Weekly Digest – Libya (10th November 2020)

Weekly Highlights

  • US Looking for Embassy Property in Tripoli
  • Libya’s NOC says oil output surges to 1 million b/d
  • Airbus agrees to renegotiate aircraft delivery contracts with Libya
  • Security sources: ‘Turkey troops remain in Libya at GNA’s request’
  • Libyan oil production needs at least 1 year to hit pre-civil war levels
  • Currency Exchange:
    • Bank exchange rate:  USD 1 – LYD 1.3593
    • Black market exchange rate:  USD 1 – LYD 6.31

US Looking for Embassy Property in Tripoli

As the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) prepares to get underway in Tunis, US Ambassador Richard Norland spoke with Foreign Minister Siala on Friday to convey the US Embassy’s intention to begin formal consultations with Libyan authorities on the lengthy process to secure property in Tripoli to facilitate long-term diplomatic engagements in Libya.  Meanwhile, as security and logistical considerations allow, the Embassy will continue to travel across Libya to engage a broad range of Libyan leaders in support of the ongoing UN-facilitated intra-Libyan dialogue.  LIBYA NEWS

Libya’s NOC says oil output surges to 1 million b/d

Libya is producing more than 1 million b/d of oil, an increase of almost 500,000 b/d in just over two weeks, after its two rival-warring factions agreed to a peace deal on Oct. 23., state-owned National Oil Corp. said Nov. 7.  The North African producer had seen its output fall to less than 100,000 b/d in recent months as an eight-month oil blockade temporarily crippled its oil sector.  The sudden surge in Libyan output comes at a very tricky time for the oil market, which is coping with a fragile demand outlook amid a second wave of coronavirus infections.  SP GLOBAL

Airbus agrees to renegotiate aircraft delivery contracts with Libya

Airbus has agreed to renegotiate Libya’s aircraft delivery contracts, the Libyan African Aviation Holding Company (LAAHC) reported 09 Nov 20.  According to the LAAHC Airbus has agreed in principle to change the type and number of planes to be delivered from A-350’s to the smaller A-220/320/321/330 models. It said the smaller models better meet the requirements of the Libyan market and better serve the Libyan public’s interests.  The revelation came during Sunday’s (8 November) First General Assembly meeting of the LAAHC in 2020 chaired by Tripoli-based Transport Minister Milad Matoug at the company’s Tripoli headquarters.  LIBYA HERALD

Security sources: ‘Turkey troops remain in Libya at GNA’s request’

Turkish security sources stated that Turkish troops will remain in Libya for as long as the Government of National Accord (GNA) wishes.  The Libyan 5+5 Joint Military Commission agreed that the Turkish forces would return to bases and exchange detainees, during the two-day meeting to discuss mechanisms for implementing a permanent ceasefire in Libya.  Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya Stephanie Williams confirmed: “The Joint Military Commission has agreed to form a military committee to oversee the return of forces to their bases and the withdrawal of foreign troops from the front line,” without providing further details.  MEMO

Libyan oil production needs at least 1 year to hit pre-civil war levels

Following years of shut-ins and blockades, Libya has taken steps to increase oil production; however, many analysts agree that the country’s comeback to pre-civil war output levels will take more than a year.  The Libyan oil industry was shut down in January when the Benghazi-based Libya National Army (LNA) led by putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar became locked in a power struggle with the United Nations-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), resulting in a blockade of the country’s oil fields and ports.  The reopening of the oil fields and ports since Sept.18, after an eight-month hiatus, prompted a resurgence in Libya’s oil industry to the extent that daily crude oil production in the country surpassed 500,000 barrels from previous levels of as low as 100,000 barrels.  DAILY SABAH


List of holidays in Libya 2020

Exchange rates – Libyan Dinar

According to our most recent information (09th November 2020) the Libyan Dinar has the following exchange rates.

The exchange rate from your own bank or credit card company will differ somewhat from the exchange rates as mentioned above. Your bank or credit card company might also apply additional international charges.


Crime levels in Libya remain high, including the threat of kidnapping for ransom. Westerners and U.S. citizens have been targets of these crimes.

Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Libya. Violent extremist activity in Libya remains high, and extremist groups have made threats against U.S. government officials and citizens. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, hotels, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and government facilities.

Outbreaks of violence between competing armed groups can occur with little warning and have the potential to impact U.S. citizens. The capital, Tripoli, and other cities, such as Surman, Al-Jufra, Misrata, Ajdabiya, Benghazi, Sabha, and Dernah, have witnessed fighting among armed groups, as well as terrorist attacks. Hotels and airports frequented by Westerners have been the targets of these attacks. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.

For the latest information regarding COVID-19, please visit:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC)

If you decide to travel to Libya:

  • Carry proof of citizenship and valid immigration status at all times.
  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Make contingency plans to leave.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organisation or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization.

Libya’s rivals start UN-led talks to reach political accord

Libya’s rival factions began much-awaited political peace talks in Tunisia’s capital on Monday brokered by the United Nations with a goal of drawing a roadmap to presidential and parliamentary elections.

