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U.S. lifts most sanctions on Libya: White House


10:51, December 17, 2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- The United States lifted most sanctions on the government of Libya, the White House announced in a statement on Friday, paving way for the fledging Libyan government to raise cash for the rebuilding of the country.

"Today, after careful consultation with the new Libyan government, the United States rolled back most U.S. sanctions on the Government of Libya to keep our commitment to the Libyan people," said the statement.

After the forces led by then Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi launched attacks on the opposition, the U.S. decided to freeze some 30-billion-worth of assets owned by the Libyan government on U.S. soil. The international community also took a similar move to freeze Libyan assets abroad.

The White House said that Friday's decision "unfreezes all government and Central Bank funds within U.S. jurisdiction, with limited exceptions."

"These measures, along with the steps taken today by the United Nations Security Council, will allow the Libyan government to access most of its worldwide holdings and will help the new government oversee the country's transition and reconstruction in a responsible manner," said the White House.

Earlier the day, the U.N. Security Council lifted sanctions on Libya's central bank and the Libyan Foreign Bank, making it possible for the new Libyan government to unfreeze assets worldwide in order to finance the rebuilding of the war-ravaged country.

The White House said that the U.S. is assisting the Libyan government to make these assets available from financial institutions "as soon as possible."

"The United States is proud of the role we played in supporting the Libyan peoples' efforts to end the Gaddafi regime," said the White House.

"We look forward to a continued close partnership with the new government of Libya during this transitional period and beyond, and believe that these assets can be an important resource for the Libyan people," added the White House.

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