Friday, February 24, 2012

Obama keeps Libya sanctions in place for another year

US President Barack Obama

Source: Press TV

US President Barack Obama has told Congress that the sanctions his administration imposed on Libya last year will be extended for another year, White House officials said.

Obama informed Congress on Thursday that the national emergency order allowing sanctions against Libya will continue, noting that Washington was concerned by ongoing threats posed to US interests by the family of Libya's slain dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

“The situation in Libya continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” Obama said in a letter to congressional leaders.

“We need to protect against this threat and the diversion of assets or other abuse by certain members of Gaddafi’s family and other former regime officials," he said.

"Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to Libya," he wrote.

Obama declared the national emergency over Libya on February 25, 2011, citing threats to US national security and foreign policy posed by Gaddafi and his government in their "extreme measures" against the people of Libya.

National emergency regulations authorize the US president to impose sanctions on foreign countries.

Sanctions imposed on overseas Libyan assets by the United Nations, the United States, and other nations have unwound slowly since Gaddafi’s death last year. However, releasing the assets is both politically and legally complicated, because the frozen funds include investments and property owned by private individuals.

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