Libya’s Haftar committed to ending oil blockade, US says

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Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar has committed to ending a months-long blockade of oil facilities, the US embassy in the country said in a statement on Saturday, but oil ports and fields remained shut.

The statement said the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) had conveyed “the personal commitment of General Haftar to allow the full reopening of the energy sector no later than September 12”.

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It comes after the United States has led efforts to end the oil shutdown amid a wider diplomatic push to cement a ceasefire and a political agreement between rival factions based in the east and west of the country.

Haftar’s LNA and its backers imposed the blockade in January, reducing Libya’s oil output from more than one million barrels per day (bpd) to less than 100,000 bpd, and further deepening Libya’s economic collapse.

Although authorities in eastern Libya have allowed some stored oil products to be exported in order to ease a power generation crisis in eastern Libya, they have stopped short of lifting the blockade.

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