Sanctions lifted as Libya's NTC claims UN seat

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United Nations, Sep 16: The United Nations voted overwhelmingly to hand over Libya's UN seat to the former rebel National Transitional Council, while easing economic and military sanctions and paving way for the strife-torn nation to begin its economic recovery and restore political order.

The UN Security Council resolution 2009, adopted unanimously, mandates a new, three-month UN mission that will assist Libyan efforts to restore security, protect human rights and undertake an inclusive political dialogue towards establishing a democratic government.

The passage of the resolution came just hours after the 193 member UN General Assembly, in a 114-17 vote, approved the credentials of the NTC which toppled Muammar Gaddafi, giving it Libya''s seat at the UN.

India voted in favour of the resolution to set up the new UN mission as well as the assembly resolution, accepting the credentials of the new Libyan authorities.

The passing of the double resolutions was welcomed by western nations who said the move will help kick-start Libya's economy and provide an inclusive and democratic set-up to the people of Libya who have been fighting oppression by Gaddafi and his forces for the last several months.

"The United States congratulates the Libyan people for this historic step forward. As Libyans chart a course towards a more inclusive and democratic future that respects and protects human rights, they will have a friend and partner in the United States," Susan Rice, US Permanent Representative to the United Nations said in response to the UNSC resolution.

She said the international community will stand ready to help the Libyan people's transition towards democracy, prosperity and rule of law.

UK's Permanent Representative to the UN Mark Lyall Grant noted the "remarkable courage and perseverance" Libyans showed over the last six months in standing up for their rights.

"We welcome the Libyans resuming their seat in the UN and look forward to the establishment of an interim government," Grant said.

The National Transitional Council would work for a future that belongs to all Libyans, "not the privileged few" in which the fundamental rights and freedoms of all would be promoted and protected, he added.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) will be led by a Special Representative of the Secretary-General for an initial period of three months.

It would assist efforts by the Libyan authorities to restore public security, draft a new constitution, promote reconciliation and prepare for elections.

The UNSC resolution also lifted some of the arms embargo, assets freeze and no-fly zone that had been imposed by the Council earlier this year after forces supporting Gaddafi's regime began a brutal crackdown against civilians.

States would now be free to provide security assistance to the new Libyan authorities, provided that they notify the Security Council's Libya Sanctions Committee.

The 15-member body exempted the Libyan National Oil Corporation and country's Zueitina Oil Company from the asset freeze, and similarly eased measures against the Central Bank of Libya, the Libyan Arab Foreign Bank (LAFB), the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) and the Libyan Africa Investment Portfolio (LAIP).

Sanctions were also eased by the Council on funds, other financial assets or economic resources of the Central Bank of Libya, LAFB, LIA and the LAIP.

PTI

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