Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

UN frees billions in Libya assets

Libyan revolutionary supporters react as Libyan Transitional National Council chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil delivers his speech inTripoli (AP)
Libyan revolutionary supporters react as Libyan Transitional National Council chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil delivers his speech inTripoli (AP)

The United Nations Security Council has agreed unanimously to unfreeze billions of pounds worth of Libyan assets held overseas, releasing them for use by the new government.

A wide-ranging resolution voted on by the Security Council meeting in New York also established a UN support mission in Libya to assist in the preparations for the transition to democracy.

Earlier, the National Transitional Council easily won support in the UN General Assembly to take the Libyan seat held by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime for the past 42 years.

Britain and France had been pressing for a new security council resolution, and the votes were warmly welcomed by Foreign Secretary William Hague.

"Both these votes make clear the international community's determination to support the new Libyan authorities, and the Libyan people, as they make progress in re-establishing stability and embrace a free future," he said.

"The provisions for unfreezing assets, leading to the progressive release of around £12 billion from the UK, will help Libya in building a more prosperous and stable future."

Under the resolution, the no-fly zone imposed in March after Gaddafi launched his crackdown on the rebels will remain in place but will be kept under review.

The asset freeze on the Libyan National Oil Corporation and Zueitina Oil Company is lifted and the freeze on the Central Bank of Libya, the Libyan Foreign Bank, the Libyan Investment Authority and the Libyan Africa Investment Portfolio modified.

The asset freeze and travel ban against Gaddafi and key family members and regime supporters remains in place.

The UN support mission will initially operate for a period of three months. It will assist the new government in restoring security and the rule of law, promoting national reconciliation and embarking on the process of writing a constitution and preparing for elections.

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