Italy to reopen Libya embassy on Sept. 1

ROME Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:41am EDT

ROME Aug 31 (Reuters) - Italy plans to reopen its embassy in Libya from Sept. 1, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, following a similar move by France.

The ministry said diplomats would arrive in Tripoli in coming hours to restart operations, which were halted in March shortly before Italy endorsed the rebels and joined a NATO bombing campaign against Muammar Gaddafi's 41-year rule.

Foreign Minister Franco Frattini will propose the new Italian ambassador to Tripoli at a meeting in Paris on Thursday, the ministry said.

France, which spearheaded the West's military intervention in Libya, has already started resuming operations at its Tripoli embassy, which was shut in February.

(Reporting by Catherine Hornby; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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