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Welcome to Tin Neighborhood -- the graffiti says it all. Behind the wall lies a trailer home compound, east of the Libyan capital Tripoli. Many residents say the living standards on the compound have made life unbearable. Dozens of families, some of whom have been living in the compound for over 15 years, are demanding the Libyan government help improve their living conditions. "Conditions here are tragic; it is not fit for...

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Oil & Gas News
Released:  31/05/20122012-05-31
Word count:  1427

As Khaled looked out over the now quiet, olive-tree covered hills of Zintan, he recalled the fighting and destruction that rocked this area just a few short months ago. Zintan is a town of 40,000 people tucked into the Nafusa Mountains of northwest Libya. Six thousand Zintanis joined the armed opposition to oust dictator Moammar Gadhafi, forming one of the country’s most formidable militias.

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During the eight-month conflict, Zintan’s able-bodied boys and men joined the fighting, its businesses shut down, and electricity and water stopped flowing. Like in the rest of Libya, the economy came to a standstill. In less than one year, the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by a staggering 60 percent.

For Khaled, who runs the local media center, nursing the economy of his town and his country back to health is among the most critical challenges facing the country’s transitional government.

The focus thus far has been on restoring oil production to pre-war levels. Libya’s oil minister said the country is now producing 1.6 million barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil, just short of the 1.77 million b/d the country was producing before the revolution.

Getting the oil sector up and running should indeed be a primary focus, as hydrocarbons have long dominated the Libyan economy; before the war, oil accounted for over 70 percent of GDP, 95 percent of exports, and nearly 90 percent of government revenue, as estimated by the International Monetary Fund.

Moreover, Libya supplies two percent of global output. That its particular brand of “sweet” crude, exported mainly to Europe but also to Asia and the United States, cannot be easily replaced makes it some of the most sought-after oil on international markets.

But some argue Libya’s economic recovery must go beyond restoring the pre-war status quo.

As Michael L. Ross, Professor of Political Science at UCLA, argues in his book The Oil Curse, countries “blessed” with abundant natural resources - particularly oil - also carry a heavy burden. He notes that an over-dependence on the oil sector correlates with a decline in the competitiveness of non-oil sectors, makes the economy vulnerable to swings in international commodity prices, and fosters nondemocratic governments. Indisputably, seemingly endless oil revenues helped keep Gadhafi in power for 42 years.

Moreover, little oil wealth trickled down to ordinary Libyans.

“One of the largest oil pipelines in Libya passed through here,” said Khaled, pointing to two long, white streaks running down the mountainside near his hometown, signaling the pipelines buried below. “But we didn’t benefit at all.”

The pipeline carries oil from the Awbari oilfield in the south to the al-Zawiya refinery in the north, near Tripoli. Opposition fighters shut it down in June 2011 in order to deprive Gadhafi of resources, a move that rebels say was critical to their victory. For Khaled, it was also an important symbolic act, in which regular people reclaimed a pipeline that quite literally bypassed them, funneling Libya’s most precious natural resource north for the benefit of the ruling elite.

Less hydrocarbons, more olives

Consequently, Libya’s post-conflict growth strategy must include a more equitable distribution of oil wealth, but as the IMF argues, it must also involve a reorientation of the economy away from dependence on hydrocarbons.

Olives have been an important facet of the economy in the Nafusa Mountain area for thousands of years. The Romans, whose ruins dot the landscape of Zintan, produced olive oil here and exported it to Rome. Olives are also a source of pride for Khaled, who showed me ancient olive presses and explained how to determine the age of an olive tree by counting the number of rings in its trunk. “Land isn’t just for making a living off of,” he said. “The land is our past, present, and future. Our grandfathers liberated the land, protected it.”

However, olives were among the agricultural commodities whose production declined with the 1958 discovery of oil, explains a 2006 report by the MEDFROL project, which analyzes the agricultural sectors of Mediterranean countries. Before 1958, agriculture was the country’s main source of revenue, making up about 30 percent of GDP. With the increase of oil production and exports in the 1960s, the size of the agriculture sector declined rapidly, comprising less than 5 percent of total GDP by 2005.

Now, local business owners and farmers are calling for reforms that would re-focus attention on the agricultural sector.

