Libya’s General Khalifa Haftar Agrees To Lift Oil Blockade

Self-styled Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), has said he would temporarily lift his blockade of the country’s oil production facilities.

Speaking on television, Haftar said that he has decided to allow the reopening of Libya’s oil ports “as per conditions and guarantees that ensure a fair distribution of wealth and spare it being plundered or used in terrorism financing.”

This the parliament in eastern Libya, which backed Haftar, resigned following protests in Benghazi and other cities over power cuts and deteriorating living conditions.

Ezzel-Deen al-Falih, a spokesman for the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR), said Prime Minister Abdallah al-Thani tendered the government’s resignation to Speaker Aguila Saleh late on Sunday.

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Haftar said Friday’s announcement about lifting the oil blockade followed an agreement with the UN-backed government in Tripoli under which oil revenues would be distributed fairly.

A government minister has said a committee would be set up to oversee the handling of the revenue.

But the national oil company says it won’t resume operations until Gen Haftar’s forces leave the production facilities.

His blockade – which began January – has starved the Libyan economy of billions of dollars of desperately needed export earnings.

Before the blockade, Libya was producing around 1.2 million barrels per day compared to just over 100,000 barrels per day, according to Reuters.

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