Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Rival Libya Governments Discuss 2021 Budget Unification | Business and economic news

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The Tripoli-based finance ministry said the two sides would work on a final draft for the 2021 budget in the coming days.

Officials from Libya’s rival governments have gathered for talks to unify the national budget, another step forward in efforts to end the years-long conflict in the wealthy North African country. oil.

A statement from the Tripoli-based finance ministry said the two sides would work on a final draft for the 2021 national budget in the coming days. The plan would be presented to a transitional government set up to lead the country to presidential and parliamentary elections later this year.

The United Nations support mission in Libya, UNSMIL, called Tuesday’s meeting “an encouraging and necessary step”, and urged both sides to prepare the budget “in a transparent manner”.

“The unification and rationalization of the national budget is essential to establish a more sustainable and equitable economic arrangement,” he said.

Finance Minister Faraj Bumatari of the UN-recognized government based in the capital Tripoli and his counterpart in the administration based in eastern Libya, Muraja Ghaith, attended the meeting.

Tripoli’s Foreign Minister Muhammed Tahir Siyala was also present.

Libya is divided between a government recognized by the UN in Tripoli and rival authorities based in the east. Both sides are supported by a range of local militias, as well as regional and foreign powers.

Siyala said a joint team will execute the agreed budget arrangements based on estimated resources this year. He didn’t elaborate.

Tuesday’s meeting in the strategic oil town of Brega came a month after the Central Bank of Libya approved a single official exchange rate for its currency at 4.8 dinars to the US dollar.

The advisory committee of the Libyan political dialogue forum was due to meet in Geneva on Wednesday to make recommendations to resolve disputes over a mechanism of choice for the transitional government, the UN mission said.

US Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland urged the committee to put aside the interests of some Libyan and foreign parties and work to reach an agreement to form the transitional government. He did not name the parties he was referring to.

The Geneva meeting comes “at a critical time,” Norland said, adding that the opportunity “will not last forever”.

The forum reached an agreement late last year to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on December 24 this year. However, he has failed to break the deadlock over a selection mechanism for executive power despite numerous meetings online since the face-to-face talks in Tunisia in November.

The UN mission called for “real efforts” within the political framework of the talks brokered by the UN to form a unified government.

The forum is part of the UN’s efforts to end the chaos that has ravaged Libya since the overthrow and murder in 2011 of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi.


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