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Clinton says US released 1.5 billion of Libyan assets

WASHINGTON, Aug 26 (KUNA) -- The US administration has unfrozen USD 1.5 billion of Libyan assets to help support the transition period in Libya, said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"We will continue to support them as they take on the regime elements that still pose a threat to Libya's future - and as they address their humanitarian needs and rebuild their nation", said Clinton in a statement, late on Thursday.
"The Libyan people made this revolution and they will lead the way forward, but they deserve our help. Libya's future is not guaranteed. Considerable work lies ahead", she added. Clinton affirmed that the coming days and weeks "will be critical. The United States and its partners are moving quickly and decisively on several fronts" while supporting an "expedited process" to lift sanctions on Libyan assets.
She further announced the release of USD 1.5 billion in Libyan assets that had been frozen in the United States, saying that this money "will go toward meeting the needs of the people of Libya. We urge other nations to take similar measures. Many are already doing so'.
The United Nations Security Council's Libya Sanctions Committee approved a U.S. proposal to unfreeze the USD 1.5 billion of Libyan assets to be used to provide critical humanitarian to the Libyan people. This request to unfreeze Libyan assets is divided into three key portions: up to USD 500 million to International Humanitarian Organizations, up to USD 500 million will be transferred quickly to meet unfulfilled United Nations Appeal requests responding to the needs of the Libyan people, and up to USD 500 million will be used "to pay for fuel costs for strictly civilian needs and for other humanitarian purchases".
According to the State Department, the proposal has a number of safeguards, including a restriction that none of the funds are used for military equipment or activities.
Clinton said that the US looks to Transitional National Council "to fulfill its international responsibilities and the commitments it has made to build a tolerant, unified democratic state - one that protects the universal human rights of all its citizens". "It is critical that the TNC engage swiftly with communities and leaders across Libya to ensure order, provide critical basic services to the people, and pave the way for a full democratic transition. Libya's future will be peaceful only if the leaders and people of Libya reach out to each other in a spirit of peace. There can be no place in the new Libya for revenge attacks and reprisals", she added. "The TNC also has obligations to the international community. We will look to them to ensure that Libya fulfills its treaty responsibilities, that it ensures that its weapons stockpiles do not threaten its neighbors or fall into the wrong hands, and that it takes a firm stand against violent extremism", noted Clinton. "At the same time, we call on Qadhafi, his family, and his supporters to bring an end to their continuing violence for the sake of the Libyan people and Libya's future", she concluded in her statement. (end) jm.rk KUNA 261005 Aug 11NNNN