Libya restores energy ministry in the wake of renewed trade ties with the West
Libya has restored its energy ministry in a government reshuffle Saturday intended to prepare the Arab state for the liberalization of trade ties with the West.
The new ministry is the first government body to oversee the country’s energy sector in five years. Veteran oil expert Fathi Omar Bin Shatwan will head the ministry, which is expected to begin negotiations with US oil firms after
the lifting of some sanctions.
Following Libya's surprise agreement to abort its programs for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in December, the United States lifted a travel ban on Libya and permitted leader Moamer Kadhafi to set up a diplomatic presence in Washington.
In 1979, the US Government declared Libya a “state sponsor of terrorism”. The superpower prohibited imports of Libyan crude oil into the United States and expanded the controls on US-origin goods intended for export to Libya. In 1986, additional economic sanctions were adopted including a total ban on direct import and export trade, commercial contracts, and travel-related activities.
As the lines of communications open between the former foes, US oil companies, which had operated in Libya prior to the imposition of sanctions, are now able to negotiate their return to the oil-rich country.
Four other ministries were created on Saturday including bodies responsible for national security, training and labor, culture and sports. Libyan Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem and Foreign Minister Abdel Rahman Shalgham kept their jobs in the reshuffle, but Mohamed Ali Al Houeiz replaced Al-Ujayli Abd-Al-Salam Burayni as finance minister. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)