BEIRUT

Middle East

East Libyan rebels will agree to end oil port blockage within days: leader

A member of a heavily armed militia group stands near his weapon in Freedom Square in Benghazi 18, 2014. The Morning Glory affair is one of the starkest symbols yet of how weak Libya's central authority is. (REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori)

RIPOLI: A rebel group in eastern Libya will agree with the government to end its blockade of vital oil export ports within days, a senior leader told Reuters on Tuesday.

The group took control of three eastern oil ports last year to press the government for regional autonomy and a greater share of oil revenues.

"The oil port issue will be solved within days," Abb-Rabbo al-Barassi, self-declared prime minister of the rebel group, said. "We agreed on all issues with the government in Tripoli."

A government delegation would visit the group's home base Ajdabiya in eastern Libya within two days to hammer out the details, he said. 

The group's top leader Ibrahim Jathran had minutes earlier told a rebel television station his group had agreed to end the conflict by dialogue "with all Libyans", without giving a date or details.

The seizure of the oil ports has deprived the government of vital income and added to the continuing turmoil in the North African country three years after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.

 

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