US slaps sanctions on Libyan FM, 16 companies

The Obama administration has imposed sanctions on Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa as well as 16 state-owned companies in that country`s banking, oil, aviation and investment sectors.

Washington: Clamping down further on the
embattled regime of Muammar Gaddafi, the Obama administration has imposed sanctions on Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa as well as 16 state-owned companies in that country`s banking,
oil, aviation and investment sectors.

"Today`s designation of Moussa Koussa builds on the
strong steps taken by the US to apply targeted, financial
pressure on the Gaddafi regime," acting Under Secretary for
Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S Cohen said.

"The identification of state-owned companies furthers
Libya`s isolation from the US financial system," Cohen said.

Moussa Koussa, who previously served as the Libya`s
intelligence chief, was designated pursuant to a US President`s Executive Order, which targets, among others, senior officials of the government of Libya.
As a result of today`s designation, any assets of Koussa subject to US jurisdiction are frozen, and US persons
are prohibited from engaging in business with him.

The 16 Libyan government entities include Afriqiyah
Airways, National Oil Corporation, Libya Investment Authority,
Libya Africa Investment Portfolio, Libyan African Investment
Company, Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company, Libya Arab
Foreign Bank, Economic and Social Development Fund Company,
Gomhouria Bank, Al Wafa Bank, Agricultural Bank, National
Commercial Bank, National Banking Corporation, Sahara Bank,
Savings and Real Estate Investment Bank and First Gulf Libyan
Bank.
The latest sanctions blocks all property and interests
in property of the government of Libya and its agencies,
instrumentalities and controlled entities.

The announcement was made a day after, US President
Barack Obama issued a fresh ultimatum to Gaddafi to leave as
he has "lost legitimacy". "Mr Gaddafi has lost legitimacy and
he needs to leave," Obama said yesterday.

PTI

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