Canada ‘Hides’ Embassy in Libya, Remains Operational

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Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird speaking to the media in Tokyo
Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird speaks to the media before a working lunch with Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida at the Iikura Guest House in Tokyo July 28, 2014. Baird is in Japan for a four-day visit.

Canadian diplomatic staff stationed in Tripoli, Libya said the embassy continues to operate there, albeit withholding information where the facility is really currently located.

Despite Canada yet to issue a strong travel advisory against the war-torn North African country, the embassy on its Web site did say that the visa application centre (VAC) in Tripoli, Libya "is closed until further notice. Updates will be provided when available."

The application centre was closed on July 21.

Other countries, including France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the United States have warned their citizens to leave Libya immediately.

Canada's advisory, last updated on July 13, cautioned against all travel to Libya due to political instability and the threat of terrorism. It said people "should consider leaving now while it is safe to do so."

On Monday, Britain advised its nationals still in Libya to "leave now" as fighting between pro-government forces and militant groups escalated.

Read: Advisory: Britons Told to Leave Libya ASAP, UK Issues Travel Ban

Germany has likewise evacuated its embassy staff in Libya on the same day. The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) of Thailand has also ordered the immediate evacuation of all 1,500 Thais in Libya.  

The U.S., UN and Turkish embassies have already shut operations. The Netherlands, the Philippines and Austria have prepared to follow suit to evacuate diplomatic staff.

John Babcock, a spokesman from Foreign Affairs, said the avoid-travel recommendation issued on June 1 was already the government's highest advisory level.

"Advisory levels are continuously being monitored," he was quoted by the Globe and Mail.

Canadians are being advised to register their travel plans with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service.

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