EU Foreign Ministers 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
SOPOT, Poland - The European Union lifted sanctions on Libyan ports, oil
firms and banks on Friday as foreign ministers met to discuss how to
help the country's transition from four decades of Muammar Gaddafi's
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The EU's Official Journal listed 28 Libyan entities freed
from restrictions, including the ports of Tripoli, Al Khoms, Brega, Ras
Lanuf, Zawiyah and Zuara.
listed were Libyan Arab Airlines and energy firms including the Ras
Lanuf Oil and Gas Processing Co. and the Sirte and Waha oil companies.
Banks listed were the National Commercial Bank, Gumhouria Bank, Sahara
Bank and First Gulf Libyan Bank.
The formal lifting of the
sanctions came a day after world powers meeting in Paris freed up
billions of dollars to help Libya's new rulers rebuild the nation after
42 years of Gaddafi's rule and six months of civil war.
Union foreign ministers meeting in the Polish seaside resort of Sopot on
Friday and Saturday were to discuss how to help to stabilise Libya
after the conflict.
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski
said the United Nations would have a leading role in helping to
demilitarise Libya and ensure safety after the conflict ends, but Europe
had shown it has capabilities in this area.
"The way the EU will assist to Libya depends firstly on what the Libyan authorities want," he told Reuters.
have a trust credit among the new authorities and we will want to use
it to support peaceful transformation towards a democracy in Libya," he
said, adding that Libya was a valuable ally for Europe.
"Libya is potentially a wealthy country, key because of Europe's drive to diversify energy sources," he said.
In the Paris talks with Libya's National Transitional Council, France,
Britain and other powers vowed to keep up their military backing as long
as needed but said the focus was now on reconstruction.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy told a news conference a total of $15
billion would be freed out of the Libyan assets frozen under sanctions.
The figure included $3 billion the UN Sanctions Committee has approved
for release in the United States and Britain and 1.5 billion euros
($2.16 billion) in France.
It also includes 2.6 billion euros of assets in Italy, a billion in Germany and 700 million euros in the Netherlands.