By John Lee.
The Eastern Libyan Central Bank, based in Beida, is reportedly planning to issue 4 billion dinars in new 20- and 50 dinar bank notes on Wednesday.
The notes, printed in Russia, are an attempt to ease the liquidity crisis in the country, but are considered by the Tripoli-based Central Bank to be counterfeit.
A statement from the United States says the new notes "could undermine confidence in Libya’s currency and the CBL’s ability to manage monetary policy to enable economic recovery".
The full statement from the US is shown below:
"The United States, along with 20 other countries and four international organizations, issued a Joint Communique in Vienna on May 16 stating that Libya’s national economic institutions, including the Central Bank of Libya (CBL), National Oil Corporation (NOC), and Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), must function under the sole stewardship of the Government of National Accord (GNA).
"The CBL headquartered in Tripoli is the only national banking institution acting under the GNA’s stewardship. UNSCR 2259 called upon all UN member states to cease support to and official contact with parallel institutions.
"The United States has been formally advised by the Libyan Presidency Council (PC) in a letter dated May 23 that Mr. Ali El Hebri, claiming to act as the Governor of the Central Bank of Libya, concluded an agreement with an international firm to print and deliver a large quantity of Libyan dinar banknotes. The United States concurs with the Presidency Council’s view that such banknotes would be counterfeit and could undermine confidence in Libya’s currency and the CBL’s ability to manage monetary policy to enable economic recovery.
"The United States expresses its strong concern at reported efforts by certain parties to break into secure CBL facilities, including plans to drill into CBL safes, to circumvent CBL control over Libya’s financial resources. The United States, working with the Government of National Accord and the international community, aims to ensure that Libya’s wealth is not diverted for any fraudulent or corrupt purposes.
"Libya is fortunate to have the resources necessary to return to peace and prosperity. We urge all Libyans to support the Government of National Accord and the CBL headquartered in Tripoli."
(Sources: US State Dept, Russia Today)