January 24, 2020 / 4:23 PM / a month ago

Libyan central bank chief says oil blockade must be lifted

LONDON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - A blockade of major Libyan oil ports is damaging the economy and must be quickly resolved, the Tripoli-based central bank governor told Reuters on Friday, adding that Libya could run a budget deficit in 2020 as a result.

“Now oil represents 93-95% of total revenue and covers 70% of total spending. This is a bullet in the head, that will hurt Libya and the Libyan people,” Sadiq Al-Kabir said in an interview in London. “We really hope the crisis is resolved as fast as possible because it hurts everyone.”

Libya’s internationally recognised prime minister Fayez al-Serraj has warned of catastrophe if the week-long blockade by eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar’s forces, which has cut oil output to almost zero, is not lifted.

Reporting by Ahmed Ghaddar; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Catherine Evans

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