News / Africa

Libya Opposition Urges Quick Release of Frozen Assets

Libyan rebel leader and senior member of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) Mahmoud Jibril, speaks during a joint news conference with Turkey's FM Ahmet Davutoglu (R) in Istanbul, August 26, 2011
Libyan rebel leader and senior member of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) Mahmoud Jibril, speaks during a joint news conference with Turkey's FM Ahmet Davutoglu (R) in Istanbul, August 26, 2011

The leader of Libya's opposition coalition, Mahmoud Jibril, has warned that the country could face a crisis unless the international community acts quickly to release the estimated $150 billion in assets frozen by United Nations sanctions. Jibril made the appeal in Istanbul, after a meeting with Turkey's foreign minister.

The head of Libya's Transitional National Council (TNC), Mahmoud Jibril, met Friday with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. The talks focused on establishing international recognition of the rebel leadership and the release of billions of dollars in Libyan assets frozen under U.N. sanctions. Jibril announced the new leaders hope to take the Libyan seat at the United Nations next month. But for the rebel leader, money is the key priority.

He says all the people who fought will go back home - that there are martyrs and wounded, all of whom have families. He says there also are civil servants who must be paid. He says it is important that Libyans return to a normal way of life, and it is for that reason that those assets must be released. He says if that does not happen, there could be a crisis of legitimacy.

Jibril stressed that the funds will be vital for establishing a new army and police force. He says maintaining security and stability is a particular concern of the international community. Observers say a lawless Libya could become a base for groups linked to al-Qaida. But Jibril says the funds also are needed to help in the reconciliation process.

He says the TNC would like to see support moving even into areas under the control of Moammar Gadhafi's forces, so the needs of those people can also be met. He says that way, they can feel they are part of the Libyan people as a whole.

Foreign Minister Davutoglu pledged Turkey's complete support to Libya's new leaders, saying recognition of their flag, the release of financial assets and international recognition are the three main pillars of international legitimacy, and they must now be fulfilled.

Davutoglu announced they will be expediting the release of $200 million in credit on top of $100 million in aid already given to the TNC. The Turkish foreign minister also said they are looking to arrange direct flights to Benghazi, the center of the Libyan opposition, ahead of an Islamic holiday next week.  International relations expert Soli Ozel says Turkey is looking after its investments.

"The most important thing for Turkey now is to be able to collect $17 billion [in] outstanding debts and make sure when Libya is rebuilt that Turkish contractors are going to get their fare share," said Ozel. "But I think to the extent that Turkey can help with institution-building they will be happy to do it and are capable to help out on that."

Turkey is already helping in the training of both the police and army in Afghanistan. Offering similar assistance to Libya was reportedly discussed in Friday's meeting, as well as the reconstruction of Libya. Ankara does appear well placed when the scramble for Libyan contracts begins.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

Iraqi Kurdish Leader: Protect Syrian City

Islamic State fighters are besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, after seizing at least 21 surrounding villages in a major assault against city on Syria's northern border with Turkey More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid