An official statement issued by the Libyan Parliament Speaker Aqila Saleh confirmed Saturday the freezing of oil revenues at the Libyan Foreign Bank until “the establishment of guarantees and a mechanism for all Libyans to benefit from this income, in a manner that achieves justice and equality for all.”
The statement said that this freeze comes “to preserve the interest of the Libyans, and to ensure that they benefit from the high oil price at the present time, which requires continuing to pump oil and to ensure the regular work of vital facilities and protect them from tampering, corruption and wasting public money.”
It is noteworthy that the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, confirmed on Thursday that Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), led by Mustafa Sanalla, was pressured to transfer a total of $8 billion to the Central Bank of Libya (CBL).
“Sanallah was under tremendous pressure from various parties to do something with this money,” Norland said during an interview with Libyan broadcaster Al-Wasat.
The American diplomat said that it would have preferable if transfer wasn’t done until a “mechanism is in place to provide confidence that the proceeds will be spent on the intended purposes”.
“We are working in cooperation with the Economic Working Group, Egypt, the European Union, the United Nations, and the United States to put forward some ideas with Libyan partners on the mechanism for managing oil revenues,” he said before clarifying that no final results have been reached.