The first pictures with the Romanian kidnapped in July, in Libya, have been posted on the internet. The Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) is conducting checks on the authenticity, stirileprotv.ro informs.
The Romanian is pictured together with another man, most likely also kidnapped, who reads a message in Arabic, having behind them two armed men with the faces covered.
It looks like the man launches an appeal to the government and to corporations to start negotiations with the kidnappers, in order to have the kidnapped men released.
MAE informs that “the inter-institutional crisis cell, dealing with the situation of the kidnapped Romanian in Libya, has learned about the video footage posted on the internet. The competent Romanian authorities, represented in the crisis cell, are conducting emergency checks on the footage authenticity. Considering the specificity of this operation, the procedure could take time. The inter-institutional cell crisis mentions that the message launched publicly is within the usual pattern of such situations. The cell is in constant contact with the Libyan central and local authorities, with the representatives of the employing company, as well as with the Romanian citizen’s family. MAE also reiterates the recommendation to approach with caution this case in public space, given its sensitive and specific character,” a MAE release reads.
MAE revealed on July 17 that, besides the crisis cell activated in the case of the Romanian engineer kidnapped in Libya, Romania has also asked for its international partners’ support. MAE informed that a meeting of the Romanian officials with the representative of Libya’s Embassy in Bucharest had taken place.
„Romania’s Embassy to Libya, relocated to Tunis, yook urgent action upon the Libyan central and local authorities to solve the case. At the same time, the support of Romania’s international partners has been asked. The Crisis Cell continues its activity and collaborates with the international partners of Romania. The Foreign Ministry’s heads had a meeting with the charge d’affaires of the Libyan Embassy in Bucharest to coordinate the actions to solve the situation,” a MAE press release informed.
The ministry reminded that it has released a travel alert for Libya since 2015, warning citizens to immediately leave the area.
A Romanian engineer has been kidnapped by armed men near an oil well area in western Libya.
Kidnappings have been on the rise in Libya in the past years, with hundreds having disappeared. There remains a high threat throughout the country of terrorist attacks and kidnap against foreigners, including from Daesh-affiliated extremists (formerly referred to as ISIL) and Al Qaida, as well as armed militias. Daesh and Al Qaeda have attacked a number of oil and gas installations and killed or kidnapped workers, including foreign nationals.