Said, 46, owns an olive press a few minutes from Zintan. He recently returned to work, having shut down his factory during the uprising to join the fight against Gadhafi. Now, he wants to get the modern machinery inaccessible before. Under Gadhafi, Said and other farmers in the region were forced to pick their crop by hand, a difficult and time-consuming process that, Said explains, was part of the regime’s strategy to keep its people economically suppressed. With new machines, he hopes he will be able to produce more olive oil and expand his business.

Mohamed, 78, inherited his olive farm from his great-grandfather. After finishing secondary school, a distinction only few achieved in the days of his youth, he joined Libya’s bloated civil service. After three decades, Mohamed grew tired of the rampant corruption in his office, so he went to work on his family’s olive farm. But no industry was spared from the corrupt arm of Gadhafi’s government, he said. Most of the oil produced from Mohamed’s olives was sold to the government at reduced prices, and little was made available to regular Libyans.

With the ouster of the regime, he is optimistic that corruption will give way to transparency. And if he could set up irrigation systems and import sophisticated machinery, he would be relieved of trucking in water and harvesting the olives manually.

Getting former fighters back to work

An over-dependence on oil has also contributed to the problem of structural unemployment, a critical factor leading to the uprising against Gadhafi’s oppressive regime. As a capital-intensive industry, the oil sector provides limited jobs. And because oil revenues sustained the government, Gadhafi dedicated few resources to developing human capital.

“Gadhafi wanted us to be so preoccupied with looking for food, a house, a car, that we could not think about other things like higher education,” said Khaled. Before the revolution, he made just 175 Libyan dinar a month, around 140 USD. “A suit costs 120 dinar,” he said. “So the first month of work, you buy a suit. The second month, shoes. After 20 years, you can buy a car.”

Libya’s unemployment problem persists. “Libya has a young population - close to 50 percent are below 25 years of age - with a large influx of entrants to the labor market expected in the next decade,” notes the IMF. Diversification of the economy can serve as a means to create employment opportunities for the country’s youth.

Although many Zintanis have laid down their weapons, the boys and men who fought are now looking to re-integrate into normal life, and they need jobs. But first, Libyan youth will have to be trained in new skill sets to meet the demand of companies that will begin to invest in the economy. “To meet the demand, it will be important to establish training programs for workers and job seekers, and to reform the education system to reflect new needs, such as language and computer skills,” urged the IMF’s August 2012 report Libya Beyond the Revolution: Challenges and Opportunities.

-Possibilities ahead

Re-focusing the Libyan economy on non-hydrocarbon sectors is not just about making the economy more stable or equitable. As Khaled indicates, it is also about reawakening the imagination of many Libyans who had been oppressed for decades under Gadhafi.

Zintan’s olive oil industry represents just one facet of the unprecedented economic opportunities available in the post-Gadhafi era. Khaled is floating many other ideas to build up the local tourism and trade industries, both of which, says the IMF, hold many opportunities because of the country’s “rich archeological sites, Mediterranean climate, and proximity to major European markets.”

Khaled imagines building a hotel and a restaurant to cater to tourists that would come to see the Nafusa Mountain’s historical treasures, including its Roman ruins.

The economic challenge ahead is great, and is complicated by the fact that Libya does not yet have a permanent government to carry out long-term policies. In June, the country will elect members to a national assembly tasked with drafting the constitution. Once the constitution passes a referendum, parliamentary and presidential elections will follow - a process likely to take around two years. All of this, amid persistent fears over basic security in a country saturated with weapons.

Regardless of what business ventures Khaled undertakes, for him the economic changes ahead are about achieving something more basic, something that was not possible under the Gadhafi regime: “We want jobs, salaries, to get married, to have babies. We want a normal life. A human life."

