The Foreign Ministry has denied what was stated in the Audit Bureau's report regarding the increase in the expenses of missions abroad by more than 10 million dinars during the years 2018-2019.

"The ministry had received no official note or reports from the Audit Bureau in this regard," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday.

It indicated that it has been rationalizing public spending by reducing the number of delegates and salaries, which was not done by previous governments.

According to the ministry's statement, the salaries of diplomats working in Libyan embassies have decreased by 35% and not by 10% as was stated in the Audit Bureau's report.

It also indicated that there was no rise in the general expenses for 2019, stressing that the 10% increase was to pay off previous debts on missions, some of which go back to more than 10 years.

The Foreign Ministry also denied increasing the number of missions in 2019 to 150 from 138 in 2018, confirming that no embassy has been opened abroad since 2011.

The statement explained that the new missions were a result of separating the Libyan embassy in Brussels from the EU mission besides the African Union mission, while the information regarding having five missions in Italy is incorrect because the Vatican is an independent country.

Earlier, the head of the Audit Bureau, Khaled Shakshak, called for pausing the implementation of the decision to dispatch 171 foreign employees to the Libyan diplomatic missions abroad, while demanding the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide him with its plan regarding reducing the number of Libyan missions and consulates abroad.