... It was also renewed by the successive governments that came after the February uprising."

Libya remains politically divided despite signing a UN-sponsored peace agreement and appointment of a unity government.