Creating new perspectives since 2009

Libya envoy: Haftar's conditions for opening oil ports ‘proves his dependence abroad’

July 14, 2020 at 1:30 pm

The Libyan Ambassador to the United Nations, Taher El-Sonni, said the conditions set by renegade General Khalifa Haftar to reopen the oil fields and ports, demonstrates his dependence on foreign players.

In a statement issued on TV on Saturday, Ahmed Al-Mismari, a spokesman for Haftar, conditioned the reopening on oil transport lanes on “opening a special account in one of the countries where oil revenues are deposited”.

For his part, El-Sonni said in a TV interview that “the conditions set by Al-Mismari, demonstrate Haftar’s dependence on foreign powers, and indicates that the decision is not in his hands.”

READ: Libya’s NOC blames UAE for halt to oil output, exports

The National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Sunday that the UAE had instructed the Haftar militia to stop the production of crude oil.

In response to the suspension of oil production, the US embassy in Tripoli vowed on Sunday that “those who undermine Libya’s economy and cling to military escalation will face isolation and the risk of sanctions.”

El-Sonni said: “Libya has suffered from external interference since 2011. The way the international community has dealt with the crisis and opened the stage for settling accounts, and the proxy war caused accumulations over the previous years.”

He added that countries that support Haftar “fear change”.

Regarding Egypt’s position,  he said: “We understand the issue of Egyptian national security, which is a part of the Libyan national security, but the remedy of Egyptian concerns does not come from supporting a war on the border.”

“The cooperation of the Government of National Accord (GNA) with Turkey is a matter of self-defence and foiling the attempted coup in the country.”

READ: Washington welcomes lift of force majeure on Libya oil exports

“Haftar is a war criminal, and he has no place in the political process… We cannot share power with a dictator who wants to seize it by force and arms.”

On Saturday, Haftar said he will continue to block oil production until his conditions are accepted. They included to deposit oil revenues in the bank account located in a third country and to establish a mechanism to distribute proceeds equally. He also asked for conducting an audit of Libyan Central Bank.

Libya with the largest oil reserve in Africa can produce 1.2 million barrels of crude oil per day. But the production has fallen below 100,000 barrels a day due to the interruptions by the pro-Haftar groups over the past six months.