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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid