Libya funds must not reach Kadhafi loyalists: EU
(BRUSSELS) - The EU urged caution Friday in the release of Libyan funds frozen by the international community, saying authorities must ensure the money does not end up in the hands of Moamer Kadhafi loyalists.
"We are looking at how we should do this. There are several options," Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, told a news briefing.
"We will study how to unfreeze the assets in a way that the assets do not reach Kadhafi supporters but instead the (rebel) National Transitional Council (NTC) of Libya," she said.
The 27-nation EU locked up billions of euros in Libyan assets this year after the United Nations imposed sanctions on the Kadhafi regime as punishment for its brutal repression of a revolt that began in February.
The international community is seeking to release the funds since the rebels took control of Tripoli this week.
A decision to unlock the funds at an EU-wide level must be taken by the bloc's governments, Kocijancic said.
"Consultations are ongoing ... we are in contact with our partners including the UN," she added.
The UN Security Council agreed Thursday to release $1.5 billion to be used for emergency aid to Libya.
Mahmud Jibril, the NTC's number two, said Friday in Istanbul, where senior diplomats from the international Contact Group on Libya were meeting, that the West must release all the frozen assets for a new government to succeed.
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