The European Union has removed the Libyan Parliament Speaker Ageela Saleh, and Nuri Abu Sahmain, the former head of the General National Congress, from a sanctions blacklist. This is an attempt to boost peace efforts before European-hosted talks are held.
The two leading political figures had been subject to EU restrictive measures – a travel ban and an asset freeze – since 2016.
The delisting of Speaker Saleh was agreed in light of his recent constructive engagement, in support of a negotiated political solution to the Libyan crisis. The Council will continue to follow his behaviour closely, notably in relation to his support for the Berlin Process, and for efforts towards the UN Support Mission to Libya (UNSMIL). The delisting of Abu Sahmain was based on the overall absence of any recent role played by him in political processes.
The EU High Representative for Security and Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell also voiced the EU’s strong determination to continue its support for dialogue in Libya. The EU blacklisted Saleh in 2016, accusing him of obstructing peace efforts. Diplomats have said he is now a key figure in the efforts to bring the two sides of the conflict together.
The sanctions comprise of a travel ban and an asset freeze for natural persons, and an asset freeze for entities. In addition, EU persons and entities are forbidden from making funds available to those listed. With these new designations, the EU now has travel bans on 17 listed persons and has frozen the assets of 21 persons and 19 entities.