[Voice of America]
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Released:  30/05/20122012-05-30
Word count:  212

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) officials stated that they are pursuing a plan to expand activity in Libya

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Leanne Harwood , vice president commercial, India, Middle East and Africa, IHG, told Hotelier Middle East that the group is looking for opportunities in Libya. The plan would be to open for business around 2017, when the country is more economically and politically secure. She said: “We are absolutely actively pursuing opportunities in Libya because ultimately, like Bahrain, in the long term – once the country has got its infrastructure in a better place – airports, roads etc., then we’d like to be there and help Libya grow into a new country as they push forward. It really is a country of opportunity.” Harwood added: “I don’t know when our first property will open there, but I’d suggest that in the next five years you’d see something come into fruition, but who knows? It all depends on how fast they move with the infrastructure.” IHG currently manages the Al Waddan Hotel Tripoli, which dates back to the 1930s, and signed a management contract in 2006 for InterContinental Tripoli, but this was put on hold due to the unrest. IHG had started building two hotels in Tripoli and Benghazi but the construction process halted due to uprisings in February 2011. However, it is expected that IHG will revive these projects within the coming five years.
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Released:  30/05/20122012-05-30
Word count:  578

An Air Malta technical team is making a final review of fuel bunkering facilities in Libya with a view to buying fuel from its North African neighbour, which on average sells fuel cheaper than European airports.

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Mina Monir
Airline CEO Peter Davies said the airline was very keen to take advantage of fuel savings from its flights to Libya but the airline needed to make some procedural verifications first. “Obviously, fuel is critically important but we have to make sure the conditions upon which it is delivered are correct,” he said. “I would like to think that we could start lifting fuel out of Tripoli or out of Libya as soon as possible.” The issue of securing a fuel deal at competitive rates with Libya was raised last week by the Airline Pilots Association when it also complained that it was not being consulted on the ongoing restructuring of the beleaguered airline. Mr Davies insisted that the pilots’ association, along with the other unions, was given regular updates on the financial situation and the changes being made. “Certainly, at a forum two weeks ago... we gave (pilots) the information in terms of the fuel savings that we are making,” he said. “Our commercial director, our finance director and our HR director made a presentation to the pilots. I think there were about 70 there.” Mr Davies was speaking in Benghazi soon after Air Malta’s first flight in four years landed there yesterday morning. The airline will fly twice a week to Libya’s second city. The airline is hoping to take advantage of the political ties established by the government with the new Libyan administration following the humanitarian assistance Malta gave Libya during last year’s conflict and a new fuel deal falls squarely within this strategy.

But the airline’s management also intends to look at the rest of Africa, not just Libya, for strategic expansion after steadying the company through the restructuring. “I think we have to look at other parts of Africa to see what opportunities there are, so I am looking south and east in terms of our strategic direction. “But the first thing to do... let’s get the airline fixed, let’s break even and, obviously, the Benghazi route is an important part of that development,” Mr Davies said. The service to Benghazi comes after flights to the Libyan capital Tripoli were upgraded earlier this month to daily from three times a week. The move represents another step towards consolidating the airline’s position in Libya after the revolution and also a likely boost in revenue. Most passengers to and from Libya tend to be business people travelling club class. In the past six months, the airline carried just shy of 22,000 passengers on the Tripoli route and is projecting to carry another 30,000 over the summer, on top of another 8,000 it is planning to handle on the Benghazi route. Mr Davies stressed that the Malta connection offered Libyans a gateway to Europe and flights were timed to facilitate such connections. The flights, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, leave Malta at 4. 40 a.m., arrive at 6.05 a.m., leave Benghazi at 7.05 a.m. and arrive in Malta at 8.25 a.m. But there are challenges to increased business. Benghazi airport director Jamal Agili pointed out that he would like to see visas processed quicker. In fact, the Maltese consulate in Benghazi is flooded, issuing about 500 visas a week, as it is practically the only European representation issuing Schengen visas. The next best alternative, Turkish airlines, offers the advantage of visa-free travel to Turkey but Libyan nationals would still need to obtain a Schengen visa to be able to travel to Europe.

[Source: Times of Malta]
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Released:  30/05/20122012-05-30
Word count:  627

(Reuters) - BP (BP.L) is to resume exploration activities in Libya that it suspended because of last year's uprising, re-starting a relationship which under ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi landed the firm in the centre of a political storm.

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Mina Monir
BP's return is a milestone in the recovery of Libya's energy sector, though this was tempered by an announcement from Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) that it would pull out of fields in Libya on the grounds that they were not worth developing.

