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BBC World Service

Libya begins to see its assets released

Marketplace Staff Sep 1, 2011
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Steve Chiotakis: Russia said today it will
officially recognize Libya’s interim government. Also today, there’s a conference going on in Paris that seeks to bolster political and financial support for the emerging government.

The BBC’s Jonathan Marcus is with us from Paris and has the latest on that. Hi Jonathan.

Jonathan Marcus: Yes, hi.

Chiotakis: After the conference is concluded, how much cash and other aid could Libya get from the rest of the world?

Marcus: It’s not so much about raising money. What’s happening at the moment is small amounts of frozen Libyan funds are being released by individual governments making applications to a UN committee. I think that’s important, not least to begin to pay salaries of public service workers. To get all o the funds released, we’re going to need a full-scale UN Security Council resolution. There are still some governments, not least the South Africans, who are a little bit skeptical about accepting that the Gaddafi regime is now a thing of the past.

Chiotakis: I know reconstruction depends almost as much on rebuilding the oil industry, right? What’s happening on that front in Libya?

Marcus: Getting the oil industry back up and running is absolutely crucial. It depends to a large extent on foreign expertise, so clearly the security situation is an important factor there. But I think this is one of the key differences Libya and Iraq and Afghanistan — there isn’t the level of destruction in Libya. This is not a country that is a potential basket case, it’s a country that pay to rebuild. Clearly though, the crucial thing in the first instance is to end the fighting and really to run down the Gaddafi regime so that there is a definitive end to this conflict, and that security can be re-established.

Chiotakis: The BBC’s Jonathan Marcus in Paris. Jonathan, thank you.

Marcus: Thank you.

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