Italy Welcomes LNA’s Announcement to Re-open Libya’s Oil Fields and Ports

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On Wednesday, the Italian foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, welcomed the Libyan National Army (LNA) General Command’s decision to re-open oil fields and ports, saying it was a “necessary and logical option.”

In a tweet, Di Maio confirmed: “We have always felt that it is unacceptable to starve the Libyan people, who deserve a free and democratic future.” “Italy will always be at Libya’s side and will continue to support the implementation of the outcomes of the Berlin Conference.”

On Tuesday, the head of oil-facilities guard linked to Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), Naji al-Maghrabi, announced the re-opening of Libya’s oil facilities.

He added that the ports can restart operations to dispose of stored fuel and gas to resolve electricity shortages in eastern Libya, confirming that the move should “ease the suffering of citizens in all walks of life, and safeguard the infrastructure at production and export sites as well as maintain the existing oil facilities.

The National Oil Corporation (NOC) last week warned of worsening blackouts in Libya’s east, where a seven-month blockade of oil and gas facilities has deprived electricity stations of fuel and caused power cuts that can last as long as 12 hours. Haftar’s forces last month reiterated the closures will end only when there’s agreement to ensure fair distribution of oil revenues among all Libyans.

Libya, which holds Africa’s largest crude reserves, produced 1.2 million barrels a day last year, before the blockade was put in place. Since then, output has since plummeted to about 90,000 daily barrels.

Libya has been split into rival factions and governments since the wake of the 2011 conflict that overthrew Muammar al-Gaddafi.