Archive for the ‘Libya’ Category

Libya settlement cuts into Societe Generale profit – eNCA

A view of the headquarters of French bank Societe Generale in London on May 5, 2017. Photo: Justin Tallis / AFP

PARIS – French bank Societe Generale on Wednesday said its net profit tumbled by over a quarter in the second quarter of this year due to the cost of settling a lawsuit with Libya’s sovereign wealth fund.

While it had already set aside some funds, Societe Generale had to book a charge of nearly a billion euros against second-quarter profits for the out-of-court settlement with the Libyan Investment Authority in May.

The LIA sued the bank in 2014 for $1.5-billion (R19.5-billion) for allegedly channelling bribes to allies of Muammar Gaddafi’s son.

The case had been about to go to court in Britain.

READ: Algeria plans bank privatisations as oil money dries up

The charge pushed net profit down to 1.05 billion euros (R16.5-million), but that still beat the average forecast of 940 million euros of analysts surveyed by financial data firm Factset.

“In a mixed economic and financial environment, Societe Generale posted sound second-quarter results, confirming the good commercial and operating performances achieved by the businesses at the beginning of the year,” chief executive Frederic Oudea said in a statement.

Stripped of exceptional items – including a capital gain of over 725 million in the second quarter last year from the sale of its stake in Visa Europe, the bank’s profit rose by 11 percent to 1.16 billion euros.

Operating expenses rose by 1.2 percent as Societe Generale stepped up investments into modernising its French retail bank operations and support growth in its international retail banking operations.

READ: Libya committee votes in favour of constitutional draft

While the profitability of operations at home continued to suffer from the effects of the ultra-low interest rates in the Euro zone, retail banking and financial services abroad enjoyed growth and net profit jumped 30 percent to 568 million euros.

Oudea said the bank would present a new strategic development plan in November.

The bank’s shares dropped more than three percent in early trading on the Paris stock exchange, while the CAC 40 index slid 0.2 percent.

AFP

03 July 2017

The conference was organised to mark the 50th anniversary of the last exodus of Jews from Libya as a result of the 1967 Six-Day Israeli-Arab War.

28 April 2017

The incident occurred in the Sidi Said area west of Tripoli. Qassem did not report any casualties or give details on what happened to the crew of the vessels or their nationalities

16 April 2017

For more than a week, militias allied to the UN-backed Government of National Accord have fought off rival forces trying to capture an airbase in the south of Libya.

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August 2, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed

Libya Crude Floods Market Again as OPEC Fights to Restrict Flows – Bloomberg

Libyas crude shipments jumped to a new three-year high last month, dealing a fresh blow to OPEC and allied oil-producing nations as they battle to restrict a global supply surplus thats depressing prices for the commodity.

The North African nation shipped about 865,000 barrels a day of crude in July,tanker tracking data compiled by Bloomberg show. That was a gain of 11 percent from June, which was already the highest since at least July 2014.

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The pace at which Libya can revive crude sales is critical for the oil market because, along with Nigeria, the nation wasnt bound by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries supply restrictions that helped limit supply this year. Domestic conflicts mean the two nations can pump at will while other producer states are depriving themselves of export revenues. Nigeria is also boosting output as a militant campaign is quelled.

Libyas revival hurts OPECs efforts to re-balance the oil market, said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG. It comes at a time when other countries that agreed to curb production are starting to comply less strictly with the accord, he said.

The total output from OPEC members in July rose 210,000 barrels a day from June to reach 32.87 million barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Libya led the gains. An expected crude-price recovery has failed to materialize since January, the start point for when OPEC, along with non-member nations including Russia, agreed to restrict collective output by about 1.8 million barrels a day.

It may be a challenge for Libya to maintain its current rate of exports, according toTorbjorn Kjus, chief oil analyst at DNB Bank ASA.

It would be a surprise if they could keep production stable,” he said, adding that there are still too many groups and people battling for a share of the countrys oil sales.

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Libya constitutional committee pushes for a vote on draft – News24

Benghazi – Libya’s official news agency says the head of the committee tasked to write the constitution has called upon the eastern parliament to move forward with a referendum on a final draft.

The call by Nouh Abdel-Sayyed, reported Tuesday, to “take all necessary measures to enable the Libyan people to practice their constitutional right” came after days of confusion on whether his committee is following proper legal procedures.

On Saturday, disgruntled protesters stormed the committee’s session in the eastern town of Bayda, calling for a redo of their vote which was in favor of putting the final draft up for a nationwide referendum.

Critics included secessionists and people in favor of the country’s 1951 constitution, which would mean a return to the monarchy.

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

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Macron-Libya: the Rothschild Connection – Voltaire Network

What is happening today in Libya is the nub of a destabilization programme holding a myriad of complexities. So declared President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee, as he concluded an agreement that paves the way for peace and national reconciliation.

Macrons message is that terrorist movements are the single cause for the chaos in which Libya now finds itself; terrorist movements that exploit the political instability and the economic and financial resources that may exist in Libya to allow it to flourish. This why he concludes France will give Libya a helping hand to block the terrorists. [Mauvaise foi!] This statement by Macron is actually turning the situation on its head. France was in fact a manipulator in destabilizing Libya. And did she act alone? Hell no! Her accomplices were the United States, Nato and the Gulf Monarchies. The proof?

In 2010, the World Bank recorded that Libya enjoyed the number one ranking in the human indicators board in the whole of Africa: its high average per capita income, universal access to primary and secondary education and 46% access to tertiary education. About two million African immigrants were able to find work there.

Libya invested in setting up economic institutions that would stand independent of the African Union. The U.S.A. and France as the Clinton e mails so prove reached an agreement to block Gaddafis plan to establish an African currency, as an alternative to the US dollar and the Cfa franc (a currency that France imposes on its 14 former colonies, each one now an independent African state). So it was Clinton as the New York Times reports that made President Obama sign off a document authorizing a covert operation in Libya and the supply of arms to the rebels. Such rebels included groups that till that time had been classified as terrorists.

Soon after this, Nato, (after France had opened the door for it in 2011), driven by the US, undertakes military action to completely devastate the state of Libya; Nato special forces make it implode. This then triggers a social calamity that will ensnare more civilians, creating more victims, some of which will be forced to flee their homeland.

This is a story that our friend Macron is all too familiar: from 2008 to 2012, he had a stellar (as well as suspect) career at Rothschild Bank, the financial empire that controls the central banks in almost every country in the world. In 2011, Rothschild docks in Libya, while the war is still being fighted out. At the same time, the sharks circling the US and European banking world make the biggest robbery of the century, confiscating 150 billion dollars of Libyan sovereign funds. The four years that Macron trained at Rothschild provide him with an entre into the elite of global finance, where big moves such as the demolition of the Libyan State are planned. He then crosses over to politics, making for himself a stellar (as well as suspect) career, first as the Under Secretary General of the Elyse, then as the Finance Minister. In 2016, in just a few months, he creates his own party, En Marche!, an instant party supported and funded by powerful multinational, financial and media groups that clear his path to the presidency. But is it all about Macron? Behind his attention-seeking antics, lurk not just French national interests. The booty to share out in Libya is enormous: the biggest oil reserves in the whole of Africa and vast reserves of natural gas; the immense reserves of fossil water from the cloud stratum, the white gold in sight, more precious than black gold; the Libyan territory itself of primary geostrategic importance at the intersection between the Mediterranean, Africa and the Middle East.

It is the risk that France is exercising a strong hegemony over our former colony, warns the Analisi Difesa, emphasising the importance of an imminent Italian naval expedition to Libya. A call to the national pride of an Italy that is demanding its slice when the colonial powers of old divide up anew, a former Italian colony.

Excerpted from Right before our eyes, the testimony of Thierry Meyssan, a member of the Libyan government

Before anything else, Franois Hollande made an assessment of the destruction of Libya. The Jamahiriya was in possession of a treasure evaluated at a minimum of 150 billion dollars. Officially, NATO had blocked, or had ordered the blockage of, at least a third of it. What happened to the rest ? The Kadhafists believed they could use this money to finance the Resistance in the long term. But in April, Prefect Edouard Lacroix, who had received access to a part of these investments, died in one day from a hurricane cancer , while the ex-Minister for Oil, Choukri Ghanem, was found drowned in Vienna. With the aid of French Minister of Finance Pierre Moscovici, and economic advisor to the Elyse Emmanuel Macron, and several investment bankers, the US Treasury made off with the loot the robbery of the century, 100 billion dollars.

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Macron-Libya: the Rothschild Connection – Voltaire Network

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Will the new peace deal end the conflict in Libya? – The Economist (blog)

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Italy: Answering a Libyan Call for Help – STRATFOR

The Italian government recently authorized a navy patrol boat to begin reconnaissance in response to a Libyan request for help in dealing with its persistent migrant smuggling issue. While Italy is undoubtedly enthusiastic to help curb migrants arriving on Italian shores, the circumstances surrounding Libya’s request may indicate deeper domestic sovereignty issues as the country deals with immigrant smuggling by sea.

The Italian government will present to its parliamentary Commission on Foreign and Defense Policy a plan on Aug. 1 to send Italian navy ships to Libya, in cooperation with local forces there to protect against migrant smuggling. The Italian government approved the plan during a July 28 meeting, with plans for the mission to start within a week. Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said the plan was based on a July 23 request by letter from U.N.-recognized Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj asking for technical support from Italy by sending ships into Libyan territorial waters.

Only days later, on July 28, al-Sarraj denied that he had requested Italian ships enter Libyan waters, saying that Libyan sovereignty was a red line that could not be crossed. But later that same day, al-Sarraj and the Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti discussed possible Italian assistance and managed to overcome domestic resistance in Libya.

Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Siala confirmed that al-Sarraj did invite Italy to send warships into Libyan waters with the permission of the Presidency Council (PC), a group of nine people that represent the U.N.-recognized government’s executive branch. Siala said in an official statement that Libya asked for “logistical, technical and operational support to the Libyan coast guard,” which will require “the presence of some elements of the Italian Navy at the port of Tripoli, but only for this purpose and only if necessary.” The discrepancy in accounts of what request was actually made may indicate a deeper issue for al-Sarraj: Libyan sovereignty remains a central issue and is likely to bring further controversy and complications as he negotiates with other rival Libyan figures.

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OPEC oil output jumps to 2017 high on further Libya recovery – Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – OPEC oil output has risen this month by 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) to a 2017 high, a Reuters survey found, led by a further recovery in supply from Libya, one of the countries exempt from a production-cutting deal.

A dip in supply from Saudi Arabia and lower Angolan exports helped to boost OPEC’s adherence to its supply curbs to 84 percent. While this is up from a revised 77 percent in June, compliance in both months has fallen from levels above 90 percent earlier in the year.

The extra oil from Libya means supply by the 13 OPEC members originally part of the deal has risen far above their implied production target. Libya and Nigeria were exempt from the cuts because conflict had curbed their production.

A gain in Libyan and Nigerian output has added to the challenge the OPEC-led effort is facing to get rid of excess supply on world markets. To address this, ministers at a July 24 meeting moved to cap Nigerian output and officials are holding talks next week on improving compliance.

“There is a need to align all countries to achieve full compliance,” a source close to OPEC said of the compliance talks, which will be held on Aug. 7-8 in Abu Dhabi.

As part of a deal with Russia and other non-members, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is reducing output by about 1.2 million bpd from Jan. 1, 2017 until March next year.

High compliance with the deal, and much-reduced output in the exempt countries, pushed supply lower earlier in the year. But extra Libya and Nigerian production has prompted output to rise since May, and adherence has slipped in some other countries.

July’s biggest rise came from Libya, where output, curbed by years of conflict and unrest, rose to an average of more than 1 million bpd. Production remains short of the 1.6 million bpd Libya pumped before its 2011 civil war.

Iraqi supply was revised up for June and in July output has edged higher, the survey found. Supply also increased slightly in the United Arab Emirates, Gabon and Ecuador – which said it planned to pump more, citing its lack of funds.

Among countries with lower output, the biggest decline was in Angola, which exported 50 cargoes, two less than in June. August volumes are expected to increase.

Nigeria pumped slightly less in July after an increase in June, partly due to a force majeure on Bonny crude exports. Growth could resume next month if exports reach the planned rate of at least 2 million bpd.

Top exporter Saudi Arabia pumped 50,000 bpd less, the survey found, although output in June was revised higher to just above its OPEC target. The reduction achieved by OPEC’s biggest producer in July is back above the target cut of 486,000 bpd.

OPEC announced a production target of 32.50 million bpd last year, which was based on low figures for Libya and Nigeria. The target includes Indonesia, which has since left OPEC, and does not include Equatorial Guinea, the latest country to join OPEC.

The Libyan and Nigerian increases mean OPEC output in July averaged 32.85 million bpd, about 1.1 million bpd above its supply target, adjusted to remove Indonesia and not including Equatorial Guinea.

With Equatorial Guinea added, total OPEC production in July has reached 33.0 million bpd.

The Reuters survey is based on shipping data provided by external sources, Thomson Reuters flows data, and information provided by sources at oil companies, OPEC and consulting firms.

Reporting by Alex Lawler, with additional reporting by Rania El Gamal; Editing by Jane Merriman

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Keeping Libya on the US dashboard – Washington Times

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Since the revolution in 2011, which was supported militarily by the United States, Libya has been ruled by divided governments. Today there are actually three governments attempting to govern simultaneously, one of which the Government of National Salvation I serve as prime minister. The lack of political unity has made our fight for stability and security against extremists that much harder.

Indeed, whatever hopes we have for democracy are at risk; representative government is a new concept here and it will not be legitimate in the eyes of our exhausted country unless we have functional institutions and can protect our people. To that end, it is crucial that America not forget us, but help us toward a political solution that reconciles our differences.

My first priority as prime minister has been to rid Libya of extremist elements, be it ISIS, Daesh, al Qaeda, Ansar al Sharia or whatever is the name of the day. As I have said on many occasions, fundamentalism and terrorism should be fought, as they betray the principles of Islam and the promise of a free and peaceful Libya. President Trump has recently said that he is prepared to support Libya in its fight against extremism and we welcome that and are ready to partner in that fight.

We have created and trained special teams at the Misrata air base who report directly to me and have been deployed on countless missions against the terrorists and fought bravely in the successful purge of Daesh from Sirte. We have also established the Counterterrorsim Service (CTS) which has exchanged important and crucial information and data with the U.S. and European intelligence agencies.

But as we fight, we must also renew our efforts to bring together a national unity government. Here, the international community has failed us. Immediately following the revolution, the U.S. and our European friends were cheered in the public squares of our towns and villages. But the task of building a functioning pluralistic government for people who suffered under a brutal dictatorship for generations was gravely underestimated.

The international community at that time faced its own problems of slow growth and political uncertainty and didnt engage Libya with the strong financial, political, and military support we needed.

The chaos that ensued has implications beyond our borders, best illustrated by the immigration crisis of thousands from other countries beset by conflict and poverty transiting through Libya to Europe. Our inability to prevent this transit is simply due to our lack of a single unified and strong central government. The internal Libyan problem has become an international nightmare for Europe.

For these reasons, I am prepared to support international efforts to help us bring together a national unity government that takes into consideration the principles behind the revolution and brings fairness and opportunities for all regions and societal segments of our great country.

While this is no easy task, it must be done for the alternative of further chaos and fighting can no longer be tolerated or allowed. I do not desire or seek a role in this unity government, but rather to encourage it and to be a part of a new generation of Libyan leadership that is drawn from and returns to ordinary citizen life.

My caution to the U.S. and our other friends is that the unity solution cannot be perceived as a government imposed on us by the outside. Libya needs the support of indigenous and impartial broad-based groups such as the Libyan Political Agreement Committee that brings together leaders from all aspects of our society.

The LPA supports no political party or candidate but seeks to bring people together in common cause. We must be reminded that democracy is not simply an election; it needs to be nurtured by non-governmental organizations that work on behalf of Libya as well as by an independent press, an independent judiciary and civilian control over a national military.

Indeed, these features are the building blocks of a stable, functional, self-sufficient democracy. Unity will allow us at last to develop a national economic strategy that touches all segments of the population. One of my first tasks as prime minister was to establish the Strategic Projects Committee. This consisted of leaders from many industry sectors though out the whole of Libya.

This committee is charged with outlining and describing the immediate and necessary commercial opportunities needed to be exploited on urgent basis such as power generation, road and bridge repair, health and education infrastructure rebuilds and more. But we cannot encourage it, oversee it, finance it with a fragmented government. Whats more we need a single sovereign nation to repatriate much of our frozen and stolen financial resources and to attract capital investments, especially from the U.S.

