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.

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