Libyan rebels occupying oil ports refuse to deal with new PM
Their stance could threaten efforts to reopen terminals in the OPEC producer
Rebels occupying major oil ports in eastern Libya said on Wednesday they would not deal with new Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq, a stance that could threaten efforts to reopen terminals in the OPEC producer.
Maiteeq’s predecessor Abdullah al-Thinni had reached an agreement with the rebels to reopen four of the ports, though only the smaller ones, Hariga and Zueitina, have been handed over to government forces.
Both sides had agreed to hold further talks over the larger Ras Lanuf and Es Sider exports terminals. But the rebels’ comments on Wednesday suggested those efforts could hit difficulties.
“We refuse to deal with Ahmed Maiteeq ... Maiteeq came to power illegally,” rebel spokesman Ali Hasi said, without elaborating.
Maiteeq, a businessman, was sworn on Sunday in after a chaotic election in parliament. Many deputies have challenged his appointment.
There was no immediate comment from the government.
The North African country has been mired in turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of strongman Muammar Gaddafi.
Its government and army have struggled to assert authority over a country still awash with arms and rival militias, some of whom have seized oil ports and fields demanding regional autonomy and a greater share in revenues.
Their actions have cut oil output to 250,000 barrels a day, down from 1.4 million bpd in the summer, eroding public finances which are almost entirely dependent on crude. Parliament has failed to approve a budget for this year.
The two main local carriers, Libyan and Afriqiyah Airlines, suspended flights after a member of the ground staff tried smuggle two Chadians without travel documents on board of one of their flights, airport officials said.
The employee scuffled with a colleague who had tried to stop him, a source at ground handling firm al-Shorooq said.
Chaotic vote leaves unresolved dispute over Libya's new PMThe first vice-president of the body said in the confusion of the parliament vote, Ahmed Miitig did not secure enough votes Middle East
Libyan speaker confirms Ahmed Maiteeq as new PMThe president of Libya's parliament Nouri Abu Sahmain has confirmed businessman Ahmed Maiteeq as the country's new prime minister Middle East
Gunmen storm Libya parliament, stop PM voteParliament spokesman Omar Hmeidan said several people were wounded in the shooting by the gunmen Middle East
Attack in Libya kills 9 soldiers, police officersThe fighting came days after a suicide bomber had detonated an explosive-packed minibus outside a Libyan army camp in Benghazi News
Libya grand mufti urges ban on racy lingerie importsSadek al-Ghariani, who is considered to be Libya’s top religious authority, says imports of women’s undergarments should be regulated Life
Panorama: Libya's MB Ahmad Maiteeq confirmed as PMNews Bulletins