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Gadhafi Son: Libya Govt Won't Destroy Libyan Oil Supplies

Friday, 25 February 2011 10:38 AM

The government of Moammar Gadhafi will never resort to destroying Libya's oil wealth in its fight to put down an insurrection, the Libyan leader's son Saif al-Islam told Turkish news channel CNN-Turk on Friday.

"We will never demolish the sources of oil. They belong to the people," Saif said in an interview translated from English into Turkish on the CNN-Turk website.

He said the Gaddafi family had no intention of fleeing Libya, and the government was in control of the west, south and centre of the country.

"We have plans A, B and C. Plan A is to live and die in Libya. Plan B is to live and die in Libya. Plan C is to live and die in Libya," Saif said.

He described the anti-government militias as terrorist groups, and said they only had a few hundred men, but had seized tanks, guns, automatic weapons and ammunition.

The interview was conducted on Thursday and was due to be aired at 1730 GMT on Friday.

Gaddafi's opponents control eastern Libya and residents of the Libyan capital said security forces had opened fire on anti-government protesters there, killing at least five, as the government struggled to stay in power.

"The situation in Libya is getting worse. We are not talking about chaos anymore, but really about a civil war," Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Marcin Bosacki said on TVN24. "Most of the country is in the hands of rebels and they lack centralized power. That's why it's so dangerous. Gangs are on the prowl in many places."

U.S. Asks Banks to Scrutinize Libya Transactions

Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury has told American banks to closely monitor transactions that may be related to unrest in Libya for any possible signs that state assets were being misappropriated.

The advisory issued late on Thursday by the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network stopped short of freezing assets or imposing other financial sanctions on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi or other senior officials in his regime.

The advisory is similar to the Treasury's recent requests for increased scrutiny of transactions related to the ouster of leaders in Egypt and Tunisia.

It asks institutions to "apply enhanced scrutiny" to any private banking accounts held by or on behalf of senior political leaders in Libya, but did not mention Gaddafi by name.

Banks should "monitor transactions that could potentially represent misappropriated or diverted state assets, proceeds of bribery or other illegal payments, or other public corruption proceeds," the Treasury enforcement agency said.

"Financial institutions should be aware of the possible impact the events in Libya may have on patterns of financial activity when assessing risks related to particular customers and transactions," it added.

Ferry With Americans Aboard Leaves Libya

Tens of thousands of foreigners are trying to flee Libya, with Turks and Chinese climbing aboard ships by the thousands. Europeans are mostly boarding evacuation flights while North Africans race to border crossings in overcrowded vans.

European countries scrambled to send more ships and military planes to the North African nation and Britain mulled whether to send in its military to rescue stranded oil workers.

Ferry company officials say a vessel chartered by the U.S. government has left the Libyan capital Tripoli for Malta, after being blocked in port by rough seas for three days.

Hanri Saliba, managing director of Virtu Ferries, says the ferry set sail early afternoon Friday. It is expected to take some eight hours to cross the Mediterranean Sea between Tripoli and the island nation of Malta.

China dispatched a navy ship to support the evacuation of its citizens. The mission underscores the complexities facing China in protecting hundreds of thousands of its citizens in developing countries as the world's No. 2 economy promotes private business or work on dams, roads and other infrastructure projects in the Third World.

An estimated 30,000 Chinese live in Libya, the majority of whom are now seeking to flee the country where fighting between rebels and foreign mercenaries and Libyan militiamen loyal to Moammar Gadhafi has killed hundreds.

The bad weather forced Greece to suspend the evacuation of thousands of Chinese to the island of Crete on Friday. But about 6,000 Chinese nationals were expected at Cretan ports Saturday, according to local officials and tourism organizers. Up to 15,000 Chinese—about half the number of Chinese working in Libya on construction and oil projects—are expected to arrive by ferry in Crete and fly home on chartered flights.

Americans and other foreigners have been waiting aboard the Maria Dolores catamaran at Tripoli's As-shahab port since Wednesday, waiting to be evacuated to Malta. The U.S. State Department said on Twitter that 167 U.S. citizens and 118 citizens of other countries were on the ferry. The ferry hopes to depart at the earliest Friday afternoon. It would take at least six hours for it to reach Valetta, Malta.

© 2018 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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The government of Moammar Gadhafi will never resort to destroying Libya's oil wealth in its fight to put down an insurrection, the Libyan leader's son Saif al-Islam told Turkish news channel CNN-Turk on Friday. We will never demolish the sources of oil. They belong to the...
Friday, 25 February 2011 10:38 AM
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