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Al-Sarraj talks about Libyan crisis

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LIBYAPROSPECT – Tripoli

The head of the Presidential Council (PC) of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Al-Sarraj, said that the liquidity crisis is surely haunting citizens and the PC, it is a very complicated problem with the previous history.

He added, during an interview with the Official TV channel “Al-Rasmea” in Tripoli Sunday night, translated by LIBYAPROSPECT, that the disappearance of 24 billion Dinars from banks to merchants and businesspeople is unnatural. He pointed that “cash crisis is related to the security situation, people’s confidence in the banking system, and oil revenues, besides the relations between the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) and the commercial banks.”

Al-Sarraj confirmed that he had many talks with the Central Bank governor, Al-Sedeq Al-Kabeer “to discuss the need to implement a package of measures to address the cash crisis. But his response was very slow and didn’t level up to the responsibility”; adding that “we need a set of strict procedures across different paths to resolve the crisis.”

And about reassigning another governor for the Central Bank of Libya (CBL), Al-Sarraj said that “in the natural conditions, this matter is a jurisdiction of the House of Representatives (HoR). We hope the HoR would take the responsibility and extend for the current board or assign another one; we exhausted all efforts with Al-Kabeer.”

“All relations between the CBL and the commercial banks are almost severed,” pointed Al-Sarraj.

Concerning fuel smuggling, Al-Sarraj said that such acts are “depletion of the national economy, there is a pack of measures to end such acts, like removing fuel subsidies, and citizens will be compensated financially.”

The head of the PC also hinted about the electricity crisis, saying that “power cut outs caused extreme suffering for citizens. To solve the problem, we decided to change the board of directors with the interim steering committee; all members are highly qualified. The committee visited all the suspended stations from Ubari, Al-Khums, Al-Baida to the west of Tripoli”.

Al-Sarraj said that they managed to convince the Turkish company, via external Turkish efforts, to allow workers and technicians to come back to Ubari. An air route was established to facilitate their movements to Ubari and finish the power plant which, when finished, will loosen the suffering of citizens across the southern area, reduce loads in the northern area and other areas”.

He added that “we initiated talks with the Korean company to convince it to return to western Tripoli. We expect positive results. We are committed to all the workers’ rights, whether official or additional working hours”.

Regarding oil, Al-Sarraj said that “we communicated with the Petroleum Installations Guards in the Crescent area and others, we had understandings about reopening oil ports, resuming production and exports. The National Oil Corporation (NOC) was supposed to lift the force majeure, but that was delayed until other parties stepped inside the oil crescent, then events escalated in the area, we dealt positivity and got over all of that for oil exported to be resumed”.

He mentioned that “there are defined mechanisms since the beginning of oil production, during the monarchy, contracting procedures with companies and all the financial arrangements are clear, as revenues enter the external bank for 24 hours before being transported to the CBL, so any disturbance to that mechanism will harm Libyans”.

“We expect daily oil production to be resumed in the coming time in the western region, we hope we could back to previous production levels so we can solve all our issues,” said Al-Sarraj.

Al-Sarraj confirmed that oil production reached 580 -600 thousand barrels a day, and it could reach 950 thousand barrels if all closed fields are back to production.

The interview also tackled the relation between the Presidential Council and the HoR. Al-Sarraj said that “the relations were supposed to continue and be firm through different committees, we expect the PC to convene soon to finish discussions regarding the cabinet formation. But we didn’t agree on the number of ministries or even discussed any names”.

He added that “there are four suggested cities where the council can convene, Jalo, Jado, Ghat, and Ghadames. We assigned a committee to examine the situation in every city; we will decide in the next couple of days”.

Al-Sarraj pointed that the head of the HoR, Ageela Saleh, threatened in different occasions that no vote of confident will be granted to the Government of National Accord (GNA), which is considered very dangerous. He added that “the HoR is not authorized to reopen the political accord and change any legal terms. The HoR should modify the constitutional declaration so that it could become an active partner in the political accord”.

And concerning his call with General Khalifa Haftar, Al-Sarraj said that “I met Haftar at the beginning of this year, before arriving at Tripoli, we discussed the situation regarding the military entity and our desire, as a political leadership, to support the military establishment in its fight against terrorism. I see the need for frequent encounters with Haftar; I am ready to meet him and any other political or military figure to solve the Libyan dilemma”.

And about Khalifa Al-Ghuwel attempt breaking into the State Council headquarters in Tripoli; Al-Sarraj confirmed that “such move is an effort to increase confusion in the situation. We are still committed to wisdom and avoiding power. Some parties are ready for bloody confrontations to put the capital in chaos.”