Libyan Tribes Want Talks On Oilfield Relaunch To Be Conducted Under Russia's Auspices

Libyan Tribes Want Talks on Oilfield Relaunch to Be Conducted Under Russia's Auspices

Negotiations are underway to resume the oil production in Libya, Sheikh Senussi al-Haleeq, the deputy chairman of the Supreme Council of Libyan Sheikhs and Elders, responsible for the oil and gas sector, told Sputnik in an interview, adding that his authority would welcome Russia's sponsorship in the process

BENGHAZI (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 29th June, 2020) Negotiations are underway to resume the oil production in Libya, Sheikh Senussi al-Haleeq, the deputy chairman of the Supreme Council of Libyan Sheikhs and Elders, responsible for the oil and gas sector, told Sputnik in an interview, adding that his authority would welcome Russia's sponsorship in the process.

Last week, the Libyan National Army (LNA), which backs the Libyan tribes, has started to patrol oil reserves and ports in the country's eastern part to protect the so-called oil crescent region from any attacks that could be launched by armed groups operating in the North African country.

"Yes, [the oilfields and ports] are still closed, and we reaffirm it, but we are undoubtedly not happy with this closure. We hope that the settlement will be achieved via negotiations. Talks are underway to open these fields and ports and start the production process, and I hope that it will be under the auspices of Russia. I hope that Russia will play a major role in it," the deputy speaker said.

The opening of the country's oil reserves is the priority, but it can be only reached under certain conditions, al-Haleeq noted.

"The main condition is the expulsion of the Turkish forces and mercenaries from Libya, and the second one is that money from oil [revenues] will be in the hands of those who we can be trusted to preserve it. The third term is a change in the leadership of the National Oil Corporation [NOC], because they were unfair, as was the Libyan Central Bank, which made the change. If the conditions, including changes in the NOC's and Central Bank's management and equal distribution of wealth among all of the three region ..., are fulfilled, we will open all of the fields and ports," al-Haleeq added.

However, if the international community or other Libyan parties do not take any measures on the matter, the tribes will continue to keep them shut, al-Haleeq said.

The deputy head also expressed hope that financial resources coming from the oil production "will not go to the purchase of tanks, aircraft and rockets to destroy Libya and kill its people, as this has made us to stop the production process and shut down all fields and ports."

In Libya, the confrontation between the LNA and its main rival - the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord - has practically split the oil-rich country into two parts.

Earlier in the month, an armed group broke into the country's largest Sharara oilfield and ordered its employees to shut down the oil production. In response, Libya's NOC has condemned an incident in the strongest terms and said that it totally rejected any military presence within the company's facilities. The incident came several days after the oilfield resumed operations following a four-month suspension.