BP closed down operations in Libya and withdrew its expatriate workers in February last year, days after protests broke out in eastern Libya which with help from NATO warplanes and missiles eventually forced Gaddafi from power.

The oil firm follows other majors, including Eni (ENI.MI) and Total (TOTF.PA) in restarting Libya operations, despite lingering worries about security and the possibility the new authorities will try to re-negotiate contracts signed under Gaddafi.

The head of Libya's National Oil Corporation, Nuri Berruien, and Michael Daly, BP's executive president for exploration, agreed in Tripoli on Tuesday to lift force majeure, the legal mechanism under which BP suspended its operations last year.

The agreement was a "significant milestone in BP's plans to return to the exploration of onshore and offshore blocks," Daly said in a statement.

BP's then chief executive Tony Hayward travelled to Tripoli in 2007 to sign a $900 million contract giving the company the right to explore onshore and offshore fields in Libya, home of Africa's largest proven crude reserves.

But the deal quickly became entwined in a furious political row about Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of the 1988 bombing of a U.S. airliner over the Scottish town of Lockerbie.

Megrahi died in Tripoli earlier this month, three years after Scottish authorities released him on the grounds he was terminally ill and did not have long to live. He had returned to a hero's welcome in Tripoli.

Megrahi's release caused a storm of anger in the United States, where many of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing were from. The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee launched an inquiry into whether there was any connection between Megrahi's release and BP winning the exploration deal in Libya.

The company and the British government have always denied any connection between the two, although BP did say it lobbied for Megrahi's transfer to Libya.

SECURITY SITUATION 'MANAGEABLE'

Libya now is preparing for its first ever democratic elections, but the new government is weak and struggling to keep in check armed volunteer militias.

A BP spokesman said security was going to be "the determining factor on how quickly we move."

"At the moment we feel security and safety is sufficiently manageable."

It was likely to be months before BP had everything in place to re-start its exploration work, the spokesman said.

"The first thing we need to do is re-establish the contracts for drilling and logistics," he said.

"We need to get contractors back in for the onshore and offshore drilling .. Then it's back to work as soon as possible."

Shell said its decision to pull out of its Libyan contracts did not show any lack of faith in the oil sector, and said it would keep an office open in Libya to look into new deals.

In a statement, the company said it would abandon drilled wells and stop exploration on its two Libyan licenses. It said its departure had nothing to do with security issues and was taken on a purely commercial basis.

"Despite an extensive seismic and drilling campaign in these licenses, results have been disappointing and further exploration cannot be economically justified," a Shell spokesman said. "We have agreed to actively pursue new upstream business opportunities."

Asked about Shell's decision, NOC chief Berruien told Reuters by telephone: "All I can say right now is that Shell is not withdrawing from Libya. They are staying."

(Additional reporting by Tom Bergin and Jessica Donati in London and Ali Shuaib in Tripoli; editing by Jason Neely)
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The Minister of Planning Eissa al-Twayger affirmed that the Libyan state is capable of launching real development and sustaining it.

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Mina Monir
In his speech given at the inauguration of a workshop on development policies in the southern region, held in the city of Sabha, Mr. Twayjer stated that the target of this development is the welfare of the Libyan citizen. He also stated that establishing a modern planning system takes into consideration the domestic and international factors in achieving this development. Sustaining this development, according to Mr. Twayjer, is achieved by securing the optimum employment of resources and this is precisely what the Libyan state is working on. Mr. Twayjer explained that man is the target of development and its means at the same time. He also emphasized the vital role of civil society organizations in planning and executing the development steps. Mr. Twayjer shed light on the historical background of the development process in Libya by saying that since Libya’s independence in the 1950’s it set out three major plans of development before the September coup. These plans led to the improvement and flourishing of Libya and especially in the sectors of local industries and commerce. Twayjer added that the former regime released some laws in the 1970’s that halted the development process in both the public and private sectors and caused the decline of the Libyan economic system. He also indictaed in his speech that the ministry has studied a number of projects to face the urgent needs of the southern region as well as fulfilling the needs of every Libyan citizen.
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Released:  29/05/20122012-05-29
Word count:  483

Resolution to approve partial repayment of a €13.2 million loan taken out by the company to meet creditor payments during the civil war in Libya in 2011

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Mina Monir
The board of directors of Mediterranean Investments Holding plc will call investors to approve a change to the use of bond proceeds, for the partial repayment of a €13.2-million loan taken out by the company to meet creditor payments during the war in Libya last year. The bond holders’ meeting will be convened on 11 June, 2012.

