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Haftar retracts his decision after Trump’s letter

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LIBYAPROSPECT – Editorial

The former advisor at the State Council, Ashraf Al-Shoh, told a TV channel, on Tuesday, that the United States and Italy prepared for Rome meeting on the Libyan oil crises that was held on Monday.

Four European countries attended the meeting as well as Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The meeting was held in Rome to discuss the Libyan oil crises as the Dignity Operation under the leadership of General Khalifa Haftar controlled the petroleum crescent region last month when Haftar decided not to return oil ports to the legal government and the National Oil Corporation (NOC) in Tripoli.

Al-Shoh stated that the UAE and Egypt were behind Haftar’s decision to press on the Presidential Council (PC) in Tripoli to change the governor of the Central Bank of Libya (CBL).

In a strong reaction, the US refused to link between the two issues, stressing that Haftar must return the authority on the oil ports to the NOC in Tripoli. Furthermore, America said that the sovereign positions should be under the Political Agreement and the supervision of the United Nations.

Al-Shoh stated that the meeting also talked about the general elections in Libya and Paris declaration. The attendees agreed that the latest oil ports crises wouldn’t help in holding the elections in 2018. Therefore, they suggested that it is significant to hold the elections in the first half of 2019.

Al-Shoh said that the French attitude was hesitating and critical because of Haftar’s actions that had spoiled Paris declaration.

Al-Shoh clarified that the meeting agreed not to link between handing over the oil ports to the NOC and changing the LBC governor in Tripoli. The meeting pressed on the UAE and Egypt to persuade Haftar to hand over the ports to the NOC in Tripoli.

Al-Shoh stated that the essential message was to the UAE who should stop helping Haftar in selling the Libyan oil outside the legal authorities.

Sources confirmed that Abu-Dhabi opened, more than a year ago, a parallel bank account for the Interim Government in Al-Baida.

It is worth mentioning that the American president, Donald Trump, had sent a letter to the head of the House of Representatives (HoR), Ageela Saleh, and the head of the PC, Fayez Al-Sarraj, calling them to end the crises. Therefore, the oil ports crises were ended.

Trump’s letter made Haftar deciding to resume exporting the oil through the ports of the petroleum crescent region.

According to a Libyan news source, Trump had warned, in the letter, Saleh and Al-Sarraj of international persecution in the first stage. Then this could be followed by direct threats that could use even the force.

Trump’s letter was almost definite that he intends to increase the Libyan oil production to confuse the Iranian calculations. It is worth mentioning that the US administration called for increasing the production and decreasing the prices in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which was included in Trump’s letter.

In the same context, the US administration had pressed, lately, on the UN to appoint the American diplomat, Stephani Williams, as the deputy head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).