Austria gets nod to unfreeze some Libyan funds

September 12, 2011 19:07


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VIENNA - Austria on Monday said it had won UN approval to release more than 150 million euros ($205.7 million) in frozen Libyan funds to help finance humanitarian aid in the North African country after a six-month uprising.

That represents an eighth of the 1.2 billion euros that Vienna ordered frozen in March during a hunt for offshore assets of Muammar Gaddafi and his inner circle, before they were overthrown by the rebellion.

Austria, which has recognized the anti-Gaddafi National Transitional Council as the leaders of Libya, needs approval from a United Nations sanctions panel to release frozen funds. Its initial two requests have gone through, a spokesman for Austria's foreign ministry said.

"That 150 million we are unfreezing allows Libyan authorities to use it for humanitarian aid but also for fuel and these kinds of things," the spokesman added.

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