EU Retains Libya Sanctions, Ready to Lift Them Promptly

World | August 22, 2011, Monday // 15:10|  views

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, British, Catherine Ashton has urged Gaddafi to step down, expressing strong support for the Libyan people during the forthcoming "process of transition". Photo by BGNES

The European Union will retain the sanctions against the Libyan government at this stage but remains ready to revoke them when the time is right, according to a statement of the European Commission.

"For the moment ... sanctions will remain in place, but we can always lift them fairly rapidly," said a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, as quoted by BGNES.

Around 50 Libyan companies are subject to EU sanctions, while over 30 Libyan high-ranking officials face measures such as asset freezes and travel bans.

Earlier Monday Britain said it would soon be able to unblock frozen Libyan assets to help finance new Libyan authorities if the rebels succeed in toppling Gaddafi's regime.

"We are witnessing the last moments of the Gaddafi regime. I call on Gaddafi to step down without further delay and avoid further bloodshed.", Ashton went on to say Monday.

In her words, Libya is now on the verge of a new era and the coming months and years will be a test to the resourcefulness and determination of the Libyan people.

"I salute the courage of those who have fought to make this possible. It is now time to launch a process of transition towards a new Libya, in which democratic principles, justice and human rights are fully respected", she concluded, expressing her certainty that the Libyan people will overcome this challenge and make the country a "prosperous, stable and democratic state" with the support of the EU.

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Tags: Catherine Ashton, EU foreign policy chief, Gaddafi, Gaddafi regime, sanctions, asset freeze, travel ban, frozen assets


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