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British PM, French president visits Libya in show of supports for NTC + Related News

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Laaska News  Sept. 15,2011

BENGHAZI, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) — British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who had arrived in the Libyan capital of Tripoli Thursday, appeared in the east city of Benghazi, in show of supports for the National Transitional Council (NTC).

“The people of Britain salute your courage,” Cameron told a cheering crowd in the Tahrir Square in Benghazi, the cradle of the unrest that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi. He said the people in Britain and France will assist the Libyan people in build their country for the future.

Sarkozy called for a united Libya in dressing the Libyan people.

The British prime minister and the French president earlier in the day held a joint press conference with head of the NTC executive office Mahmoud Jibril and NTC Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil in Tripoli.

Jibril told the news conference that both the British and French leaders have pledged continued protection of the Libyan civilians, assistance in border surveillance, and releasing the frozen Libyan assets.

Jalil, for his part, voiced appreciation for the supports from Britain and France and thanked the positions held by the two countries, adding he is pleased with the visits by the heads of the two governments.

Cameron, whose country and France spearheaded the NATO mission in Libya, told the press conference that NATO will keep on its mission until the civilians are protected and the work completed. He vowed that his countries will help the Libyans hunt down Gaddafi whose whereabouts remain unknown.

Meanwhile, Britain has started the process to release the frozen Libyan assets, said the British prime minister, adding Britain will also assist in rebuilding Libya and restoring stability among others.

Cameron said the British government would manage to release 12 billion pounds (about 19 billion U.S. dollars) in Libyan assets as soon as a UN Security Council resolution on Libya was passed, and a spokesman for Cameron’s office said the country will unfreeze another 600 million pounds (944 million dollars) of Libyan assets, aiming at supporting the new leadership in Libya.

French President Sarkozy vowed that as long as peace is threatened in Libya, France is by the side of the Libyan people. ” You can count on our friendship and admiration,” he said.

Sarkozy added that the Libyan people must know those who committed crimes must face prosecution.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr are also scheduled to visit Libya at a later time.


Egypt’s FM to visit Tripoli
CAIRO, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) — Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr will fly to Tripoli on Thursday night in efforts to enhance bilateral relations, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Amr will fly to Libya to enhance bilateral cooperation, such as eliminating mines surrounding the industrial and petroleum sites and providing medical services, said Amr Roshdy, the spokesperson for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.

Egypt will also help Libya in education sector and offer supports for airport rehabilitation after the lifting of the no- fly zone, he added.

On the other hand, Amr will discuss with Libyan officials the Egyptian affairs in Libya and the matter of releasing detained Egyptians in Libya.



IEA ends collective action for Libya crisis


PARIS, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) — The collective action of releasing oil stock for Libya crisis by member countries of the International Energy Agency (IEA) has been terminated, IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said Thursday.

The IEA Governing Board representing all 28 members “concluded that the interrupted Libyan supplies have been successfully addressed … against a backdrop now of weakening expectations for global oil demand growth,” said a statement issued by the Paris-based agency.

On 23 June 2011, the United States along with other IEA member countries agreed to make available to the market 60 million barrels of crude oil and oil products for three months, an attempt to ease the tight market which saw continuous rising of oil prices on concerns of Libyan supply disruption.

The collective release of strategic stock included some 38 million barrels from public stocks and 22 million barrels via a relaxation of obligatory industry stockholding, according to the IEA.

“Uptake of public stocks has been 97 percent, compared with 73 percent at the time of the 2005 collective action,” said the statement.

The IEA would “exercise flexibility in re-establishing their emergency stock levels through 2011 and 2012, noting that the collective action required none of the involved IEA countries to go below the 90-day requirement, and also taking into account seasonal demand patterns,” the statement added.



Pentagon says terrorist groups trying to enter Libya


WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) — U.S. Defense Department officials on Wednesday said terrorist groups are trying to gain hold in Libya, but has been so far rejected by the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC).

The officials made the assessment in a Pentagon background briefing, saying terrorist groups are “always looking for a target of opportunity.”

The officials said the NTC has rejected the terrorist groups and “it certainly seems that they have gone to great lengths to disassociate themselves.”

Terrorist groups have expanded in other parts of North Africa, including al Shabaab in Somalia, Boko Haram in Nigeria, and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, an Algerian-based group believed to be working with Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, according to the officials, who briefed media in condition of anonymity.

The U.S. officials said intelligence officials are studying the degree to which terrorist splinter groups are working together.

“They’ll remain a concern,” said one Defense Department official. “There is an element of defeating the organization … that is separate from the ideological component. You can get them to be operationally incapable, but that doesn’t destroy the idea of al-Qaida.”



Laaska News.