Opposing factions in Libya have agreed in principle to have one oil organization for the strife-torn country, the foreign minister in the new U.N.-backed national unity government said on Tuesday.
The West is pinning its hopes on the unity government to gradually end armed anarchy in the OPEC member state, deal with ISIS militants and curb new flows of migrants across the Mediterranean to Europe.
“These institutions can only be managed centrally. That’s why it was agreed that both institutions from east and west be united, so that there is only one oil company, one investment company and one central bank,” Foreign Minister Mohammed Siyala told reporters in Vienna.
“The first steps to achieve this are being taken now, there is an agreement on the basic points and principles and now we’re waiting for the implementation.”
Libyan oil sources said on Monday that Libya will resume oil shipments from the port of Marsa El Hariga after rival oil officials representing the east and west of the country reached a deal at talks in Vienna.
Exports from Marsa El Hariga have been blocked for two weeks due to a standoff between the rival national oil corporations in the east and west of the vast OPEC member state.
Asked on Tuesday about the timeframe for the first oil exports, Siyala said: “You know that sanctions against Libya existed… Now it’s up to us. There is already a shipment from the official ports and with international agreement and under international rules.”
“I believe that oil exports, be they from the eastern or western ports, will return to what they used to be,” he added.