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U.N. envoy hopes for, but cannot predict, speedy reopening of Libya oil ports

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 18, 2020 - Duration: 01:14s

U.N. envoy hopes for, but cannot predict, speedy reopening of Libya oil ports

The United Nations envoy to Libya said on Saturday he hoped but "could not predict" whether eastern oil ports shut ahead of a pending Berlin summit aimed at reaching a truce in Libya would be reopened soon.

Emer McCarthy reports.

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U.N. envoy hopes for, but cannot predict, speedy reopening of Libya oil ports

The United Nations envoy to Libya said on Saturday he hoped but "could not predict" whether eastern oil ports shut ahead of a pending Berlin summit aimed at reaching a truce in Libya would be reopened soon.

Ghassan Salame said the Berlin summit scheduled for Sunday would likely discuss the closures to avoid them dragging on for weeks or months like previous seizures of facilities.

Oil export terminals across eastern and central Libya were shut on Friday by tribesmen allied to commander Khalifa Haftar, whose Libya National Army (LNA) has been locked in a nine-month war with government forces over control of the capital, Tripoli.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N.

ENVOY FOR LIBYA, GHASSAN SALAME, SAYING: "If the the thing (closure of oil fields in the east) is not solved between today and tomorrow, I expect the issue to be raised, yes.

Now, I cannot compel any head of state to raise this rather than that issue, but I will not be surprised that a few participants raise the necessity of keeping the neutrality of the National Oil Company in place." Diplomats see the closures as a power play by the LNA aimed at choking off oil revenue to the internationally recognized Tripoli government.

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