By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli 12 May 2015:
The US and Europe have warned that funds from key institutions must not be used . . .[restrict]to fuel the conflict in Libya. It has also stressed the risk that continuing chaos will allow terrorists access to the county’s wealth, so allowing them “to advance their appalling transnational agenda”.
In a joint statement this evening, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain and the United States said that the Central Bank, the National Oil Corporation, the Libyan Investment Authority and the Libyan Post Telecommunications and Information technology company (LPTIC) should remain independent and serve the long-term interests of all Libyans,
They were concerned “at attempts to divert Libyan resources to the narrow benefit of any side in the conflict and to disrupt financial and economic institutions that belong to all Libyans”.
All four organisations mentioned in the joint statement are headquartered in Libya Dawn-held Tripoli. The NOC has insisted that it is apolitical and is continuing to function normally. Customers for Libyan oil have continued to make their deals with NOC as normal, paying into an oil ministry account at the Libya Arab Foreign Bank’s Italian operation. The government in Beida sought last month to have NOC route its income through a new official account in the UAE.
The CBL likewise claims to be above politics. Last September the House of Representatives fired its governor Saddek Elkaber after he refused the report to the parliament in Tobruk. He was replaced by his deputy Ali Salem Hibri. Elkaber has maintained that his firing was unconstitutional. Though Habri has been welcomed in Washington by the IMF and World Bank, the Americans have continued to recognise the Elkaber-led management.
Meanwhile, the LIA is still struggling to locate and gain control of billions of dollars of assets spread around its subsidiary funds. Its $3 billion claim against Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale in London’s High Court ran into trouble last week when the local law firm it had hired walked away from the case.
The Americans and Europeans insisted today only a national unity government that could oversee and protect Libya’s independent institutions, would safeguard the country’s wealth for all its citizens.