Mr. Trump was right to focus on security as his top priority in Libya; terrorism and the ideas that inspire it are a transnational phenomenon. But we cant merely kill our way through the problem. We need to present a credible alternative to the nihilism of extremists, namely, a successful experiment in governance that can bring more and more people into the fold and eliminate the grievances that terrorists prey on. Keeping Libya on the U.S. dashboard has the potential to give democracy a beachhead in a crucial region.

Khalifa Ghwell is the prime minister of Libya.

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ISIS, squeezed out of Iraq and Syria, now ‘regrouping’ in Libya … – Fox News

As the Islamic State terror network loses territory across Iraq and Syria, analysts and experts assert that the terrorist outfit is increasingly capitalizing on the chaos of Libya, positioning the country as its point of resurgence.

The black-clad jihadist outfit is believed to be regrouping and recruiting in the rural regions south of the main east-to-west coastal highway and in the far-west town of Sabratha, which is poised just 60 miles from the Tunisian border, since being run out of its Libyan caliphate capital of Sirte late last year.

The majority of their fighting force comes from Tunisia, so Sabratha is also a growing center, prominent terrorism analyst Robert Young Pelton told Fox News. ISIS in Libya can regenerate quickly.

Robert Young Pelton in the city of Sirte as soldiers belonging to the “Bunyan Marsous” – Misrata militias who fought in Sirte to run ISIS out of its Libyan stronghold.

Col. Ahmed Almesmari, spokesperson for the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), told Fox News that ISIS first appeared in Libya at the end of 2013, even before its dominance in Iraq, borne out of Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated militias and Al Qaeda dissidents in Libyas eastern port city of Derna near the Egyptian border.

Col. Ahmed Almesmari, spokesman for the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA).

But over time, ISIS has seemingly moved its operatives from the eastern Egyptian border and now appears to be clustering closer to the western Tunisian side. According to Almesmari, the terror faction has recently established camps around 25 miles east of the town of Bani Waleed, as well as south of Sirte.

Mohamed Ghasri, spokesperson and senior commander of the Mistrata-based al-Bunyam al-Marsous militia, which waged bloody battles with ISIS fighters in Sirte,statedlast week that they too have observed movements by the group south of Sirte, where they are trying to regroup and break through our forces lines in the south.

“Bunyan Marsous” Misrata militias who fought ISIS in Sirte concerned the terrorist outfit is resurging. (Robert Young Pelton)

Joseph Fallon, Islamic Extremism expert and U.K. Defense Forum research associate, concurred that ISIS has retreated south of Sirte to regroup and that its global threat cannot be underestimated.

Here, it can jeopardize western interests through guerrilla warfare sabotaging Libyas oil facilities and ports and through calculated use of terror to unleash a mass migration of people to destabilize neighboring countries and Europe, he said.

ISIS still maintains strong presence in Libya, capitalizing on the chaos that has engulfed the country since 2011.

A prominent portion of Libyas oil fields and reserves are located south of Sirte, along with major refineries. The country is home to Africas largest reserves, and its optimum quality of light crude is highly sought. Despite its ongoing political crisis, production in Libya last week climbed to around 885,000 barrels per day triple its production this time a year ago making the region ever more important to the global oil equation, and ISIS’s presence there ever more troubling.

The terrorist army has, in Iraq and Syria, used oil fields as a means to fund its barbaric reign.

While more fighters are now expected to flow into Libya as the pressure on Iraq and Syria mounts, exactly how big the ISIS ranks in Libya are at present, remains largely contested.

ISIS DEFEATED, BUT NOT DESTROYED, AS TERROR GROUP STILL HOLDS STRATEGIC SWATHS OF IRAQ

In March, Marine Corps. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, head of the U.S militarys Africa Command, told Pentagon reporters that theirfighter numbershad fallen below 200 from an estimated five to six thousand a year earlier. But a spokesperson for Africa Command told Fox News this week that their strength has been assessed to be around 500.

In sharp contrast, LNAs Almesmari said ISIS numbers are far larger around five to seven thousand people of different nationalities.

INSIDE AFGHANISTAN’S WAR HOSPITALS: CHILDREN LEFT FOR DEAD AMID ESCALATING VIOLENCE

The terrorist group, Pelton indicated, is well positioned to survive territorial losses such as Mosul, Raqqa and Sirte as its savvy propaganda promotion ensures ongoing recruitment.

ISIS is a transnational franchise that comes with funding, trainers and PR packages, Pelton noted. They seek out groups who will re-brand themselves and project the image of an international organization by standardizing logos, messaging and even design criteria for tweets and videos.

ISIS BODIES PILING UP IN LIBYAN MORGUE, REPORT SAYS

Sirte, Libya under ISIS occupation in 2016. (Robert Young Pelton)

Since the death of its longtime leader Muammar Qaddafi who was killed in 2011 following then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Obama administrations alleged maneuvers to back rebels in the quest for regime change Libya as a country remains in a protracted state of conflict and a breeding ground for violent militias to emerge. Its flushed with radical militias, weapons, human traffickers and two main although there are many competing factions.

July 2016: Haunting remains of what is left of Sirte, Libya. (International Committee of the Red Cross)

There is the U.S. and U.N.-supported Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Prime Minister Fayez Serraj in Tripoli, at odds with the LNA which is helmed by the Egypt-endorsed, Benghazi-based Gen. Khalifa Haftar. One U.S official affiliated with the GNA, who requested anonymity, told Fox News that the political and security vacuum that existed in the country post 2011 allowed ISIS to take root.

