Weekly Digest – Libya (06th April 2021)

Weekly Highlights

  • First batch of anti-coronavirus vaccine arrives in Libya
  • Washington reiterates support for Libyan government
  • Libya and China discuss telecommunications sector development
  • Libyan oil continues to approach its OPEC mandated production share of 1.6 million BPD
  • China to reopen embassy in Libyan capital
  • UNHCR: More than 4000 migrants rescued and returned to Libya since the start of 2021

Currency Exchange:

  • Bank exchange rate:  USD 1 – LYD 4.5447
  • Black market exchange rate:  USD 1 – LYD 5.07

First batch of anti-coronavirus vaccine arrives in Libya

Libyan Prime Minister, Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba, tweeted that the first batch of anti-coronavirus vaccines has arrived in Tripoli. The Libyan Health Ministry has reported that the batch consists of 101,252 doses.  He said the deluge starts with the first drop and that the rest of the shipments will arrive in succession.  He invited the Libyan people to register on the online vaccination system.  It will be noted that the vaccines that arrived were the Sputnik V from Russia. Medical sources over the last week had led the Libyan public to believe that the first batch would be the AstraZeneca brand.   LIBYA HERALD

Washington reiterates support for Libyan government

Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Joey Hood, has confirmed his country’s support for the Libyan Government of National Unity, in holding elections in December 2021, and the end of all foreign interference in the country.  Hood added, in an interview with Al Jazeera, that the political process must be led by Libya and facilitated by the United Nations, adding that the United States stands with the Libyan people in their pursuit of achieving lasting peace and prosperity and in choosing their future leaders, as he put it.  LIBYA OBSERVER

Libya and China discuss telecommunications sector development

The development and improvement of Libya’s telecommunications and technology sector was the subject of discussion between Faisel Gergab, Chairman of the Libyan Post Telecommunication and Information Technology Holding Company (LPTIC), and Chinese ambassador in Libya, Qimin Wang, on Thursday (1 April).  Discussions also centred around Libya keeping pace with the latest developments by Chinese companies in the field, in addition to opening new horizons to create an environment that attracts investments.  LIBYA HERALD

Libyan oil continues to approach its OPEC mandated production share of 1.6 million BPD

In a statement published by Bloomberg, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NOC, Mustafa Sanalla, said that the National Oil Corporation (NOC) continues to scale up its daily oil production index until it achieves its planned OPEC share of 1.6 million barrels per day in two years, and to 2.1 million within four years.  He also explained that the NOC plans to start production from new oil fields in the coming months, in the central Sirte basin and the Ghadams basin in the west.  LIBYAN EXPRESS

China to reopen embassy in Libyan capital

China will reopen its embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli, local reports said, after Chinese charges’d’affairs in Libya Wang Qimin met with the Libyan foreign minister Najla Al-Mangoush on Wednesday.  The reopening of the embassy will allow Chinese companies to take part in the rebuilding of Libya and follow up on suspended projects, which were halted due to the war, Qimin said.  Beijing will also open a new consulate in Benghazi, Qimin added.  THE NEW ARAB

UNHCR: More than 4000 migrants rescued and returned to Libya since the start of 2021

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Libya said that the number of migrants rescued off the Libyan coast by the Libyan Coast Guard, during this year alone, up to March 31, has reached in excess of 4000 migrants.  It confirmed that the Libyan Coast Guard disembarked almost a thousand individuals to the Libyan port this week alone.  In a report published on Friday, the UNHCR said that more than 8000 people in Tripoli, Al-Zawiya and Misrata received food baskets sufficient for one month, stressing that it continues, in cooperation with the World Food Program (WFP), to support refugees and asylum-seekers who endure a lack of food provisions.  LIBYA OBSERVER


List of holidays in Libya 2021

17 FebWednesdayLibyan Revolution DayPublic Holiday
1 MaySaturdayMay DayPublic Holiday
13 MayThursdayEid al-FitrPublic Holiday
14 MayFridayEid al-Fitr HolidayPublic Holiday
15 MaySaturdayEid al-Fitr HolidayPublic Holiday
19 JulMondayDay of ArafahPublic Holiday
20 JulTuesdayEid al-AdhaPublic Holiday
21 JulWednesdayEid al-AdhaPublic Holiday
22 JulThursdayEid al-AdhaPublic Holiday
10 AugTuesdayMuharramPublic Holiday
16 SepThursdayMartyrs’ DayPublic Holiday
19 OctTuesdayThe Prophet’s BirthdayPublic Holiday
23 OctSaturdayLiberation DayPublic Holiday
24 DecFridayIndependence DayPublic Holiday

Exchange rates – Libyan Dinar

According to our most recent information (05th April 2021) 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.


Do not travel to Libya due to COVID-19, crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and armed conflict.

Crime levels in Libya remain high, including the threat of kidnapping for ransom. Westerners and U.S. citizens have been targets of these crimes.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Libya due to COVID-19.   

Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Libya. Violent extremist activity in Libya remains high, and extremist groups have made threats against 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 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.

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.

