Libya’s Haftar says he will lift oil blockade for one month

Rebel General Khalifa Haftar announced on Friday he would temporarily lift his blockade of oil output and said he had agreed with the rival Tripoli government on “fair distribution” of energy revenue, Reuters reported on Friday.

“We are ready to open oil fields, to secure the future of Libya, for one month,” the newswire cited Haftar as saying in a statement.

A senior official from the Turkey-backed Government of National Accord, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq, issued a statement from Tripoli immediately after Haftar’s speech reiterating a decision to resume oil production and would involve a new committee to oversee revenue distribution, Reuters said.

The committee would coordinate between the two sides to prepare a budget and transfer funds to cover payments and deal with the public debt, Maiteeq said.

Reuters noted that neither Haftar nor Maiteeq addressed the presence of the rebel commander’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army and allied foreign forces in oil production and export facilities, which Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) has said must be withdrawn to ensure the safety of its staff before it will resume output.

NOC chairman Mustafa Sanallah said earlier on Friday that armed groups should withdraw from Libya’s energy infrastructure before it would allow oil exports to resume.