UN moves to ease Libya sanctions | Pakistan Today

UN moves to ease Libya sanctions

Fearing an acute shortage of medical and other essential supplies, Libya’s rival factions are in talks with the United Nations to ease international sanctions on the war-torn nation, AFP has learned. Well-placed UN officials said representatives from Libya’s rebel council and Moamer Kadhafi’s regime held talks last week with the World Health Organisation aimed at drawing up a list of items for sanctions relief.
The meeting with the UN agency, held in Geneva, is part of a wider drive to prevent financial sanctions — slapped on Libya’s government and banks — from creating a major humanitarian emergency. Aid groups across the country have reported shortages of basic items such as vaccines and painkillers.
They say stockpiles in the Kadhafi-controlled west and the rebel-held east have been rapidly whittled down after nearly five months of war. Although some essential goods could be imported under the current sanctions regime, they cannot be paid for because Libyan assets abroad are frozen and foreign banks are refusing to do business with Libyan entities. Diplomats said Tripoli’s current quarterly order for vaccines is being held up because Dutch bank ABN-AMRO will not accept a credit note from the Bank of Libya, for fear of running foul of sanctions or risking a public backlash.

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