US Calls for Resumption of Libyan Oil Production

Near East

21 January 2020, 18:12

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The U.S. embassy in Libya has called for oil production in the country to resume, after forces of rebel leader Khalifa Haftar shut down several major oil fields and pipelines, VOA news reports.

Haftar’s army halted most oil output ahead of Sunday’s international peace conference on Libya in Berlin.   Libya’s National Oil Corporation said the halt will cost the country an estimated $55 million per day.

The U.S. embassy said Tuesday it is “deeply concerned” the shutdown will worsen Libya’s humanitarian emergency. 

Oil prices fell Tuesday despite the loss of Libyan production.

Haftar’s forces are pushing toward the Libyan capital, Tripoli, home of the U.N.-backed international government.

Representatives of the two sides did not hold direct talks at the summit in Berlin.  Other participants agreed to support a cease-fire and uphold a previously existing U.N. arms embargo in Libya.

However, Turkey has sent soldiers to support the Tripoli government, while Haftar has the backing of Russian mercenaries. 

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