Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) on Saturday announced that it has activated the cell crisis in the case of the Romanian citizen who was abducted in Libya.
MAE told AGERPRES that the crisis cell “has immediately started, under an emergency procedure, to make some verification, in order to determine the situation.”
Considering the specific of the operations and the situation in Libya, the verification procedures could take a while, says the Ministry.
The case is operated through the Romanian Embassy in Libya, currently relocated in Tunis, mentions the same release.
MAE reiterated that a maximum alert level for Libya has been in place ever since 2015: “Major danger – Leave the area or the country immediately!”
Moreover, the Ministry reiterated its recommendation that “publicly treating aspects related to this case should be done with caution, given the security situation in Libya.”
An armed group on Saturday abducted four engineers – three Libyan and one Romanian – in an attack at the Sharara oil field, which is part of the larger oil field Murzuk, informed the Xinhua news agency quoting military sources.
“Four staff, including one Romanian engineer, were abducted early on Saturday in an attack by an unknown group at a facility at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field, during the morning,” military sources from Ubari, a city located 1,100 km south of the Capital City Tripoli informed.
The attack occurred as the engineers were preparing to leave their accommodation units in the main part of the field heading towards a smaller area. Their car was found abandoned right where they were abducted, said the same source.
The Anadolu News Agency also informed that the location where the abducted persons were taken is still unknown and no group has claim the attack yet. The Turkish news agency also specified that the security forces have launched a search operation and that two Libyan engineers were abducted in the same area on Friday, having been released later on the same day.
Previously, the EFE news agency announced that at least two persons, one of them a Romanian engineer, were kidnapped on Saturday by a Libyan militia in at attack at the Sharara oil field. The attack took place in the morning at one of the control stations of the oil field, which is one of the most important in southern Libya.
Melescanu: First of all, the crisis cell has the role to confirm us if the Romanian is a hostage or if he was released
The Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu stated on Saturday that first of all, the crisis cell has the role to confirm us if the Romanian abducted in Libya is a hostage or if he was released, and then to find out which one of the military groups in the area is responsible for the abduction. Melescanu says hat “there are communication channels”, and he hopes that they will be fruitful.
“At this point, the situation in Libya is extremely complicated. There is a very large number of military and paramilitary groups who are fighting for the most important resource: the control on the oil. First of all, the crisis cell has the role to confirm us if the Romanian is a hostage or if he was released, and which one of the groups will claim the responsibility for his abduction. From this point of view, we count very much on the Libyan authorities, to the extent they can support us, and secondly, we rely on the consultations with the allies in the region, to see to what extent this news can be confirmed, and if the answer is positive, who owns it, in order to be able to draw up an action plan” Teodor Melescanu stated on Saturday in a phone intervention at Digi 24.
Melescanu mentioned that the Romanian supposed to be abducted is working in Libya for a foreign company, and that the authorities are trying to establish a contact with it, too, in order to see to what extent it can involve in solving the situation.
“We have communication channels, and we hope they will give the expected results. (…) Obviously, all the companies operating in high-risk areas have their own security services. We will have to contact the company to see to what extent they can involve” Melescanu said.
Asked if the Romanian state will negotiate for the payment of a possible redemption, Melescanu answered: “Our policy was always very clear in order not to finance terrorist actions, even there have been hostages, but at the same time we are open to dialogue, to find solutions to release the Romanian citizens”.