US aims to release up to US$1.5 billion Libya assets


The United States is seeking to release in the coming days between US$1 billion and US$1.5 billion in frozen Libyan assets to the Libyan rebels, said US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

Nuland said that the money would come from the roughly $30 billion in Libyan assets that the United States froze earlier this year, only about one-tenth of which, or US$3 billion, is liquid, Reuters reports.

The spokeswoman told reporters at her daily briefing that the United States was working in the UN sanctions committee to obtain its blessing to release the frozen assets and that it hoped “this process will be complete in the coming days.”

The spokeswoman said the United States was confident that the money would be used properly. “We would not have taken this step if we didn’t have confidence that the money would get to the people who need it,” she said.

Nuland also said it was clear the Gaddafi regime has nearly collapsed and that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday about how the U.N. could give Libya humanitarian relief, security assistance if requested and support on matters such as constitution-writing.