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Saturday January 18, 2020

KPC warns against closing ports on the eve of the Berlin conference


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The Libyan National Oil Corporation, based in Tripoli, warned on Friday against calls to close oil ports on the eve of the Berlin conference on Sunday in an attempt to settle the ongoing conflict in Libya. The Foundation condemned in a statement, “the intensity of calls to close the oil ports in anticipation of the Berlin Conference.” Tribes close to Field Marshal Hifter have called for the closure of oil ports to “dry up the sources of terrorist financing with oil revenues”, in reference to the forces loyal to the Libyan reconciliation government led by Fayez al-Sarraj.

In the wake of calls to close the oil ports, the Libyan-based National Oil Corporation in Tripoli warned Friday not to do so on the eve of the meeting. Berlin conference expected Sunday The goal is to end the international division over Libya and to interfere in its affairs.

A tribe close to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar called the strongman in the east of the country to close the oil ports.

The sheikh of the Zawiya tribe, the mayor of al-Sanusi, al-Haleeq al-Zawi, told Agence France-Presse, “the movement to close the oil fields and ports is launched,” stressing that “the movement aims to dry up the sources of terrorist financing with oil revenues”, referring to the forces loyal to the Libyan government of reconciliation led by Fayez al-Sarraj.

In a statement published on its official Facebook page, the foundation condemned the “strong calls to close the oil ports in anticipation of the Berlin conference.”

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The head of the Foundation, Mustafa Sanallah, stated that “the oil and gas sector is the lifeblood of the Libyan economy, and the only source of income for the people, in addition to that the oil installations belong to the Libyan people, and should not be used as a card for political bargaining.”

He continued, “Stopping the production and export of oil will have severe consequences for the economy that are easy to predict (…). We will face a collapse in the exchange rate, and the budget deficit will worsen to an unbearable level, as we will witness the departure of foreign companies, and we will suffer production losses that may take years.” Many to recover. “

San’a Allah stated that the attempt to close oil installations is “economic crimes in Libyan law and their punishment may amount to the death penalty”, in addition to being considered a war crime under international humanitarian law, as he put it.

The National Oil Corporation called on the forces charged with protecting the oil installations to prevent any attempt to close them and “if it fails to do so, the corporation will be forced to search for other options to secure the protection of vital installations”, without revealing what these options are.

For his part, Major General Ahmed Al-Mesmari, a spokesman for Haftar, said, “Closing oil fields and ports is a strictly popular matter, and whoever is closed by the people, we will only intervene to protect the people in case of danger. (…) This is a message for everyone who begged to harm himself.” The capabilities of the Libyan people. “

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Conference on Libya to end the conflict

On Sunday, the German capital, Berlin, is preparing to host a conference on Libya aimed at consolidating the truce in the field and preventing foreign interference, especially by providing military support.

An arms embargo will also be proposed to the parties to the conflict, and work to find an international political consensus to resolve the Libyan crisis away from a military solution.

Libya, which has the largest oil reserves on the African continent, has suffered from violence and power struggles since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011 in the wake of a popular uprising and military intervention led by France, Britain, and the United States.

In April 2019, forces loyal to Field Marshal Hifter, whose oil fields are under the control of his forces, launch an attack towards Tripoli to control it.

The United Nations says that more than 280 people have been killed in addition to more than two thousand fighters, as well as the displacement of 146 thousand.

The ceasefire agreement, according to the Turkish-Russian initiative that began last week, remains in force despite the two sides accusing each other of breaching it.

/ AFP

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