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PM accuses Belgium of planning to seize $15bn of Libya’s assets

November 19, 2021 at 9:47 am

Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh speaks during a protest in Tripoli, Libya on 21 September 2021 [Mücahit Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh on Wednesday accused Belgium of seeking to seize €14 billion euros ($15 billion) in Libyan assets frozen by the United Nations since 2011, AFP reported yesterday.

“We have a problem with Belgium. The Belgian authorities… are trying once again to seize Libyan funds in Belgium,” Dbeibeh told a cabinet meeting, explaining that Belgium had sought permission from the UN Security Council’s sanctions committee to seize the funds.

The UN Security Council placed Libya’s foreign assets in receivership during the country’s 2011 uprising against the regime of longtime ruler, Muammar Gaddafi, to avoid possible theft.

Dbeibeh pointed out that his government may have to “withdraw” all Libyan assets from Belgium when the freeze is lifted, noting that a Libyan delegation will travel to Brussels next week to settle the issue.

Libya’s funds in Belgium are the subject of a dispute that also involves Belgian Prince Laurent, brother of King Philippe, who has been seeking compensation from Libya after his charity, the Global Sustainable Development Trust, invested tens of millions of euros in a reforestation project that never went ahead due to Gaddafi’s fall.

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