Norway wants to unfreeze $370 mn for Libya rebels

Norway`s government said it wanted to unlock USD 370 million (260 million euros) in Libyan assets frozen in Norwegian banks to help the country`s new interim government.

Oslo: Norway`s government said on Thursday it
wanted to unlock USD 370 million (260 million euros) in Libyan
assets frozen in Norwegian banks to help the country`s new
interim government.

"There are grave humanitarian needs in Libya, and
releasing funds that can be used to the benefit of the people
in the country is therefore a matter of urgency," Prime
Minister Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement.

The government said it had sent an application to the
United Nations Sanctions Committee on Libya yesterday "asking
for Libyan funds that have been frozen in Norway since March
this year to be released."

It said that as a part of the international sanctions
targeting the ousted regime of Muammar Gaddafi, a total of
about USD 370 million had been frozen in Norwegian banks.

"The frozen funds in Norway belong to the Central Bank of
Libya," the government said, adding that its request to
unfreeze the funds came "in response to the appeal by the
Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) for funds to be
provided immediately."

The announcement came as representatives of some 60
countries met in Paris to discuss financial and diplomatic
support for Libya`s fledgling revolutionary regime, and
follows decisions by countries including the United States,
France, Britain and the Netherlands to unblock billions of
dollars to help the NTC.

PTI

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