UK releases £1b of Libyan currency after UN approval

The UK is to release almost £1 billion of Libyan currency to the country’s central bank after the move was approved by the United Nations.

Around 1.86 billion Libyan Dinar (£950 million) of newly-printed banknotes were held in the UK under sanctions imposed on the Gaddafi regime.

Foreign Secretary William Hague applauded the decision by the UN Sanctions Committee that allowed the funds to be released.

“This represents another major step forward in getting necessary assistance to the Libyan people, building on the remarkable progress in recent days,” he said.

“These banknotes… will help address urgent humanitarian needs, instil confidence in the banking sector, pay salaries of key public sector workers and free up liquidity in the economy.”

Elsewhere, Canada is aiming to unfreeze £1.2 billion in Libyan assets, a government spokesman announced.

France and Germany are still waiting for approval to free more than £5.3 billion in assets seized as part of UN action against Colonel Gaddafi.

The United States was allowed to send about £920 billion in seized assets back to Libya last week.

That followed a dispute with South Africa over whether easing UN sanctions implied recognising the rebels who have fought Col Gaddafi for months.

Source: Sky News

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