ISIS still poses a threat not just to Libya, the U.S official added, but to its neighbors, Europe and the United States.

Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay

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Libya settlement cuts into Societe Generale profit – eNCA

A view of the headquarters of French bank Societe Generale in London on May 5, 2017. Photo: Justin Tallis / AFP PARIS – French bank Societe Generale on Wednesday said its net profit tumbled by over a quarter in the second quarter of this year due to the cost of settling a lawsuit with Libya’s sovereign wealth fund. While it had already set aside some funds, Societe Generale had to book a charge of nearly a billion euros against second-quarter profits for the out-of-court settlement with the Libyan Investment Authority in May. The LIA sued the bank in 2014 for $1.5-billion (R19.5-billion) for allegedly channelling bribes to allies of Muammar Gaddafi’s son. The case had been about to go to court in Britain. READ: Algeria plans bank privatisations as oil money dries up The charge pushed net profit down to 1.05 billion euros (R16.5-million), but that still beat the average forecast of 940 million euros of analysts surveyed by financial data firm Factset. “In a mixed economic and financial environment, Societe Generale posted sound second-quarter results, confirming the good commercial and operating performances achieved by the businesses at the beginning of the year,” chief executive Frederic Oudea said in a statement. Stripped of exceptional items – including a capital gain of over 725 million in the second quarter last year from the sale of its stake in Visa Europe, the bank’s profit rose by 11 percent to 1.16 billion euros. Operating expenses rose by 1.2 percent as Societe Generale stepped up investments into modernising its French retail bank operations and support growth in its international retail banking operations. READ: Libya committee votes in favour of constitutional draft While the profitability of operations at home continued to suffer from the effects of the ultra-low interest rates in the Euro zone, retail banking and financial services abroad enjoyed growth and net profit jumped 30 percent to 568 million euros. Oudea said the bank would present a new strategic development plan in November. The bank’s shares dropped more than three percent in early trading on the Paris stock exchange, while the CAC 40 index slid 0.2 percent. AFP 03 July 2017 The conference was organised to mark the 50th anniversary of the last exodus of Jews from Libya as a result of the 1967 Six-Day Israeli-Arab War. 28 April 2017 The incident occurred in the Sidi Said area west of Tripoli. Qassem did not report any casualties or give details on what happened to the crew of the vessels or their nationalities 16 April 2017 For more than a week, militias allied to the UN-backed Government of National Accord have fought off rival forces trying to capture an airbase in the south of Libya.

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Libya Crude Floods Market Again as OPEC Fights to Restrict Flows – Bloomberg

Libyas crude shipments jumped to a new three-year high last month, dealing a fresh blow to OPEC and allied oil-producing nations as they battle to restrict a global supply surplus thats depressing prices for the commodity. The North African nation shipped about 865,000 barrels a day of crude in July,tanker tracking data compiled by Bloomberg show. That was a gain of 11 percent from June, which was already the highest since at least July 2014. The most important market news of the day. Get our markets daily newsletter. The pace at which Libya can revive crude sales is critical for the oil market because, along with Nigeria, the nation wasnt bound by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries supply restrictions that helped limit supply this year. Domestic conflicts mean the two nations can pump at will while other producer states are depriving themselves of export revenues. Nigeria is also boosting output as a militant campaign is quelled. Libyas revival hurts OPECs efforts to re-balance the oil market, said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG. It comes at a time when other countries that agreed to curb production are starting to comply less strictly with the accord, he said. The total output from OPEC members in July rose 210,000 barrels a day from June to reach 32.87 million barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Libya led the gains. An expected crude-price recovery has failed to materialize since January, the start point for when OPEC, along with non-member nations including Russia, agreed to restrict collective output by about 1.8 million barrels a day. It may be a challenge for Libya to maintain its current rate of exports, according toTorbjorn Kjus, chief oil analyst at DNB Bank ASA. It would be a surprise if they could keep production stable,” he said, adding that there are still too many groups and people battling for a share of the countrys oil sales.

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Libya constitutional committee pushes for a vote on draft – News24

Benghazi – Libya’s official news agency says the head of the committee tasked to write the constitution has called upon the eastern parliament to move forward with a referendum on a final draft. The call by Nouh Abdel-Sayyed, reported Tuesday, to “take all necessary measures to enable the Libyan people to practice their constitutional right” came after days of confusion on whether his committee is following proper legal procedures. On Saturday, disgruntled protesters stormed the committee’s session in the eastern town of Bayda, calling for a redo of their vote which was in favor of putting the final draft up for a nationwide referendum. Critics included secessionists and people in favor of the country’s 1951 constitution, which would mean a return to the monarchy. 24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

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August 1, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed

Macron-Libya: the Rothschild Connection – Voltaire Network

What is happening today in Libya is the nub of a destabilization programme holding a myriad of complexities. So declared President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee, as he concluded an agreement that paves the way for peace and national reconciliation. Macrons message is that terrorist movements are the single cause for the chaos in which Libya now finds itself; terrorist movements that exploit the political instability and the economic and financial resources that may exist in Libya to allow it to flourish. This why he concludes France will give Libya a helping hand to block the terrorists. [Mauvaise foi!] This statement by Macron is actually turning the situation on its head. France was in fact a manipulator in destabilizing Libya. And did she act alone? Hell no! Her accomplices were the United States, Nato and the Gulf Monarchies. The proof? In 2010, the World Bank recorded that Libya enjoyed the number one ranking in the human indicators board in the whole of Africa: its high average per capita income, universal access to primary and secondary education and 46% access to tertiary education. About two million African immigrants were able to find work there. Libya invested in setting up economic institutions that would stand independent of the African Union. The U.S.A. and France as the Clinton e mails so prove reached an agreement to block Gaddafis plan to establish an African currency, as an alternative to the US dollar and the Cfa franc (a currency that France imposes on its 14 former colonies, each one now an independent African state). So it was Clinton as the New York Times reports that made President Obama sign off a document authorizing a covert operation in Libya and the supply of arms to the rebels. Such rebels included groups that till that time had been classified as terrorists. Soon after this, Nato, (after France had opened the door for it in 2011), driven by the US, undertakes military action to completely devastate the state of Libya; Nato special forces make it implode. This then triggers a social calamity that will ensnare more civilians, creating more victims, some of which will be forced to flee their homeland. This is a story that our friend Macron is all too familiar: from 2008 to 2012, he had a stellar (as well as suspect) career at Rothschild Bank, the financial empire that controls the central banks in almost every country in the world. In 2011, Rothschild docks in Libya, while the war is still being fighted out. At the same time, the sharks circling the US and European banking world make the biggest robbery of the century, confiscating 150 billion dollars of Libyan sovereign funds. The four years that Macron trained at Rothschild provide him with an entre into the elite of global finance, where big moves such as the demolition of the Libyan State are planned. He then crosses over to politics, making for himself a stellar (as well as suspect) career, first as the Under Secretary General of the Elyse, then as the Finance Minister. In 2016, in just a few months, he creates his own party, En Marche!, an instant party supported and funded by powerful multinational, financial and media groups that clear his path to the presidency. But is it all about Macron? Behind his attention-seeking antics, lurk not just French national interests. The booty to share out in Libya is enormous: the biggest oil reserves in the whole of Africa and vast reserves of natural gas; the immense reserves of fossil water from the cloud stratum, the white gold in sight, more precious than black gold; the Libyan territory itself of primary geostrategic importance at the intersection between the Mediterranean, Africa and the Middle East. It is the risk that France is exercising a strong hegemony over our former colony, warns the Analisi Difesa, emphasising the importance of an imminent Italian naval expedition to Libya. A call to the national pride of an Italy that is demanding its slice when the colonial powers of old divide up anew, a former Italian colony. Excerpted from Right before our eyes, the testimony of Thierry Meyssan, a member of the Libyan government Before anything else, Franois Hollande made an assessment of the destruction of Libya. The Jamahiriya was in possession of a treasure evaluated at a minimum of 150 billion dollars. Officially, NATO had blocked, or had ordered the blockage of, at least a third of it. What happened to the rest ? The Kadhafists believed they could use this money to finance the Resistance in the long term. But in April, Prefect Edouard Lacroix, who had received access to a part of these investments, died in one day from a hurricane cancer , while the ex-Minister for Oil, Choukri Ghanem, was found drowned in Vienna. With the aid of French Minister of Finance Pierre Moscovici, and economic advisor to the Elyse Emmanuel Macron, and several investment bankers, the US Treasury made off with the loot the robbery of the century, 100 billion dollars.

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Will the new peace deal end the conflict in Libya? – The Economist (blog)

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Italy: Answering a Libyan Call for Help – STRATFOR

The Italian government recently authorized a navy patrol boat to begin reconnaissance in response to a Libyan request for help in dealing with its persistent migrant smuggling issue. While Italy is undoubtedly enthusiastic to help curb migrants arriving on Italian shores, the circumstances surrounding Libya’s request may indicate deeper domestic sovereignty issues as the country deals with immigrant smuggling by sea. The Italian government will present to its parliamentary Commission on Foreign and Defense Policy a plan on Aug. 1 to send Italian navy ships to Libya, in cooperation with local forces there to protect against migrant smuggling. The Italian government approved the plan during a July 28 meeting, with plans for the mission to start within a week. Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said the plan was based on a July 23 request by letter from U.N.-recognized Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj asking for technical support from Italy by sending ships into Libyan territorial waters. Only days later, on July 28, al-Sarraj denied that he had requested Italian ships enter Libyan waters, saying that Libyan sovereignty was a red line that could not be crossed. But later that same day, al-Sarraj and the Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti discussed possible Italian assistance and managed to overcome domestic resistance in Libya. Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Siala confirmed that al-Sarraj did invite Italy to send warships into Libyan waters with the permission of the Presidency Council (PC), a group of nine people that represent the U.N.-recognized government’s executive branch. Siala said in an official statement that Libya asked for “logistical, technical and operational support to the Libyan coast guard,” which will require “the presence of some elements of the Italian Navy at the port of Tripoli, but only for this purpose and only if necessary.” The discrepancy in accounts of what request was actually made may indicate a deeper issue for al-Sarraj: Libyan sovereignty remains a central issue and is likely to bring further controversy and complications as he negotiates with other rival Libyan figures.

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July 31, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed

