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Posted On: 25 August 2011 10:56 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:11 pm

Qatar urges release of $5bn Libyan funds

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Qatar stressed yesterday that Libya’s frozen overseas assets should be released to help the Libyan people meet their basic needs and set in motion the rebuilding effort in the country. State employees in Libya have not been paid their salaries for the past several months and there is a severe shortage of basic food items as well as medicines in the country. Addressing a meeting of the Contact Group on Libya, Qatar’s Minister of State for International Cooperation urged that a formal request be made to the United Nations Security Council to release Libya’s frozen assets. H E Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah said that it must be made sure that Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) is provided continuous support so that it is able to restore peace, security and stability in the country. The Contact Group has representatives from the NTC and countries like the US, Britain, France, Qatar, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Germany and Jordan. The Group said $5bn should be released from Libya’s frozen assets immediately so that state employees can be paid their salaries before Eid Al Fitr and the families of those killed in the civil war are provided succour. The money would also be spent on treating those who are wounded and in rehabilitating those who have been left partially or fully incapacitated. Al Attiyah said he hoped the UN Security Council would pass a resolution to release $1.5bn immediately. For the remaining $3.5bn, formal requests are to be made to the UN Security Council, the European Union and the Sanctions Committee. Dr Arif Al Naid, Libyan ambassador to the UAE, said Libya was not asking for aid but was insisting that its overseas frozen assets be released. “The sum is needed to restore stability in Libya. The work of restoring stability actually began three days ago,” Al Naid said. The United States yesterday asked the UN Security Council to unfreeze $1.5bn in Libyan assets. No vote was held on the draft yesterday, but diplomats said a vote could come today or tomorrow.