Statement by the Press Secretary on the Lifting of Sanctions in Libya

Friday, December 16, 2011

Release Time: 

For Immediate Release

Today, after careful consultation with the new Libyan government, the United States rolled back most U.S. sanctions on the Government of Libya to keep our commitment to the Libyan people. Just days after the Qadhafi regime’s attacks against the Libyan people, the United States imposed a complete freeze on Government of Libya assets. The international financial sanctions that followed prevented Libya's assets from being used by Qadhafi to perpetrate violence and preserved Libya’s wealth for its rightful owners, the Libyan people. Due to the bravery and perseverance of the Libyan people, the Qadhafi regime was defeated and Libya is now undertaking a transition to democracy.

Today’s action unfreezes all government and Central Bank funds within U.S. jurisdiction, with limited exceptions. Assets in the U.S. of the Qadhafi family and former Qadhafi regime members remain frozen. These measures, along with the steps taken today by the United Nations Security Council, will allow the Libyan government to access most of its worldwide holdings and will help the new government oversee the country’s transition and reconstruction in a responsible manner. The United States is also assisting the Libyan government with the technical steps required to make these assets available from financial institutions as soon as possible.

The United States is proud of the role we played in supporting the Libyan peoples' efforts to end the Qadhafi regime. We look forward to a continued close partnership with the new government of Libya during this transitional period and beyond, and believe that these assets can be an important resource for the Libyan people.

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