OPEC oil output jumps to 2017 high on further Libya recovery – Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – OPEC oil output has risen this month by 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) to a 2017 high, a Reuters survey found, led by a further recovery in supply from Libya, one of the countries exempt from a production-cutting deal. A dip in supply from Saudi Arabia and lower Angolan exports helped to boost OPEC’s adherence to its supply curbs to 84 percent. While this is up from a revised 77 percent in June, compliance in both months has fallen from levels above 90 percent earlier in the year. The extra oil from Libya means supply by the 13 OPEC members originally part of the deal has risen far above their implied production target. Libya and Nigeria were exempt from the cuts because conflict had curbed their production. A gain in Libyan and Nigerian output has added to the challenge the OPEC-led effort is facing to get rid of excess supply on world markets. To address this, ministers at a July 24 meeting moved to cap Nigerian output and officials are holding talks next week on improving compliance. “There is a need to align all countries to achieve full compliance,” a source close to OPEC said of the compliance talks, which will be held on Aug. 7-8 in Abu Dhabi. As part of a deal with Russia and other non-members, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is reducing output by about 1.2 million bpd from Jan. 1, 2017 until March next year. High compliance with the deal, and much-reduced output in the exempt countries, pushed supply lower earlier in the year. But extra Libya and Nigerian production has prompted output to rise since May, and adherence has slipped in some other countries. July’s biggest rise came from Libya, where output, curbed by years of conflict and unrest, rose to an average of more than 1 million bpd. Production remains short of the 1.6 million bpd Libya pumped before its 2011 civil war. Iraqi supply was revised up for June and in July output has edged higher, the survey found. Supply also increased slightly in the United Arab Emirates, Gabon and Ecuador – which said it planned to pump more, citing its lack of funds. Among countries with lower output, the biggest decline was in Angola, which exported 50 cargoes, two less than in June. August volumes are expected to increase. Nigeria pumped slightly less in July after an increase in June, partly due to a force majeure on Bonny crude exports. Growth could resume next month if exports reach the planned rate of at least 2 million bpd. Top exporter Saudi Arabia pumped 50,000 bpd less, the survey found, although output in June was revised higher to just above its OPEC target. The reduction achieved by OPEC’s biggest producer in July is back above the target cut of 486,000 bpd. OPEC announced a production target of 32.50 million bpd last year, which was based on low figures for Libya and Nigeria. The target includes Indonesia, which has since left OPEC, and does not include Equatorial Guinea, the latest country to join OPEC. The Libyan and Nigerian increases mean OPEC output in July averaged 32.85 million bpd, about 1.1 million bpd above its supply target, adjusted to remove Indonesia and not including Equatorial Guinea. With Equatorial Guinea added, total OPEC production in July has reached 33.0 million bpd. The Reuters survey is based on shipping data provided by external sources, Thomson Reuters flows data, and information provided by sources at oil companies, OPEC and consulting firms. Reporting by Alex Lawler, with additional reporting by Rania El Gamal; Editing by Jane Merriman

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Keeping Libya on the US dashboard – Washington Times

ANALYSIS/OPINION: Since the revolution in 2011, which was supported militarily by the United States, Libya has been ruled by divided governments. Today there are actually three governments attempting to govern simultaneously, one of which the Government of National Salvation I serve as prime minister. The lack of political unity has made our fight for stability and security against extremists that much harder. Indeed, whatever hopes we have for democracy are at risk; representative government is a new concept here and it will not be legitimate in the eyes of our exhausted country unless we have functional institutions and can protect our people. To that end, it is crucial that America not forget us, but help us toward a political solution that reconciles our differences. My first priority as prime minister has been to rid Libya of extremist elements, be it ISIS, Daesh, al Qaeda, Ansar al Sharia or whatever is the name of the day. As I have said on many occasions, fundamentalism and terrorism should be fought, as they betray the principles of Islam and the promise of a free and peaceful Libya. President Trump has recently said that he is prepared to support Libya in its fight against extremism and we welcome that and are ready to partner in that fight. We have created and trained special teams at the Misrata air base who report directly to me and have been deployed on countless missions against the terrorists and fought bravely in the successful purge of Daesh from Sirte. We have also established the Counterterrorsim Service (CTS) which has exchanged important and crucial information and data with the U.S. and European intelligence agencies. But as we fight, we must also renew our efforts to bring together a national unity government. Here, the international community has failed us. Immediately following the revolution, the U.S. and our European friends were cheered in the public squares of our towns and villages. But the task of building a functioning pluralistic government for people who suffered under a brutal dictatorship for generations was gravely underestimated. The international community at that time faced its own problems of slow growth and political uncertainty and didnt engage Libya with the strong financial, political, and military support we needed. The chaos that ensued has implications beyond our borders, best illustrated by the immigration crisis of thousands from other countries beset by conflict and poverty transiting through Libya to Europe. Our inability to prevent this transit is simply due to our lack of a single unified and strong central government. The internal Libyan problem has become an international nightmare for Europe. For these reasons, I am prepared to support international efforts to help us bring together a national unity government that takes into consideration the principles behind the revolution and brings fairness and opportunities for all regions and societal segments of our great country. While this is no easy task, it must be done for the alternative of further chaos and fighting can no longer be tolerated or allowed. I do not desire or seek a role in this unity government, but rather to encourage it and to be a part of a new generation of Libyan leadership that is drawn from and returns to ordinary citizen life. My caution to the U.S. and our other friends is that the unity solution cannot be perceived as a government imposed on us by the outside. Libya needs the support of indigenous and impartial broad-based groups such as the Libyan Political Agreement Committee that brings together leaders from all aspects of our society. The LPA supports no political party or candidate but seeks to bring people together in common cause. We must be reminded that democracy is not simply an election; it needs to be nurtured by non-governmental organizations that work on behalf of Libya as well as by an independent press, an independent judiciary and civilian control over a national military. Indeed, these features are the building blocks of a stable, functional, self-sufficient democracy. Unity will allow us at last to develop a national economic strategy that touches all segments of the population. One of my first tasks as prime minister was to establish the Strategic Projects Committee. This consisted of leaders from many industry sectors though out the whole of Libya. This committee is charged with outlining and describing the immediate and necessary commercial opportunities needed to be exploited on urgent basis such as power generation, road and bridge repair, health and education infrastructure rebuilds and more. But we cannot encourage it, oversee it, finance it with a fragmented government. Whats more we need a single sovereign nation to repatriate much of our frozen and stolen financial resources and to attract capital investments, especially from the U.S. Mr. Trump was right to focus on security as his top priority in Libya; terrorism and the ideas that inspire it are a transnational phenomenon. But we cant merely kill our way through the problem. We need to present a credible alternative to the nihilism of extremists, namely, a successful experiment in governance that can bring more and more people into the fold and eliminate the grievances that terrorists prey on. Keeping Libya on the U.S. dashboard has the potential to give democracy a beachhead in a crucial region. Khalifa Ghwell is the prime minister of Libya.