According to the MIH bonds prospectus, up to €31 million of the bond proceeds were to be utilised to fund the company’s investment in Tripoli’s Medina Tower Project through its 25-percent equity interest in the joint venture company. “Since the projected timelines for the Medina Tower project were revised due to the outbreak of hostilities, the board of directors estimates that part of the company’s equity contribution in that project will not be required before mid-2014. “In view of these revised timelines, the board is proposing that €8 million of the bond proceeds be applied in partial reduction of a loan the company entered into in 2011, to meet the payment of capital creditors during the period of civil war in Libya.” The Medina Tower Project is a mixed-use development in the centre of Tripoli comprising residential and office space together with retail areas within a 200,000 square metres of built up area over 40 floors and an additional four underground floors for car parking. The MIH board said that following the issue of the bonds in July 2010, the company faced a severely challenging period as a result of the war in Libya between February and September 2011. “The dramatic events that unfolded over that period and the consequent uncertainty led the company to re-consider its priorities, adopting a defensive strategy of protecting its assets in Libya from the risks and perils of war.” The environment in Libya during the protracted civil strife required the company to protect, as far as was practicably possible in a time of war, the company’s investment and assets in Libya. The development of the Medina Tower project was suspended pending the cessation of hostilities, while MIH shifted its focus on the significant impact that the events in Libya inevitably had on the ongoing business and operations at Palm City Residences, a project that constitutes the sole revenue generator for the company. “With the outbreak of the civil war, operations at Palm City Residences were significantly reduced with tenants evacuating the country and terminating their lease agreements. This has resulted in the financial year 2011 being an acutely difficult and challenging year for the company. Its cash flow was severely strained and to meet its on-going contractual obligations the company had no alternative but to raise a loan totalling €13.2 million,” MIH said. Over the last few months, the sense of stability in Libya has allowed MIH to resume marketing of the units and restart operations at Palm City Residences. Occupancy levels in March 2012 reached 75 percent, levels that are estimated to reach 90 percentby July 2012. [source Malta Today]
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Released:  29/05/20122012-05-29
Word count:  422

Libya's LAP Green Networks has taken back full control of Uganda Telecom following the lifting of United Nations sanctions on all Libyan-owned businesses across Africa early this month.

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Mina Monir
Uganda Telecom is one of four telecommunications companies under LAP Green, the telecom investment arm of Libya's Africa Investment Portfolio -- one of the legacies of Moammar Gadhafi, who was deposed and killed last year. Uganda Telecom, like LAP's Africa operations in Zambia, Ivory Coast and South Sudan, was subject to U.N. sanctions last year after the uprising that overthrew Gadhafi. Wafik Al-Shater, LAP Green's chairman, said the group's directors had been fully reinstated as Uganda Telecom board members and have resumed their management responsibilities of the company. LAP Green controls 69 percent of the fixed and mobile telecom company, with the Ugandan government owning the rest. "I and the entire team are delighted to have our full board rights as majority shareholders of Uganda Telecom restored, and subsequent to the recent UTL board meeting on the 21st of May, we're now pleased to resume full operational management control," a company press statement quoted Al-Shater as saying. Donald Nyakairu, Uganda Telecom's acting managing director, said the company expects to invest US$60 million and raise mobile subscriber numbers to 2.2 million from 1.6 million now. He added that the company will expand its infrastructure. The U.N. sanctions paralyzed the company's normal operations. Analysts predicted a collapse of the company or a takeover as it was weighed down by especially interconnection debt when its assets were frozen, but it survived, helped partly by its sheer size and historical position. Uganda Telecom was once part of Uganda Posts and Telecommunications, the state monopoly that was split into two to create the new company when the telecom sector was deregulated. The company, which operates a 3G network, stayed afloat leveraging some of its core businesses, especially wide area bandwidth on data gateways, Internet service provision as well as a mobile money transfer service. Al-Shater said reinstatement of the board at Uganda Telecom represents yet another step forward for LAP Green in the restoration of the group's fixed and mobile telecoms assets across Africa. He said LAP Green over the past few months has developed a good understanding of what is required to restore its assets across Africa. "In addition to Uganda we are driving positive change in Ivory Coast (Oricel) and South Sudan (Gemtel)," he said. "We are also evaluating our options in other territories where we have licenses." Al-Shater said LAP Green has put in place a team of telecom professionals who are leading the company as part of its rebuilding work and promised to recruit and expand the team with talented individuals. [Source: PC Advisor]
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Released:  28/05/20122012-05-28
Word count:  403

