The Libyan Embassy in Bulgaria has submitted a protest note to the Bulgarian authorities on the instructions of the Libyan Foreign Ministry regarding the detention of the Libyan oil tanker "Badr" by the Bulgarian authorities.

In a statement to the Libyan News Agency in Tripoli, on Sunday, the charge d'affairs of the Libyan Embassy in Bulgaria, Sufian Triki clarified that the Embassy had demanded in the protest note to take the necessary and legal measures to keep the Libyan vessel in the Bulgarian port of Burgas, under the responsibility of the Bulgarian government.

"The issue is of utmost importance to the Libyan government and to the relations between the two countries," the note read.

Triki said the note included a legal explanation from the lawyer of the Libyan National Company of Sea Transport to clarify the validity of the company's position and that this infringement contravenes the Bulgarian legislation, calling for the Bulgarian authorities to take deterrent measures against those who unlawfully acquired the Libyan state's property.

Triki pointed out that the Embassy's staff is following up the issue closely; pointing out that the Libyan National Shipping Company had won the case on which the detention of the vessel was based on, in a previous stage.

"It is now awaiting final and administrative ruling on the matter, which is expected to be issued on the first working day after the New Year holidays," Triki explained.

He also noted that the Embassy has carried out its duty in providing protection for the Libyan captain.

"The Libyan Consul headed immediately with a security official to the city of Burgas and secured the captain's return to Sofia, before flying him back to Tripoli," Trik clarified, adding that the repatriation of the rest of the crew was secured by the security company contracted by the National Libyan Shipping Company.

The National Company of Sea Transport and Ports Authority announced on Saturday that the Bulgarian authorities had handed over the Libyan vessel’s control to a new crew, with rejections to enforce a court ruling that ordered the lifting of the seizure on the vessel, which has been in custody since November 2017 for a lawsuit against the Libyan state.