The U.N. selected 75 delegates from Libya to take part in the six-day forum in a Tunis hotel, aimed at ending the political chaos that engulfed the North African nation after the 2011 overthrow and killing of dictator Moammar Gadhafi.  Tunisian President Kais Said attended the talks’ opening ceremony, calling the forum “historic by all measures.” Said added the U.N. efforts aim to set “clear measures and specific dates” to reach “a peaceful solution” in Libya’s conflict.  He also called on those who will lead the transitional period to refrain from running in the next presidential or parliamentary elections.

Stephanie Williams, the top U.N. official in Libya, told journalists Sunday night that preparatory meetings have been positive.  “Libya now has an excellent opportunity which will allow it to get out of the conflict tunnel, if all the interlocutors assume their responsibilities and respect their commitments at the end of this dialogue,” Williams said.  But previous diplomatic initiatives to end the conflict have repeatedly collapsed. These latest talks however came amid heavy international pressure to start talks. Warring sides agreed to a U.N.-brokered cease-fire agreement last month in Geneva.  

UNSMIL concerned by arbitrary ‘sabotage’ arrest of eastern Libyans arriving in Tripoli by militias

UNSMIL expressed its concern over the arbitrary arrest of eastern Libyans arriving in Tripoli by officially recognized militias. It warned that these arrests could be an attempt to sabotage the recent thawing of relations between west and east Libya as well as the UNSMIL-brokered virtual and in-person Libyan Political Dialogue talks. The in-person talks commence in Tunis today.  In its statement, UNSMIL said it ‘‘notes with great concern that between 1 and 5 November, a number of individuals from the east who travelled to Tripoli were arbitrarily arrested by armed groups. At least one person was followed to his destination in Tripoli and then arrested, others were allegedly arrested at the airport upon arrival.  UNSMIL reiterates that all Libyan citizens have the right to freedom of movement. Any illegal infringement of this right is a serious violation of Libya’s obligations under international law.

The Mission believes that these actions aim to sabotage the good faith efforts to bring Libyans together, following the ceasefire agreement, and calls for the immediate release of those arbitrarily detained with the freedom of movement fully respected for all Libyans.

On a positive note, the UNSMIL statement welcomed the decision by the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority on 4 November 2020 to permit the resumption of flights to all airports in the Southern region of Libya. This decision, it said, is a product of the confidence that has been built as a result of the October 23 ceasefire agreement and the follow-up talks of the Joint Military Commission in Ghadames on 2-4 November.


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Libya’s rival factions began much-awaited political peace talks in Tunisia’s capital on Monday brokered by the United Nations, with a goal of drawing a roadmap to presidential and parliamentary elections.  The meeting in neighbouring Tunisia follows months of relative calm and a key ceasefire deal in October between the two major camps in the long-running conflict.  “You have the opportunity to end a tragic conflict,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told delegates in a video message at the opening ceremony.  “Now it’s your turn to shape the future of your country.”  THE ARAB WEEKLY

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Italy’s foreign minister visited the UAE on Monday for high-level bilateral talks on regional developments, including Iran, Libya, and the eastern Mediterranean.  Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio met with UAE foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan for a strategic dialogue in the capital Abu Dhabi, according to Emirati state news agency WAM.  “The two sides exchanged views on the latest developments in the region, notably Libya and Iran,” according to the report.  The two officials also discussed developments in the eastern Mediterranean, where Turkey is currently at odds with Greece, Italy’s fellow European Union member state.  AL ARABIYA

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Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov announced that his country considers that Fayez Al-Sarraj’s decision to retract his resignation from the position of head of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) is “logical and reasonable”, in order not to create a power vacuum by stepping down.  Bogdanov told Sputnik on Thursday: “Many have asked him, the Libyans and foreigners, so as not to create a power vacuum. He wanted to resign by the end of October with an understanding that there will be someone to transfer power to so that there would be no vacuum, which is logical and reasonable.”  MEMO

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Libya’s interior minister arrived in Cairo on Wednesday for talks with Egyptian officials, according to media reports.  “The talks will focus on common issues [such as] strengthening security cooperation and uniting efforts to confront terrorism and organized crime in a way that preserves the national security of the two countries,” Fathi Bashagha said in statements cited by Libyan Alahrar TV.  Egyptian daily Youm7 said the Libyan official will discuss dismantling armed militias and the possibility of integrating their members into Libyan security agencies.  AA

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Several visits to Doha by Libyan officials of the Government of National Accord (GNA) and prominent leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya brought the Qatari role in Libya back to the fore once again, amid serious concerns about the motives behind these visits at a time when the pace of political and military dialogue between the Libyan parties in search of a settlement has accelerated.  These visits also revealed the weakness if not the lethargy of counter-intelligence apparatus of the rival camp in monitoring Qatari moves and thwarting Doha’s plans to penetrate deeply into the Libyan landscape and circumvent the political track.  THE ARAB WEEKLY


The total number of Covid-19 cases in Libya rose to 68,117 including 40,119 recoveries and 929 fatalities on Sunday.