The Chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), Mustafa Sanalla, has received Her Excellency Mrs Bettina Muscheidt, EU Ambassador to Libya, and a EU delegation on 28 May, 2018, at NOC’s Tripoli headquarters. Salah Ben Ali, Manager of the International Cooperation Office also attended the meeting.
The two parties discussed several issues related to NOC, including the difficulties facing the Libyan oil sector due to budget cuts in recent years, as well as the enduring fuel smuggling problem, with the need to prosecute all parties involved in such activities.
One solution highlighted was the possible mandate extension of the EU’s Naval Force Mediterranean capabilities, otherwise known as ‘Operation Sophia’, to further enable interdiction of vessels used for smuggling. The important work of the UN Panel of Experts was also highlighted as a key factor in combating the problem of refined fuels smuggling.
Additionally, this week’s scheduled Libyan four-party summit in Paris was also discussed, with both parties welcoming the emphasis on dialogue amongst stakeholders to outline a process and a solution to Libya’s on-going political stalemate.
Mr Sanalla emphasized that NOC is a corporation and must remain separate from politics, and therefore should not be drawn into or utilised in any eventual settlement. NOC continually strives, he added, to fulfil its national objectives and economic role across all regions of Libya, to operate openly and transparently, in the best possible way, for the benefit of all Libyans.
(Sources: EU, NOC)