The UK and Libya will work together to develop a modern and reliable communications infrastructure in Libya, spreading the practice of open government.

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Mina Monir
Full text of the Memorandum of Intentions on e-Libya signed by UK Minister Lord Green and the Libyan Minister of Communications: The Government of Libya,

and

The Government of the United Kingdom

(hereinafter referred to collectively as the “Participants”),

Desiring to cooperate in support of the E-Libya initiative’s goals of improving quality of life in Libya through technology; and catalyzing the development of a Libyan knowledge economy.

Desiring, therefore, to cooperate and benefit from the warm and friendly relations between both governments, to leverage the extensive knowledge of the UK government in the following areas: 1- Information and Communication Technology (ICT) strategy 2- Establishing a regulatory framework 3- Physical ICT infrastructure 4- Value-added ICT applications, including Open Government, e-Government, e-Commerce and e-Learning

Sharing a common goal of promoting open government and transparency in Libya, and recognizing the role E-Libya will play in the advancement of that goal, so that Libya may in future join the Open Government Partnership;

Intend as follows:

1. This Memorandum of Intentions is not legally binding and does not constitute an obligation of funds.

2. The Participants, based on the experience, technical expertise and best practices in the implementation of cooperation for the E-Libya Initiative, intend to conduct joint activities of technical cooperation, with a view to:

a. Identifying opportunities on mutually decided terms of enhanced investment opportunities in the country, responsive government activities, increased access to technology; and b. Strengthening the infrastructure and technological innovation systems of Libya, by means of coordinated use of personal, technological and human resources.

3. Activities to be carried out may include:

a. Sending technical experts from the United Kingdom, and other governments and international private sector organizations to develop proposals, provide technical and strategic guidance, training, and education, as well as monitor projects and evaluate results;

b. Assisting in improving physical infrastructure capabilities, promoting affordable access to the internet, designing a formation of policies to govern the emerging telecommunications market; and

c. Other forms of cooperation mutually determined among the Participants.

4. The Participants intend to assign the planning and direction of the E-Libya initiative arising from this Memorandum of Intentions to the Libyan Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.

5. The Participants intend to cooperate towards giving appropriate publicity to the cooperation provided.

This Memorandum of Intentions is to be effective as of the date of its signature.

Signed at Lancaster House, London on 24 May 2012 in two original copies, in the English and Arabic languages."

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Released:  28/05/20122012-05-28

Libya's defence minister says he wants to create a new national army of 100,000 soldiers. The force will include members of the old army, as well as former fighters who helped overthrow Muammar Gaddafi. Al Jazeera's Omar al-Saleh reports from the Libyan town of Az-Zawiya.

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Released:  28/05/20122012-05-28
Word count:  321

On Friday the 25th of May, Chatham House, the independent think tank on international affairs received Dr. Abdurrahim El-Keib, Libya's interim prime minister for an hour long conference on Re-establishing the state of Libya, its challenges, issues and amazing accomplishments.

