Libya oil minister no longer working for Gaddafi
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Last Updated: Monday, May 23, 2011, 09:54
Tokyo: Tunisian Foreign Minister Mouldi Kefi said on Monday he believed Libyan Oil Minister Shokri Ghanem was no longer working for the Gaddafi regime.

The whereabouts of Ghanem, a central figure in the government of Muammar Gaddafi, have been a mystery since Libyan rebels said last Tuesday that he had defected. The government in Tripoli has denied the rebels' claim and said last Thursday he was on an official trip to Tunisia, Europe and Egypt.

"I believe and I suspect Mr Ghanem just left Libya and that he is not any more working with the Gaddafi regime. Probably that's why he came to Tunisia," Kefi, in Tokyo to meet Japanese government officials, told a news conference.

Kefi added that Ghanem was staying in a hotel on a small southern island of Tunisia but when asked whether Ghanem plans to travel to other countries, Kefi said: "Only God knows what is in Mr Ghanem's mind."

As head of Libya's NOC state energy firm and its delegate to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Ghanem is the country's most important energy official. He is widely respected by people in the industry.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, May 23, 2011, 09:54

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