The UN Security Council on Friday lifted sanctions on Libya’s central bank and one of the North African country’s major foreign investment banks in a bid to ease a cash crunch since the civil war ended in the nation.
The Security Council move puts an end to a freeze on the assets of the Central Bank of Libya and the Libyan Foreign Bank in February in its sanctions against late Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi.
The 15-nation Security Council reached the decision after intensified calls from the Libyan interim government over the recent weeks to release an estimated 150 billion U.S. dollars, which remains abroad with its bulk out of the reach for the new Libyan rulers, in order to pay salaries and run the country.
Last week, the ruling Libyan National Transitional Council wrote a letter to the sanctions committee of the Security Council, asking the UN body to delist the Libyan central bank and the foreign investment bank.
The lifting of sanctions was “essential for the economic stability of Libya; for confidence in the banking sector; for the smooth execution and settlement of both domestic and international banking transactions; and to underpin the social and microeconomic stability of the new Libya,” said the letter.