By Maha Sulaiman.
Benghazi, 21 July 2015:
The head of the Libya air force, Saqr Geroushi, has brushed aside reports that he and . . .[restrict]General Khalifa Hafter may be sanctioned by the European Union.
They are among five Libyans said to be being considered for sanctioning by the EU. The other three mentioned are Misratan hardliners Abdurrahman Sewehli and Salah Badi, and militant anti-House of Representatives campaigner Abdul-Raouf Al-Manaie.
Sanctions would include a freeze on investments and assets in all 28 EU member states and travel bans.
Speaking to the Libya Herald, Geroushi said that he had heard nothing official about the threat from anyone and he was not taking it seriously. “I don’t have any [bank] accounts outside Libya,” he said, nor any other assets. He believed the same was true for Hafter.
Not were there any visits to Europe on the horizon. “I am not intending to leave Libya or go to Europe,” he stated. “I’ll stay until the terrorists have been destroyed,” he said. “We’ll carry on fighting until we have security and have saved the country.”
Maybe then, he added, “we might take a break,” – but not before.
EU foreign ministers are reported to be exasperated at the lack of progress of the UN-brokered Dialogue process and what they see as moves to sabotage it by a number of key Libyan players including, supposedly Geroushi and Hafter. “We need to be ready to implement sanctions … to put pressure on those who will not come to the table”, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders has said.
Europe has considered imposing sanctions of its own after Russia and China last month vetoed UN proposals to sanction Sewehli and Zintan commander Othman Milaiqtah.