U.S. envoy to Libya in Washington for talks on ties

ALGIERS (Reuters) - The U.S. ambassador to Libya has returned to Washington for consultations on bilateral ties including the question of when he will return to Tripoli, an embassy spokesman said Tuesday.

“Ambassador (Gene A.) Cretz is in Washington for consultations ... The question of when Ambassador Cretz returns to Libya will be one of the many subjects of his consultations,” the spokesman said, adding that Cretz had gone to Washington at the request of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The consultations “will cover a number of important issues related to our bilateral relationship as well as regional developments,” the spokesman said, without elaborating.

Some secret U.S. embassy cables released by WikiLeaks are expected to have upset Libyan authorities, though the Libyans have made no public comments about them.

In one of the cables, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was said to have caused a month-long nuclear scare in 2009 when he delayed the return to Russia of radioactive material in an apparent fit of diplomatic pique.

Reporting by Maghreb newsroom, editing by Tim Pearce