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U.S. Looks To Free Up Money For Libya

WASHINGTON, Aug. 26 (UPI) — The United Nations backed a U.S. proposal to free $1.5 billion in Libyan assets to provide critical assistance to the Libyan people, Washington said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at a meeting for the Libya Contact Group in Istanbul called on the international community to release Libyan assets frozen as far back as February.

The U.N. Security Council hit Libyan Moammar Gadhafi with tough economic sanctions and later approved of international forces to protect civilians from attacks by Libyan forces.

The U.S. State Department said the Security Council’s sanctions committee approved of a proposal to free up to $1.5 billion in Libyan assets for fuel, humanitarian assistance and social and healthcare services.

The State Department noted that it developed the asset proposal in close cooperation with the rebel-backed Transitional National Council, the widely recognized governmental authority in Libya.

Mahmoud Badi, the man appointed by the rebel-backed TNC to track down funds held by the Libyan Investment Authority, told the BBC about $2.9 billion of the $70 billion fund was missing.

“We will use all available means, we will contact all respectable institutions who were attached to these funds,” he said.

TNC authorities said it would take at least a decade to rebuild the country following six months of war.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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