Bulgaria's Ambassador in Libya Zdravko Velev was scolded Wednesday evening in Tripoli over the Qaddafi-mocking cartoons that were published in a Bulgarian daily on May 3.
Libya finds that the caricatures slander the dignity of Muammar Qaddafi, they discredit the country's justice system and offend the whole Libyan people.
The cartoons were an act of provocation, aimed at disturbing the relationships between the two countries, authorities in Libya seem to believe. Such insults to the head of state are inadmissible, and both Libyan officials and the people cannot tolerate them, Velev was told.
The authors of the cartoons hurt Bulgaria's interests, Libyan officials said to Velev, expressing their hope that the issue won't escalate in other Bulgarian media.
Velev explained that Bulgaria's state institutions have already distanced themselves from the cartoons and that the country hopes this case wouldn't hurt the trial of the five Bulgarian nurses jailed in Libya.
In an attempt to vent their rage at Bulgaria's "quiet diplomacy" and Libya's stalling of the trial against the nurses, jailed on accusations of infecting children with HIV, Bulgarian Novinar daily published 12 cartoons mocking Qaddafi. One of the caricatures shows Qaddafi playing on a chessboard with "figures" that are actually Bulgaria's five jailed nurses. In another picture, the colonel is a devil over a boiling cauldron with the women inside, and a cartoon shows Libyan judges with condoms pulled over their faces.