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Sarraj discusses lifting Libya oil fields blockade with US ambassador in Ankara

Fayez al-Sarraj, Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) holds a press conference in Tripoli, Libya on February 15, 2020 [Hazem Turkia - Anadolu Agency]
Fayez Al-Sarraj, Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) holds a press conference in Tripoli, Libya on 15 February 2020 [Hazem Turkia/Anadolu Agency]

Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj discussed with US Ambassador to Turkey David Satterfield on Friday the lifting of the blockade on Libya’s oil fields.

This came during a meeting held by the two sides, according to a statement issued by the media office of the Libyan government.

Al-Sarraj stressed during the meeting: “The utmost necessity to reopen oil fields and ports and resume exports under the management of the Libyan National Oil Corporation.”

The two sides also discussed developments in Libya and ways to enhance bilateral relations between the two friendly countries, according to the statement.

They agreed on: “A political solution to the Libyan crisis, and adhering to United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 2510 of 2020 and the outputs of the Berlin Conference.”

The meeting came a day after US Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland spoke on the phone with Speaker of the Tobruk Parliament Aguila Saleh, during which they discussed the resumption of oil production in the country.

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The Tobruk parliament, headed by Saleh, supports Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, whose militia has closed the country’s oil ports and fields for about six months, claiming that the oil revenues: “Are used by the internationally-recognised government to finance military operations.”

Recently, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) estimated the losses resulting from the suspension of oil production as more than $7 billion, as of 16 July.

Before the fields and ports were closed, Libyan oil production reached 1.22 million barrels per day, according to data for the NOC and the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

For years, the oil-rich country has been witnessing an armed conflict, as Haftar’s militia contests the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) over legitimacy and authority, while causing civilian deaths and injuries, along with extensive material damage.

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