Libya’s Tripoli government calls handover of oil ports to eastern institution “illegitimate and unacceptable”

The presidential council in their first session after the signing of the UN-brokered political agreement in Skhirat. (Photo: Archive) 

Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord warned on Tuesday that any new attempt by a rival administration in the east to export oil independently will be stopped after Khalifa Haftar handed the ports to a parallel oil body in east Libya. 

The Presidential Council issued a statement saying it is unacceptable that the oil terminals and Libyans’ resources be controlled by illegitimate bodies, calling on the violators to back down from their illegitimate act.

“Exports by parallel institutions are illegal and will fail as they have failed in the past,” said the head of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), Mustafa Sanallah.

“We are confident that the GNA and our international partners will take the necessary steps to stop all exports in breach of international law.” Sanallah said.

The NOC warned it would sue any company that tried to buy oil from the eastern authorities and that no purchase contract signed with them would be honoured.

“There is only one legitimate NOC, recognised by the international community and OPEC,” Sanallah said, in reference to the rival NOC set up in the main eastern city of Benghazi.

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