US says Libya week is committed to ending oil blockade


CAIRO (Reuters) – Libyan commander Khalifa Hafter has committed to ending a month-long blockade of oil facilities, the US embassy in the country said in a statement on Saturday, but it was unclear whether the oil fields and ports would again Will open from

FILE PHOTO: Libyan commander Khalifa Hapar met Greece’s Prime Minister Kiriakos Mitsotakis (not pictured) in Greece’s parliament on 17 January 2020. REUTERS / Costas Baltas

The statement said the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) has “expressed General Hafter’s personal commitment not to allow full reopening of the energy sector.”

This is when the United States led efforts to close the oil amid a widespread diplomatic push to strengthen the cease-fire and a political settlement between rival factions located in eastern Libya and the capital Tripoli in the west.

Hafter’s LNA and its backers implemented a blockade in January, reducing Libya’s oil production by 10 million barrels per day (bpd) to less than 100,000 bpd, further deepening Libya’s economic collapse.

The US embassy said that “in recent discussions with a wide range of Libyan leaders” it “endorsed a financial model that provides a credible guarantee that oil and gas revenues will be managed in a transparent manner”.

“The Embassy has welcomed what appears to be a Libyan consensus that it is time to reopen the energy sector,” it said.

A source close to Hafter said that the veteran commanders were “able to achieve a state of fair distribution of (oil) revenue for the first time in Libyan history.” An official announcement will be made soon, he said.

Engineers from two oilfields and one port said they remained closed. The National Oil Corporation (NOC), based in Tripoli, and an LNA spokesperson, had no immediate comment.

The submission of oil revenue to a special account pending in a political account as a way to end the stand in a cease-fire call made by the Prime Minister of the internationally recognized government in Tripoli and formerly the head of a rival parliament Offer included- Closed.

Although authorities in eastern Libya have allowed some stored oil products to be exported to alleviate the power generation crisis in eastern Libya, they have stopped short of the blockade.

Reporting by Ayman al-Warfali, Hashem Abdul Khalek and Omar Fahimi; Writing by Eden Lewis; Editing by Praveen Char and Christina Fincher

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