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Cyrenaica set conditions to talk with Tripoli

Three conditions must be met in order for negotiations to be held between the government in Tripoli, Libya, and the Cyrenaica Transitional Council to bring an end to the oil crisis in the east of the country.

The Cyrenaica Transitional Council, which declared Cyrenaica autonomy last June, controlled Libyan seaports in the east and attempted to sell oil independently to the global markets without referring to the government in Tripoli.

Spokesman of Cyrenaica Transitional Council Ali Al-Hasi told the Turkish news agency Anadolu: “We put three conditions on the table of dialogue: cancelling resolution number 42, withdrawal of Al-Wosta Shield Forces [armed group formed to support the army] from Sirte and investigating the attack of the Libyan army on the office of Al-Zawiyeh Martyrs Brigades.”

Al-Hasi said that Cyrenaica Transitional Council would not meet with the government in Tripoli without these conditions being fulfilled.

The Head of the General National Congress and Supreme Leader of Libyan Armed Forces Nouri Abu-Sahmain issued a decree on March 8 to form joint forces from rebels’ brigades and the army units to lift the siege on the seaports where oil is usually exported.

Abu-Sahmain issued resolution number 42 that gives a two week ultimatum to the separatists in Cyrenaica to peacefully end the siege and return control over the seaport to the state. However, Al-Hasi said that the ultimatum was breached by Al-Wosta Shield Forces.

News reported about clashes erupted between Al-Wosta Shield Forces and Cyrenaica forces in Sirte lead to the liberation of Al-Qardabiyeh Base. The clashes were followed by an attack on the office of Al-Zawiyeh Martyrs Brigades as they were accused of supporting Cyrenaica forces.

“Al-Wosta Forces retreated immediately after Cyrenaica forces reached the area without clashes,” Al-Hasi said.

Cyrenaica forces have been closing seaports used to export oil for several months. This has caused hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of losses. The Cyrenaica forces are putting pressure on Tripoli to recognise federalism in the region.

Libya was a federal kingdom consisting of three states: Tripoli in the west, Cyrenaica in the east and Fazan in the south of the country. Each state enjoyed autonomy.

In 1963 the constitution was amended and Libya was divided into 10 governorates with a central government.

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