By Sami Zaptia.
London, 8 February 2021:
The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), Libya’s sovereign state wealth entity, yesterday ‘‘categorically’’ dismissed the request by Belgium to the UN Security Council to partially unfreeze its assets in Belgium.
Libya’s assets were frozen by a UN Security Council resolution in 2011 during the revolution against the Qaddafi regime.
The LIA said its assets had been frozen ‘‘for the long-term benefit of the Libyan people’’ and to protect the funds for generations to come, and ‘‘not as a punishment’’.
It said Belgium’s request is unjustified and contradicts the spirit and letter of the asset freeze.
The LIA stressed that it ‘‘never’’ been in a ‘‘contractual’’ relationship with the Belgian claimant, the Global Sustainable Development Trust (GSDT) led by Belgian prince Laurent.
It also pointed out that it enjoys a separate legal capacity from the Libyan government and is not liable for claims made against the Libyan government.
The LIA said there are ‘‘no legal grounds’’ for the Belgium government to attempt to settle the debt of other Libyan entities by seizing its funds.
‘‘The LIA’s assets belong to the people of Libya, not the state’’, it added.
It called on the UN to reject Belgium’s request and communicated its message to both parties.