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LibyaBusiness TV was present at the event. Dr El Keib's conveyed a message of enthusiasm and commitment to rebuilding the state of Libya, both economically and politically, highlighting the government's priority to ensure security and stability and to hold the elections for the General National Council next June in a free and transparent manner. Some of the measures taken by his government to achieve these goals are the disarmament of local militias and their integration in state institutions, regional cooperation in enforcing border security, and the general handover of prisons to the judicial police from rebel fighters. Dr El Keib also cited that his government's top priorities lied in reforming education and healthcare, as well as improving the state of infrastructure. However, no concrete plan was outlined during the conference. The interim government was however highly criticised for implementing Law number 37 which effectively makes it a criminal offence to support Qadhafi, his regimes and his sons, as well as to insult Islam, the state or its institutions, or insulting the Libyan Revolution. Opponents of this law pointed to the fact that such measures restrict freedom of speech and expression, and place the government as untouchable. Similar critics were raised against Law n 38 which grants amnesty for any acts made necessary by the 17 of February revolution, citing that this legislation hinders the establishment of the rule of law in Libya, by essentially providing impunity to those who committed crimes during the revolution. Dr El Kib responded that these measures were necessary in the context of Libya today, but that any act found to be in breach of international human rights will not go unpunished. Furthermore, he noted that these were measures taken under extraordinary circumstances, and that these laws would disappear once a National Council is formed. The prime minister assured the audience that the NTC and libyans were all committed to respecting human rights, and building a fair and just state.
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Dr El Keib's conveyed a message of enthusiasm and commitment to rebuilding the state of Libya, both economically and politically, highlighting the government's priority to ensure security and stability and to hold the elections for the General National Council next June in a free and transparent manner. Some of the measures taken by his government to achieve these goals are the disarmament of local militias and their integration in state...

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On Friday the 25th of May, Chatham House, the independent think tank on international affairs received Dr. Abdurrahim El-Keib, Libya's interim prime minister for an hour long conference on Re-establishing the state of Libya, its challenges, issues and amazing accomplishments. LibyaBusiness TV was present at the event.

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I compliment Dr Keib in realizing and recognizing the top priorities lies in reforming education. I urge Libyan Ministry of Higher Education to identify much needed reforms and implement best practices for brain gain and stop the brain drain by respecting human rights without any loss of further time. Prof Dr Bindra

Anonymous
4 yearss ago

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Released:  25/05/20122012-05-25
Word count:  98

African Airlines has declared that it has resumed its flights to Tripoli and Benghazi

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The African Airlines has started its first flight between Tripoli, Benghazi and Amman, the Jordanian capital. The company stated that the flights will be continued by four flights per week between the three mentioned cities. The executive manager of the company al-Rammah said that the company will use its luxurious Airbus 330 planes which have the capacity of 220 seats for economy class and 30 seats for businessmen class. Mr. Rammah promised the passengers of the flights to Tripoli and Benghazi with 5 stars class service. He also stated that the next step will be providing direct lines connecting Libya with China.
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Released:  25/05/20122012-05-25
Word count:  98

African Airlines has declared that it has resumed its flights to Tripoli and Benghazi

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Mina Monir
The African Airlines has started its first flight between Tripoli, Benghazi and Amman, the Jordanian capital. The company stated that the flights will be continued by four flights per week between the three mentioned cities. The executive manager of the company al-Rammah said that the company will use its luxurious Airbus 330 planes which have the capacity of 220 seats for economy class and 30 seats for businessmen class. Mr. Rammah promised the passengers of the flights to Tripoli and Benghazi with 5 stars class service. He also stated that the next step will be providing direct lines connecting Libya with China.
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Released:  25/05/20122012-05-25
Word count:  189

LONDON, May 24 (UPI) -- The British government said it signed a memorandum of intent with Libya to share the goal of ensuring an open and transparent government in Tripoli.

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Mina Monir
London welcomed a delegation from Libya to sign a memorandum outlining technical cooperation in information and communication technology and related infrastructure. The agreement identifies "opportunities on mutually decided terms of enhanced investment opportunities in the country, responsive government activities (and) increased access to technology," a document from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office reads. The purpose of the memorandum was to outline the shared goal of promoting an open and transparent government in Libya. "The U.K. and Libya will work together to develop a modern and reliable communications infrastructure in Libya, spreading the practice of open government," the FCO said. Libya is setting the groundwork for its first democratic elections in a generation later this year. An interim council took control of the country after Moammar Gadhafi's government collapsed under the pressure of civil war and a NATO-led intervention. London's commercial ties to Tripoli were questioned following the 2009 release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the only person convicted of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. British energy company BP was accused of playing a role in the decision to release him, though the allegations have been denied.
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The Prime Minister of Libya, Abdurrahim El-Keib, addresses members of Chatham House on 25 May 2012.

