Norland reviews with Libyan political figures progress on ceasefire and resumption of oil

Norland reviews with Libyan political figures progress on ceasefire and resumption of oil

August 25, 2020 - 13:10
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Written By: SafaAlharathy

The US Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland made contacts on Sunday and Monday, with the Presidential Council head, Fayez Al-Sarraj, the Speaker of Tobruk-based parliament, Aqailah Saleh, the National Oil Corporation Chair, Mustafa Sanallah, and Foreign Minister, Muhammad Siyala, according to a statement by the US Embassy in Libya.

The embassy explained that Norland's communications were to assess progress in operationalizing the statements issued on Friday regarding a ceasefire and resumption of oil production in Libya.

"The GNA’s statement, along with that issued by House of Representatives Speaker Agila Saleh, represented very positive developments," Norland told Prime Minister Sarraj in a phone call on Sunday, according to the embassy.

The two sides agreed on the need for the UNSMIL-hosted "5+5" format to focus immediately on modalities of a ceasefire and how to establish an effective demilitarized solution in central Libya that begins the process of de-escalation and departure of all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya.

The embassy indicated that Foreign Minister Siyala told Ambassador Norland in a phone call that Libya has welcomed the positive reactions from so many foreign states to Friday’s announcements, and both agreed on the importance of supporting the UN-led negotiations process.

Talking to the NOC head, Mustafa Sanalla, Norland confirmed his country's support for arrangements that would permit immediate resumption of oil production with a transparent mechanism to ensure that revenues remain frozen pending negotiations between the Libyan parties on the future distribution of resources.

The ambassador also expressed the United States' concern about the acute shortage of electricity, especially in light of the growing Coronavirus pandemic, and supported the right of citizens anywhere in the country to engage in peaceful protest.

He urged Libyan leaders to work together to address the pressing needs of the people at a time of real opportunity for the country, according to the embassy.