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Last updateSam, 31 Jan 2015 7pm

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GNC gives armed groups two weeks to lift oil port blockade

Oil port blockade Libya - Nouri Abushamein, President of Libya's General National Congress (CGN-Parliament), the country's highest legislative and political authority, said Wednesday he has given armed separatist groups two weeks to lift their blockade of oil ports.


'A meeting was held on Wednesday with representatives of the region of Berga (Cyrenaica) after which it was decided to give two weeks to groups who claim autonomy of Cyrenaica to lift the blockade in oil ports, leaving the opportunity for mediation efforts,' said Mr. Abousahmein who is also the supreme commander of the Libyan armed forces.

He said if the mediation fails to result in the lifting of the blockade, the state will be forced to use other means deemed necessary to take control of the ports.

The GNC President said the state would not allow a group to misappropriates the resources of all Libyans.

He recalled the negative effects of the blockade on state revenues and financial resources, noting that the state had reached a deficit situation and is on the verge of bankruptcy .

Mr. Aboushamein said his decision to set up a task force to liberate oil terminals has been misinterpreted by some parties, which wanted to give it regionalist dimensions.

He described the Libyan army as a melting pot of all the social and regional components across Libya, and urged Libyans to close ranks and work together while remaining vigilant against conspiracies being fomented to destabilise the country.

On Monday, Mr. Abousahmein set up a military force to liberate the oil terminals in eastern Libya,which has been blocked since July by armed groups demanding a federal system.

On Saturday, the Executive Council of Cyrenaica, which is not recognised by the Libyan state, illegally sold crude oil and chartered a North Korean- flagged oil tanker to load a shipment of oil from the rebel-held port in Al-Sedra.

This crisis has caused Libya’s oil production to drop to 250,000 barrels per day, from 1.5 million before the start of the crisis.

Libya's Petroleum Minister said the crisis has cost the Libyan oil industry US$10billion.

Pana 13/03/2014