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Mina Monir
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Construction News
Released:  24/05/20122012-05-24
Word count:  264

The head of the United Nations agency tasked with safeguarding the world's cultural heritage today called for the protection of Libya's Old City of Ghadamès, voicing concern over reports that the town has been the target of rocket attacks.

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Mina Monir
"I call upon all those involved to refrain from hostile acts that could cause additional damage to this outstanding city, inscribed on the World Heritage List," said the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova.

The Old City of Ghadamès is situated in north-western Libya and was inscribed in the World Heritage List in 1986. Often referred to as 'the pearl of the desert,' Ghadamès features a style of domestic architecture which makes it a unique site among a series of pre-Saharan cities and settlements along the northern edge of the desert from Libya to Mauritania.

Clashes between rival groups have been among the challenges facing Libya since the toppling of the regime of Muammar Al-Qadhafi last year and the establishment of the interim authorities.

"During the past year, Libyans have shown their unfailing commitment to the protection of their cultural heritage, demonstrating that such heritage cannot be held hostage to local or international dissent and conflict," Ms. Bokova said. "Heritage is a foundation of social cohesion and as such should remain a vector for dialogue and mutual understanding," she added.

During last year's conflict in Libya, UNESCO repeatedly informed all parties of their responsibility to protect the country's cultural heritage. The agency has resumed its cooperation with the Libyan authorities and has indicated it remains ready to assist them to effectively protect and conserve the country's heritage as it recovers from conflict. UNESCO's World Heritage List includes 936 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage considered to have outstanding universal value. [Source: All Africa – UNESCO]
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Construction News

Construction News
Released:  24/05/20122012-05-24
Word count:  218

David Cameron is to host his Libyan counterpart for talks in 10 Downing Street, it has been announced.

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Mina Monir
[Telegraph and Associated Press] Abdurrahim El-Keib was appointed interim prime minister of Libya in October last year, days after the overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi following a violent uprising backed by the UK. Downing Street had no immediate information about the agenda for Thursday's meeting, but it is thought likely that Mr Cameron and Mr El-Keib will discuss the reconstruction of the country following last year's revolution, as well as the question of whether Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam should be tried in an international court or in Libya. Just days after the death of the only person convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, they may also discuss whether any further evidence relating to the atrocity has emerged in the wake of the downfall of the Gaddafi regime. Mr El-Keib spent much of his life working abroad as an academic and businessman in the United States and UAE, and played no part in Gaddafi's administration. He is understood to have helped fund the opposition from exile. Elections for a national assembly for Libya are expected in June, though no date has yet been set. The visit comes at a time when British companies are eyeing the restoration projects in Libya. Libyan-British business relations have been vastly improved in the last year, especially in the energy and finance sectors.
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Construction News
Released:  24/05/20122012-05-24

People in Libya's second largest city Benghazi are casting their ballots in local elections. Voters are choosing 41 city councillors. And given that Benghazi was the birthplace of the revolution in Libya, the poll is taking on wider significance. Al Jazeera's Omar al-Saleh reports from Benghazi.

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Mina Monir
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  23/05/20122012-05-23
Word count:  197

Arabian Gulf Oil Company (AGOCO) has declared that the level of its production is back to the pre-uprisings levels.

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Mina Monir
The president of AGOCO Ahmed al-Mujbary stated that production has reached 397 thousand barrels per day which is the level of production before the uprisings in February 2011. Mr. al-Mujbary said that the return of such levels has been achieved in a very short time, against the expectations of the international experts who believed that the return to such levels will not take place before October 2012, at least. Al-Mujbary believes that such progress has been achieved thanks to the “loyal patriots” who contributed to the acceleration of the maintenance and restoration process without any need for foreign intervention. He also stated that the total export of crude oil, since the restart of the company activity, has reached 13,600,000 barrels including half a million barrels exported to the Zawya refinery, 40 Kilometers west of Tripoli, while the rest was exported to the international markets. Notably, the oil production of Libya exceeds 600 Million bpd while the Benghazi based AGOCO’s share is a quarter of that total production. The production of AGOCO experienced some problems that halted its output in the last few months due to security problems. However, after the security was restored, the company returned to its high production levels again.
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