Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Deal in Works to Resume Oil Production in Libya in Exchange for Turkish Withdrawal

Deal in Works to Resume Oil Production in Libya in Exchange for Turkish Withdrawal

Sunday, 12 July, 2020 - 05:00
Oil infrastructure at Libya's largest oil field al-Sharara. (Reuters)
Cairo – Khaled Mahmoud

Efforts are underway to strike a deal that would see the resumption of oil production in Libya in exchange for Turkey’s military withdrawal from the country and avert an impeding war in the Mediterranean.

A document obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat revealed a proposal to Acting Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Stephanie Williams by Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar and a tribal and urban movement seeking the preservation of oil resources.

They suggested the withdrawal of all terrorists brought to Libya by Turkey, eliminating the military deal signed between Ankara and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) and removing the pro-GNA chiefs of the central bank and National Oil Corporation.

The proposal was sent to Williams on June 10 and also calls for transferring Libya’s oil revenues to the al-Bayda-based central bank, which is affiliated with the interim government, and with the supervision of the UNSMIL.

Haftar and the tribal and urban movement had met on June 9 to agree on the need for him to restore oil production in order to “safeguard the state and democracy.” Haftar stressed the need to stand by the UN mission seeing as it was the only side that could follow up on the implementation of previous demands.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the East-based parliament, Aguila Saleh, was in Geneva for talks with European Union officials, a French delegation and Williams.

A statement from the UN mission said they discussed his recent proposal to resolve the Libyan crisis, resume political dialogue and reach a comprehensive political solution.

An official informed on the negotiations revealed American and international pressure on Haftar and an allied faction operating in Tarhuna. The faction was later named the ninth brigade.

The LNA chief and faction are at risk of being placed on the International Criminal Court’s blacklist for their links to mass graves and the planting of mines in Tarhuna.

Editor Picks