EU eases Libya asset freezes to boost new government

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The European Union said it had eased a freeze on assets of the Libyan Central Bank and several other entities to support the building of a new government.

An EU statement said that in line with last week’s UN Security Council resolution on Libya, frozen funds from entities would be released “for humanitarian and civilian needs, to support renewed activity in the Libyan oil and banking sectors and to assist with building a civilian government”.

The move also covered the Libyan Investment Authority, the Libyan Foreign Bank, the Libya Africa Investment Portfolio, the Libyan National Oil Corporation and the Zuietina Oil Co, Reuters reports.

The bloc also lifted a ban on use of European airports and European airspace by Libyan aircraft.

The European Union lifted an asset freeze on Afriqiyah Airways on September 16 and on September 1 agreed to release funds held within the EU by 28 other Libyan entities, including ports, oil firms, banks and Libyan Arab Airlines.

The sanctions were lifted following a meeting of world powers in Paris which agreed to free up billions of dollars of frozen assets to help Libya’s new rulers rebuild the nation after 42 years of Muammar Gaddafi’s rule and six months of civil war.

The European Union imposed sanctions on a wide range of individuals and entities in Libya this year to isolate Gaddafi, who was ousted from power in Tripoli last month.