The division of Libya started in London

Mar 30, 2011 12:00 AM


Attendance at the London Conference on Libya (29 March 2011) was restricted to those States that upheld Resolution 1973, plus Germany. Russia and China were not invited. The Holy See participated as an observer even though Pope XVI urged NATO, as much as Gaddafi, to put an end to the hostilities.

Participant States decided to give the Libyan Transitional National Council (LTNC) access to some of Libya’s frozen assets and to authorize it to sell Libyan oil. In addition, they considered the possibility of arming the CNLT, without however reaching a decision.

These arrangements run counter to Resolution 1973 and one can easily imagine the international outcry if Venezuela or Iran, for example, were to release frozen assets and give them to the Nasserist or Khomeinist insurgents or, worse, buy Libyan oil from them. Not to speak of a violation of the UN embargo on arms for the benefit of the "bad" insurgents.

If it were still necessary, the authorization to sell oil shows that the division of the country’s resources has begun. Thanks to NATO’s military support, the LTNC has seized control of vast swathes of the oil fields and two key refineries. The authorization extends to 400 000 bpd, which at current rates represents $ 1,4 bn per month.

At the end of two side meetings that took place between State Secretary Hillary Clinton and LTNC envoy Mahmoud Jibril, the United States pondered to unlock $ 3.3 bn belonging to the State of Libya to be funnelled to the "good" insurgents.

Qatar will be in charge of administering Libya’s oil. Turkey has been designated to administer Benghazi airport to facilitate the "humanitarian flow".

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