EU takes east Libya’s powerbroker Saleh off sanctions blacklist | Center East
Aguila Saleh is no longer faced with travel bans and asset freezes as the EU seeks to play a key role in every Libyan settlement.
The European Union has removed an East Libyan power broker from its sanctions blacklist to encourage peace efforts and ensure that the EU plays a central role in any negotiated solution in Libya.
Aguila Saleh, chairman of a rival parliament in eastern Libya, no longer faced EU travel bans and asset freezes four years ago, the EU said on Friday and confirmed a Reuters report on September 9 that the so-called delisting was planned.
“The removal of Spokesman Saleh was agreed in light of his recent constructive commitment to support a negotiated political solution to the Libya crisis,” said an EU statement.
After months of inactivity, the European powers see an opportunity to reaffirm their role in Libya – which has been in turmoil since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 – following a ceasefire in August and to counter the growing military engagement of Turkey and Russia.
The United Nations-recognized government of the National Agreement (GNA) rejected a 14-month attack on the capital Tripoli by the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) led by renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar in June.
The two are now buried along a front line near the strategic city of Sirte.
Saleh is seen as bargaining power over Haftar.
The EU now sees Saleh as a key figure in bringing the two sides of the Libyan conflict together.