The Libyan Oil and Gas Ministry denounced the joint statement issued by the embassies of a number of Western countries regarding the National Oil Corporation (NOC), which was supported by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).
The Ministry said it strongly condemns the statement and considers it “a statement of blatant interference in the internal affairs of the Libyan state and an attempt to dominate the decision-making power of the Libyan state and to extend its full sovereignty over national wealth, and a flagrant violation of the national spirit of workers in the oil sector.”
It added, “The fact that ambassadors of foreign countries visit an economic institution and repeat statements issued by these ambassadors to support and protect this economic institution, and the warnings contained in these statements to state entities against any attempt to extend their national sovereignty over their institutions, is in fact nothing more than taking this institution away from its technical and commercial role for which it was established, and its inclusion in a political role and its entry into the arena of political conflict, even if these joint statements claim otherwise.
The Oil Ministry said it renews its rejection and denunciation of this kind of statements or visits, and it will assume its responsibilities and will address all concerned authorities in the Libyan state to explain to them that such statements pose a threat and an imminent danger to the oil sector.
It added that it will ask these authorities to intervene by addressing the countries represented by the ambassadors to stop these unprofessional actions from these embassies in order to protect the interests of the Libyan people and the Libyan state.
Five Western nations urged Libyans on Friday not to drag the state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC) into political disputes that could threaten the country’s fragile peace.
“The embassies of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States urge all actors to respect the unity, integrity, and independence and preserve the apolitical, technical nature of the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC), whose continued, uninterrupted operations benefit all Libyans,” the five countries said in a join statement.
They also warned against “acts that undermine” the firm or “may pose a threat to the peace, security and stability”.
The statement did not directly accuse anyone of trying to politicise the firm, but it came after months of tensions between NOC head Mustafa Sanalla and Mohammed Aoun, oil minister in the country’s interim government.