Eastern European Time Zone UTC+02:00
Capital City Tripoli
Currency Libyan Dinar
National Day 24 December
Libya’s new Ambassador His Excellency Salah Ahmed Mrehil arrived in the capital in February. His family followed at the beginning of April, “which was perfect timing given that Ramadan had just begun.” He’s delighted to be posted to the UK, after a period here as a student between 1992 and 1997. However, he’s surprised by how much the city has changed. “It has become more crowded, with new buildings and newneighbourhoods, and the lifestyle has become more diverse. Now the city is alive 24 hours a day.” He continues, “Back in June, it was wonderful to take part in the spectacular Jubilee celebrations, which my family and I thoroughly enjoyed.”
Born into a well-known Libyan family, Ambassador Mrehil’s father was a judge and one of the first graduates from the Faculty of Law at the University of Libya. “A true statesman, my father left us a great legacy,” he notes, “andI like to think that I have carried on this legacy and inherited his leadership qualities, as well as the desire to follow in his footsteps. As the oldest son, this makes me very proud.”
A family man, the Ambassador explains that his “family has been integral to his career progression: “working for the state in leadership positions needs support and a comfortable environment, which my family have alwaysprovided for me.” His wife Hanaa has accompanied him to London, along with their four children: a 15-year-olddaughter, and three boys, including twins Majd and Zaid, who are 14 years old, and a five-year-old Fahd.
Ambassador Mrehil’s career began after graduating from Libya’s Police and Security Academy in 1991, when he worked in various departments in the interior ministry before a position helping to develop the national security strategy for the country. He enjoyed consular postings at the Libyan embassies in Argentina (1999) and Switzerland (2008), before joining the Administrative Centres Development Authority, where he oversaw the national security infrastructure, including projects for the interior ministry and other security institutions. This led to positions as security advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, director of the Libyan Intelligence Organisation (2013-21), and then in March 2021, as his Prime Minister’s special advisor on security and intelligence.
The Ambassador notes: “These professional experiences shaped my personality as a realist, strategic thinkerand diplomat; all characteristics that are critical to my work as Ambassador. They should also assist me indeveloping strategic plans for Libya’s relationship with the UK.”
In October 2021, Ambassador Mrehil was appointed as Libya’s Ambassador to the UK. Although he has some “lovely memories” of his international postings, Ambassador Mrehil believes that presenting his credentials to The Queen at Buckingham Palace has been the most memorable day of his career to date
His government has charged him with a plethora of plans for his appointment in the capital. “Libyan diplomacy in London has been frozen in recent years. My main goal is to revitalise our diplomacy here and to represent my country in the best possible way. Libya has promising opportunities in the fields of trade and investment that I would very much like to explore with our British friends.
“I would like to take the opportunity to thank the British government for its support for Libya and the Libyans, working with all stakeholders for stable and secure Libya.
“My government is working very hard to maintain Libya’s stability and provide the required services to all Libyans.
“The government of national unity has always called on the House of Representatives and the High Council of State to agree on the necessary legislations to hold the elections that Libyans aspire to.”
Looking forward to COP27, he notes that “Libya is negatively impacted by climate change and the rise in globaltemperature. The average temperature in Libya these days is between 40 and 47 degrees.” He continues, “so we are committed to the international environmental framework and the Paris Agreement. I believe we will always support global efforts to control climate change.”
As the organisation prepares to select a new Secretary-General, CEO of the Brazzaville Foundation Sir David Richmond asks whether this is the turning point or status quo. The world has been watching with fascination or foreboding the extraordinary presidential campaign in the US and the acrimonious EU referendum in the UK.