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Libyan Officials Meet in London in Hopes of Economic Stabilization

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)

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The Head of the Presidential Council, Fayez al-Sarraj, met with the Governor of the Central Bank if Libya, Saddiq ElKabeer in April 2016.

Over the past week, unrest has resurfaced among Libyans who blame President Fayez al-Sarraj and Central Bank Governor Mr. Saddek Elkaber for acute cash shortages. As a further attempt to resolve the deteriorating economic situation in Libya, a two-day dialogue for international engagement on Libyan economic stabilization kicked-off today in London. President Sarraj, along with members of the Libyan Presidency Council, ministers of the Government of National Accord, the Libyan Audit Bureau, members of the Central Bank of Libya and the National Oil Company, are meeting with special envoys and ambassadors from the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Italy. Also, in attendance are representatives from the IMG and the World Bank.

Under the title of “Libya Economic Dialogue,” the delegations will be discussing a common understanding of monetary, fiscal and structural policies to address Libya’s current economic challenges and create a roadmap for agreement on an integrated economic policy for Libya.

Several sessions will take place over the next two days in order to discuss fiscal policy, political and economic imperatives, the role of different institutions in Libya, and introduction of the IMF and World Bank.

Following the two-day sessions participants will facilitate consultations and develop papers on policy choices and courses of action for the Presidency Council and Central Bank of Libya to consider in developing policies.

Ultimately, the Presidency Council hopes to make key decisions on the currency devaluation, fiscal policy, budget, cohesive governance, and set a roadmap with milestones and responsibilities for action and coordination.

The UN-backed government has struggled to resolve many of these issues and regain control of Libya’s finances since it was established in March. Serraj met with Mr. Saddek Elkaber, Governor of the Central Bank of Libya, in April 2016 where the two discussed managing the cash liquidity problem, providing security and safety for commercial banks, restoring the value of the Libyan Dinar, the immediate return of production and export of oil and gas, and providing the basic needs to alleviate the suffering of citizens.

Economic challenges faced by Libya today stem from political and institutional division. A lack of agreement and understanding of the roles and processes of the Presidency Council, the Central Bank of Libya, and the Audit Bureau continue to be major setbacks. The relationship between President Sarraj and Governor ElKaber has been strained, adding to the GNA’s challenges in their attempt to reset the economy, even with some recovery in oil production. Most importantly, if anything is to be achieved through dialogue, it is imperative that these institutions are ready to work together in order to move Libya forward.

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