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July 31, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed

ISIS, squeezed out of Iraq and Syria, now ‘regrouping’ in Libya … – Fox News

As the Islamic State terror network loses territory across Iraq and Syria, analysts and experts assert that the terrorist outfit is increasingly capitalizing on the chaos of Libya, positioning the country as its point of resurgence. The black-clad jihadist outfit is believed to be regrouping and recruiting in the rural regions south of the main east-to-west coastal highway and in the far-west town of Sabratha, which is poised just 60 miles from the Tunisian border, since being run out of its Libyan caliphate capital of Sirte late last year. The majority of their fighting force comes from Tunisia, so Sabratha is also a growing center, prominent terrorism analyst Robert Young Pelton told Fox News. ISIS in Libya can regenerate quickly. Robert Young Pelton in the city of Sirte as soldiers belonging to the “Bunyan Marsous” – Misrata militias who fought in Sirte to run ISIS out of its Libyan stronghold. Col. Ahmed Almesmari, spokesperson for the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), told Fox News that ISIS first appeared in Libya at the end of 2013, even before its dominance in Iraq, borne out of Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated militias and Al Qaeda dissidents in Libyas eastern port city of Derna near the Egyptian border. Col. Ahmed Almesmari, spokesman for the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA). But over time, ISIS has seemingly moved its operatives from the eastern Egyptian border and now appears to be clustering closer to the western Tunisian side. According to Almesmari, the terror faction has recently established camps around 25 miles east of the town of Bani Waleed, as well as south of Sirte. Mohamed Ghasri, spokesperson and senior commander of the Mistrata-based al-Bunyam al-Marsous militia, which waged bloody battles with ISIS fighters in Sirte,statedlast week that they too have observed movements by the group south of Sirte, where they are trying to regroup and break through our forces lines in the south. “Bunyan Marsous” Misrata militias who fought ISIS in Sirte concerned the terrorist outfit is resurging. (Robert Young Pelton) Joseph Fallon, Islamic Extremism expert and U.K. Defense Forum research associate, concurred that ISIS has retreated south of Sirte to regroup and that its global threat cannot be underestimated. Here, it can jeopardize western interests through guerrilla warfare sabotaging Libyas oil facilities and ports and through calculated use of terror to unleash a mass migration of people to destabilize neighboring countries and Europe, he said. ISIS still maintains strong presence in Libya, capitalizing on the chaos that has engulfed the country since 2011. A prominent portion of Libyas oil fields and reserves are located south of Sirte, along with major refineries. The country is home to Africas largest reserves, and its optimum quality of light crude is highly sought. Despite its ongoing political crisis, production in Libya last week climbed to around 885,000 barrels per day triple its production this time a year ago making the region ever more important to the global oil equation, and ISIS’s presence there ever more troubling. The terrorist army has, in Iraq and Syria, used oil fields as a means to fund its barbaric reign. While more fighters are now expected to flow into Libya as the pressure on Iraq and Syria mounts, exactly how big the ISIS ranks in Libya are at present, remains largely contested. ISIS DEFEATED, BUT NOT DESTROYED, AS TERROR GROUP STILL HOLDS STRATEGIC SWATHS OF IRAQ In March, Marine Corps. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, head of the U.S militarys Africa Command, told Pentagon reporters that theirfighter numbershad fallen below 200 from an estimated five to six thousand a year earlier. But a spokesperson for Africa Command told Fox News this week that their strength has been assessed to be around 500. In sharp contrast, LNAs Almesmari said ISIS numbers are far larger around five to seven thousand people of different nationalities. INSIDE AFGHANISTAN’S WAR HOSPITALS: CHILDREN LEFT FOR DEAD AMID ESCALATING VIOLENCE The terrorist group, Pelton indicated, is well positioned to survive territorial losses such as Mosul, Raqqa and Sirte as its savvy propaganda promotion ensures ongoing recruitment. ISIS is a transnational franchise that comes with funding, trainers and PR packages, Pelton noted. They seek out groups who will re-brand themselves and project the image of an international organization by standardizing logos, messaging and even design criteria for tweets and videos. ISIS BODIES PILING UP IN LIBYAN MORGUE, REPORT SAYS Sirte, Libya under ISIS occupation in 2016. (Robert Young Pelton) Since the death of its longtime leader Muammar Qaddafi who was killed in 2011 following then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Obama administrations alleged maneuvers to back rebels in the quest for regime change Libya as a country remains in a protracted state of conflict and a breeding ground for violent militias to emerge. Its flushed with radical militias, weapons, human traffickers and two main although there are many competing factions. July 2016: Haunting remains of what is left of Sirte, Libya. (International Committee of the Red Cross) There is the U.S. and U.N.-supported Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Prime Minister Fayez Serraj in Tripoli, at odds with the LNA which is helmed by the Egypt-endorsed, Benghazi-based Gen. Khalifa Haftar. One U.S official affiliated with the GNA, who requested anonymity, told Fox News that the political and security vacuum that existed in the country post 2011 allowed ISIS to take root. ISIS still poses a threat not just to Libya, the U.S official added, but to its neighbors, Europe and the United States. Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay

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July 30, 2017   Posted in: Libya  Comments Closed


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