The United States (US) is working on reopening its embassy in Libya: a decade after suspending operations there. This step, according to US reports, comes as Russia maintains an influential foothold in Libya, let alone the presence of mercenary group Wagner in key areas in the eastern region.

In the State Department’s fiscal year 2025 request, the State Department asked for $12.7 million “to enable a potential resumption of embassy operations in Libya, providing operational expenses for a planned Diplomatic Travel and Support Operations Facility as well as increased utilization of dedicated aircraft stationed in Malta for flights to Tripoli.”

“With Russia’s influence rising on NATO’s southern flank, US presence with trips into Libya is vital to preserving our long-term security interests,” the budget request indicates.

A US State Department official said Monday that Washington was in “active negotiations for an interim facility that would provide appropriate security and staffing support” in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

The US embassy was shut in 2014, when more than 150 embassy employees in Tripoli were evacuated under intense military guard to neighboring Tunisia during the military operation “Libya Dawn.”