Around USD 370 million has been frozen in Norwegian banks as part of the international sanctions targeting the Gaddafi regime. The frozen funds in Norway belong to the Central Bank of Libya.
The Norwegian application to the UN Sanctions Committee comes in response to the appeal by the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) for funds to be provided immediately.
“The National Transitional Council and Libya as a whole face huge challenges in the time ahead. One of the most urgent tasks is to ensure that the population’s immediate needs are met. Release of the funds frozen in Norway would be an important contribution in this regard,” said Mr Stoltenberg.
If the Norwegian application is successful, the funds can help to ensure basic pulic services and meet humanitarian needs in the country. All along, Norway has emphasised that the funds that have been frozen belong to the people of Libya, who for the time being are represented by the NTC. No Libyan funds will therefore be transferred without the consent of the NTC on their use.
A number of other countries have sent similar requests for the release of funds to the Sanctions Committee.