Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 23rd February 2015.

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Photo of Daniel Kawczynski Daniel Kawczynski Conservative, Shrewsbury and Atcham

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what reports he has received of pressure being put on the Central Bank of Libya by terrorist organisations to release funds from that bank to those organisations; and if he will make available to that bank technical advice and assistance from the UK Government on security and fraud prevention in response to that pressure.

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The UK remains deeply concerned about the political and security crisis in Libya, and the increasing threat from terrorist entities in the country. On 22 January 2015 the United Nations Support Mission in Libya condemned a reported armed attack against the Central Bank branch in Benghazi and called for an independent inquiry. The EU Foreign Affairs Council stated on 9 February 2015 that the independence and proper functioning of the Central Bank of Libya, National Oil Corporation and other key financial institutions must be preserved and protected. The EU condemned actions against Libya's national assets, financial institutions and natural resources, which risk depriving the Libyan people of the benefits of the sustainable development of their economy.

We fully support the United Nations’ mediation efforts towards a ceasefire and a stable political settlement in Libya. Only political dialogue can address this crisis and protect those independent government institutions whose role is to safeguard Libya’s resources for the good of all Libyans. As part of the UN Security Council, the UK has condemned attempts to intimidate and obstruct the proper functioning of Libya’s financial institutions. In addition, the UK funds technical advice and training through the World Bank to Libyan institutions on public financial management. The programme is aimed at putting in place the foundations of more accountable and transparent processes, reducing the scope for fraud and corruption.

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