UN to allow release of $1.5 billion in frozen Libya funds

UNITED NATIONS - The United States andSouth Africa struck a deal on Thursday to allow the release of$1.5 billion in frozen Libya funds for humanitarian aid andother civilian needs, UN diplomats said on Thursday.

UN Security Council diplomats said the agreement wouldenable the funds to be released without a vote by the councilon a US draft resolution that Washington submitted onWednesday in response to South Africa blocking a US requestto disburse the money in the UN Libya sanctions committee.

The South African delegation said it did not support fundsgoing directly to the Libyan rebel government, the TransitionalNational Council (TNC), which the African Union has notrecognized.

Pretoria insisted that there be no mention to theTNC in the official request for the release of the funds.

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