OTTAWA — Ottawa took steps to expel five Libyan diplomats from the country, saying the individuals had engaged in inappropriate activity.
“The activities carried out in Canada by the five Libyan diplomats are considered inappropriate and inconsistent with normal diplomatic functions,” the department of foreign affairs said in a statement.
The Libyan embassy in Ottawa remains open but the five diplomats and their families were told to arrange for immediate departure.
The government added that Canada had not severed diplomatic relations with Libya, although it has suspended operations of its embassy in Tripoli.
Canada is part of the NATO mission enforcing a UN-sanctioned no-fly zone over Libya that aims to protect the North African country’s citizens from attacks by forces loyal to leader Moammar Gadhafi.
Tuesday’s diplomatic expulsions came just days after a raucous demonstration near the Libyan embassy forced police to intervene.