By Sami Zaptia.
London, 22 September 2019:
France, Germany, Italy, the UAE, UK, and the USA issued a joint statement today supporting Libya’s Tripoli-based state National Oil Corporation (NOC).
The statement read: “We fully support Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) as the country’s sole independent, legitimate and nonpartisan oil company.
Now is the time to consolidate national economic institutions rather than break them apart.
For the sake of Libya’s political and economic stability, and the well-being of all its citizens, we exclusively support the NOC and its crucial role on behalf of all Libyans”.
The statement came after the Tripoli-based NOC condemned the formation of a parallel board of directors by the eastern branch of its Brega Petroleum Marketing Company on Thursday.
It said that it was an attempt to divide Brega Company and warned that it puts Libya at risk of partition.
The eastern Brega branch had cited the curtailment of fuel supplies by Tripoli to the east for the breakaway. The NOC denies curtailment of fuel supplies, claiming that supplies to the east are “more than adequate for civilian purposes”.
The incident has caused concern domstically and internationally and the NOC has since backrowed somewhat, pledging not to cut fuel supplies to the east.
The NOC had questioned the motives behind the move saying that the “real motive behind this attempt is to set up a new illegitimate entity for the illegal export of oil from Libya” which it reminded was a clear violation of Security Council resolutions.
Analysts also believe that the Tripoli NOC fears or suspects that aviation fuel sent to the east for civilian use may be being diverted to Hafter’s forces for its military campaign against Tripoli.
On another level, the Libyan public has lost faith in the veracity of joint statements issued by the international community which are co-signed by some of the states that are perceived to be main backers of either of the two conflicting Libyan sides. In this case, France and the UAE.
The joint statement smacks of the lack of veracity shared by other joint international statements exclusively recognizing and supporting the Faiez Serraj Presidency Council and Government of National Accord by Egypt, France and the UAE.