EU lifts sanctions on Libya housing, infrastructure board

EU ambassador Nataliya Apostolova (L) speaks during a joint news conference with Libya's Deputy Foreign Minister Abdul Razak Al-Grady following a meeting with members of the EU delegation in Tripoli February 6, 2014. The European Union said on Thursday it had lifted sanctions imposed during Muammar Gaddafi's era on Libya's housing and infrastructure agency in a step the North African country hopes will boost much-needed investment. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

TRIPOLI: The European Union said Thursday that it had lifted sanctions imposed during Moammar Gadhafi’s era on Libya’s housing and infrastructure agency in a step the North African country hopes will boost much-needed investment. Nearly three years after its revolt against Gadhafi, Libya is still struggling to find stability, with the fragile central government challenged by political infighting and former militia fighters who refuse to disarm.

The EU decision ends the sanctions against the Housing and Infrastructure Board, the institution in charge of public housing projects.

“This will further the infrastructure projects that were developing at a certain moment between Libya and the European Union,” EU Ambassador Nataliya Apostolova told reporters in Tripoli.

The European Union lifted sanctions on Libyan ports, oil companies and banks soon after the fall of Gadhafi in 2011 after the NATO-backed civil war that put an end to his four-decade, one-man rule.

Beyond the pull of Libya’s oil, though, Western firms remain wary of investing in the North African country because of questions over political stability, security and restrictions on foreign ownership and state red tape.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 07, 2014, on page 5.




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