Head of Libya’s High State Council Rejects Lifting of Oil Blockade


On Sunday, the Head of the Libyan High Council of State (HCS), Khaled al-Mishri, voiced his rejection of the deal reached between the Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Ahmed Maiteeq and the Commander of Libyan National Army’s Commander Khalifa Haftar to lift the oil blockade and restart oil production.

In a statement addressed to the GNA Prime Minister and members of the Presidential Council, Al-Mishri said the agreement violates the principles governing the Libyan Political Agreement and all applicable laws.

He added that the deal is an encroachment on the jurisdiction of the legitimate authorities, Parliament, the High Council of State, and the Council of Ministers mentioned in the political agreement.

The HCS head confirmed that the deal constitutes another encroachment on the legal jurisdiction of the Central Bank of Libya.

He added that the closure of oil fields, printing money without getting permission from the authorised party, issuing unknown public debt and assaulting the funds of depositors in commercial banks are crimes whose perpetrators must be brought to justice.

Al-Mishri reiterated his rejection of the deal, calling for an urgent probe to be opened regarding such issue and hold all bodies involved in the deal accountable.

Maiteeq, who is often at odds with Sarraj, had made the agreement last week at a meeting in the Russian city of Sochi, with Haftar’s son and representatives from eastern Libya.

Maiteeq was meant to visit Sirte, a city held by Haftar, to sign the agreement on Friday but was blocked by other members of the GNA.

Maiteeq said he wants the mercenaries out of the country too, but explained that the issue didn’t come up in the talks with the rival party. The agreement is meant to set up a commission to distribute oil revenues more fairly, a key demand made by Haftar and which led him to shut down the oil fields as his campaign to capture Tripoli — the western coast capital where Al-Sarraj’s GNA is based — flagged in January.

Sarraj announced earlier this week that he will step down by the end of October to make way for a new government, thus raising the stakes for rivals within his camp who want to replace him.

Haftar, whose forces control oil-rich eastern Libya, said on television that he has decided to allow the reopening of the nation’s ports “as per conditions and guarantees that ensure a fair distribution of wealth and spare it from being plundered or used in terrorism financing.” This announcement was the result of talks with Maiteeq.