Wednesday, April 27, 2011

US Authorizes Oil Transactions With Libyan Rebels

US authorizes oil transactions with Libyan rebels


WASHINGTON — The United States on Wednesday authorized Americans to buy oil from Libyan rebels, easing sanctions to open a stream of funding to opponents of Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi.

The US Treasury specifically authorized transactions with Qatar Petroleum and the Vitol Group "related to oil, gas, or petroleum products exported from Libya under the auspices of the Transitional National Council of Libya."

Buyers must report the transactions to the Treasury Department and provide information to show that the Libyan government or others under sanctions derive no benefit, the Treasury Department statement said.

The authorization creates an exception to an executive order in February that froze the assets of a number of senior Libyan officials and blocked transactions with the Libyan state.

The Transitional National Council, which represents the rebel forces fighting to overthrow Kadhafi, hailed the US action.

"The people of Libya are brave and defiant but we need access to oil revenues so that we can feed, protect and defend our families," it said.

"These funds are crucial to establishing a stable and secure future nation, and we welcome the US decision to ease sanctions on our exports."

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