Warlord Haftar hands over oil ports to Tripoli NOC after strong-worded letter from US President

Warlord Haftar hands over oil ports to Tripoli NOC after strong-worded letter from US President

July 11, 2018 - 11:52
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Written By: AbdullahBenIbrahim

The National Oil Corporation (NOC) lifted force majeure on oil exports from Ras Lanuf, Sidra, Hariga and Zuetina after the facilities were handed over to the internationally-recognized Tripoli-based NOC Wednesday morning.

In a statement, the NOC said production and export operations will return to normal levels within the next few hours.

The resumption of oil exports comes after eastern Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar ordered his so-called Petroleum Facilities Guard to allow Tripoli-based NOC to manage oil ports in eastern Libya.

Chairman of NOC Mustafa Sanallah welcomed the handover of oil ports to the legitimate oil institution and said “we need a proper national debate on the fair distribution of oil revenues. It is at the heart of the recent crisis. The real solution is transparency.”

He also called on the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Libya to publish budgets and detailed public expenditure.

The warlord had closed the oil ports accusing authorities in Tripoli of using oil revenues to fund the armed groups, which attacked oil crescent on June 13.

Earlier this month, Haftar preconditioned reopening the oil terminals and allowing the exports of crude to go back as normal as they have been to .

Meanwhile, observers say Haftar’s U-turn comes after a letter from US President Donald Trump to the Speaker of House of Representatives Aqailah Saleh and Chairman of Presidential Council Fayez Sarraj criticizing them for being unable to solve the oil ports closure by Dignity Operation.

In the letter, Trump warned both Libyan officials that they could face international prosecution as a first step, to be followed by threats to use force to solve the oil crisis.

218 TV station, which leaked the letter, said Khalifa Haftar’s General Command was aware of Trump’s strong-worded letter.