Turkish Expansion of Libya Threatens Wreck NATO

Despite the fact that the parties to the Libyan crisis are gradually coming to a political solution, the situation continues to become heated both within and around the country. It is mainly influenced by the states involved in the conflict.

At the same time the instability in Libya has a negative impact on international relations, including growing contradictions between strategic partners. In particular Turkey’s military activities raise fears among at least three NATO members – France, Italy and Greece.

Relations between Ankara and its partners in the North Atlantic Alliance are exacerbated due to the actions of the Turkish leadership, which not only delivers weaponry to the former Jamahiriya avoiding the UN embargo, but also conducts geological exploration of the hydrocarbon fields in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Contradictions between NATO partners have already begun to take the form of hidden clashes. For example, the French frigate “Courbet”, operating as part of the Alliance’s “Sea Guardian” operation aimed to prevent arms smuggling into Libya, approached three Turkish warships and a cargo vessel on June 10 last year. The French military attempted to inspect a civilian ship suspected of illegally carrying weapons to a war-torn country. In response, the Turkish warships illuminated the Courbet by the targeting radar for three times.

120 prisoners from Haftar’s forces released in Libya’s Al-Zawiya

Libyan authorities in Al-Zawiya city released Wednesday 120 prisoners from Brigade 107 of Khalifa Haftar’s forces. The men were taken captives in the early days of Haftar’s attack on Tripoli back in 2019 as they tried to control Tripoli’s western entrance checkpoint 27 coming from Surman.

The release was done in a ceremony attended by the deputies of the Head of Presidential Council, several Government of National Unity ministers and the Head of the High Council of State. Many awards were given to the officials and entities that helped make this reconciliation step a reality.

The deputy Head of the Presidential Council, Abdullah Al-Lafi, said this ceremony paves the way for the national reconciliation project to take shape and encourages forgiveness and tolerance, leaving the past behind, adding that “it also shows how the wronged is stronger than the aggressor by the farmer’s forgiveness”.  Al-Lafi hailed the people who took the initiative and their ability to give concessions for the greater good of the Libyan people and country. He also applauded the families of the martyrs and those who lost their houses due to the war for seeking reconciliation not vengeance.  The deputy, Mossa Al-Koni, also commented at the ceremony, saying what Al-Zawiya did needed a lot of courage and hailed the people of the city for not seeking retaliation for “the wrong doings done to the city and residents”.


Italian airspace will soon be reopened to Libyan aviation, the Libyan embassy in Rome reported yesterday.  It said this comes within the framework of support and affirmation of Libyan-Italian relations, and to activate joint cooperation between the two countries in various fields and coordination between the newly installed Libyan Government of National Unity and the Italian government. The move aims to activate joint programmes and implement the commitments made by the Italian authorities towards Libya, through the activation of the Treaty of Friendship and agreed Items.  LIBYA HERALD

The Libyan Foreign Minister, Najla Al-Mangoush, said the reopening of the Chinese embassy in Tripoli is very important and so is the opening of its consulate in Benghazi after security conditions have become increasingly better with the swearing-in of the Government of National Unity.  Al-Mangoush met with the Chinese chargé d’affaires, Wang Qimin, in Tripoli and remarked that the reopening of the embassy would pave the way for the return of Chinese firms to resume the suspended projects in Tripoli and Benghazi as well as help in reconstituting the war-torn country.  LIBYA OBSERVER

Nicholas Hopton, the United Kingdom’s ambassador to Libya announced that his government intends to allocate a sizeable sum to support Libya’s upcoming elections, increase inclusivity and empower Libyan women.  The United Kingdom despite recently announcing a massive cut to its yearly aid budget to Libya by 63% has promised to provide all the support necessary to carry out Libya’s first fair and free elections to bring the country out of its decade long state of standstill transition.  The ambassador also stressed the need to respect the demands of the Libyan people to bring an end to all foreign interference in the country’s affairs and withdraw all foreign mercenaries from Libyan soil.  LIBYAN EXPRESS

An advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan advisor has denied media reports which claim that the head of the Libyan Presidential Council, Mohamed Al-Menfi, has asked Ankara to cancel the 2018 military cooperation agreement between Turkey and the previous Government of National Accord in Tripoli. Yasin Aktay accused French media of fabricating the story.  When asked by Sputnik about the possibility of modifying the maritime demarcation agreement with Libya in line with developments in the Middle East, especially rapprochement with Cairo, Aktay said that it is possible, but he does not know if it is on the agenda.  MEMO

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will hold a landmark visit to Libya next week and reopen the country’s embassy after over six years, Athens said on Thursday.  Mitsotakis will travel to Tripoli on Tuesday “to normalize and restore relations,” said Greek government spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni.  Accompanied by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, the prime minister is to meet with the head of the presidential council, Mohammed Younes Menfi, and interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, Peloni said.  The visit will “signal the Greek Embassy’s immediate reopening,” she said.  Greece’s Embassy in Tripoli has been closed since July 2014, when a Greek navy frigate helped to evacuate nearly 200 Greeks and other foreigners from the country.  ARAB NEWS