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Al-Uraibi: Declaring Sirte the HQ of New Government Is Final Chance To Prevent Division Of Libya

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Head of the Libyan Parliamentary Energy Committee, Issa Al-Uraibi, denounced rumours about “intransigence” in resuming oil production and exports, ultimately damaging the electricity sector.

In statements to Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Al-Uraibi confirmed that these accusations are part of a political pressure campaign aimed at reopening oil fields and ports so as to ensure the continued flow of funds to Tripoli, and their subsequent distribution to armed militias.

“The reopening of the ports is linked to the creation of guarantees and mechanisms for the equitable distribution of oil revenues between the three Libyan regions (Barqa, Tripoli, and Fezzan). The mechanism included in the initiative proposed last April by the Parliament’s Speaker, Ageela Saleh, provided that distribution rates are 38% for Barqa, 50% for Tripoli and the West in general, and 12% for the southern regions,” Al-Uraibi said.

Al-Uraibi stressed his support for Saleh’s proposal for the city of Sirte to become the headquarters for the next unified Libyan authority until the parliamentary elections. “The city, according to the proposal, will be the headquarters for the work of any government of national unity agreed upon, as the capital, Tripoli, is controlled by armed militias. This makes the work of any government there impossible,” Al-Uraibi said. He also added that “so far, things are reassuring. The American Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, has recently reviewed the Parliament Speaker’s proposal during a meeting with him in Cairo and has expressed his support for it, describing it as being realistic and feasible. This may be the last chance to prevent the division of Libya.”

He continued: “Change and solutions always come from the region of Barqa. As for the components in the western part of the country, it is difficult to agree on anything because there is more than one head. There is the Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez Al-Sarraj, his deputy, Ahmed Maiteeq, and his Minister of Interior, Fathi Bashagha. There is also the Chairman of the Consultative Council, Khaled Al-Mishri, next to the leaders of the armed militias. As for Barqa, the situation is completely different, as the region has one head, Ageela Saleh, and everyone supports him.”

“The oil fields are located in the east, under the protection of the Libyan National Army (LNA). If Turkey is seeking to achieve its interests in this file, then it must come to Barqa, and talk with Ageela Saleh, not with Al-Sarraj, who does not have anything in his command, and any agreement signed with a government that has not obtained the confidence of Parliament will not be recognised. Its mechanisms are considered to be theft of wealth belonging to the Libyan people. We expect that such theft will occur with the joint agreements signed between the Turks and the GNA, regarding exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not come to our country in order to protect the interests of the Libyan people … The man has an expansionist project, and he covets our wealth.”

Regarding the power cuts crisis in the eastern region, he said: “the problem has been solved, and we are working with the Electricity Authority to ensure that what happened will not be repeated.”

Al-Uraibi also called for the need to pay attention to the fact that the headquarters of the Sirte Oil and Gas Production and Processing Company is located in eastern Libya, meaning under the control and protection of the Libyan Parliament, the LNA, and the Libyan government. This means that it is absolutely unlikely that the company will stop gas supplies to power stations there.”

He affirmed that the National Oil Corporation (NOC) has almost no authority over the Sirte company. “Therefore, we say that the head of that Corporation, Mustafa Sanallah, does not own anything but an office in Tripoli. The nearest oil site to his office is a thousand kilometers away in the east,” Al Uraibi said.

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