Moon’s government led efforts to resume dialogue with North Korea and gave enthusiastic accounts of its encounters with Kim, spurring Trump to accept an offer of a first-ever meeting between U.S. and North Korean presidents. "It’s straight out of North Korea’s playbook," the official said. But South Korea’s role has been brought into question since last week when North Korea's chief negotiator derided Seoul as"ignorant and incompetent." Trump suggested last week that Beijing, which Washington is at odds with over trade, may be influencing North Korea's hardened stance. However, Trump on Monday urged China, North Korea's main trading partner, to maintain tight sanctions, tweeting that "the word is that recently the Border has become much more porous."
May 21, 2018 21:45 UTC
Here is a recap of Monday’s news headlines from The Libya ObserverExchange Rates http://lyo.ly/5acUN envoy Salame says Libya's political stalemate ends as elections begin http://lyo.ly/7emLibya Central Bank mulls slapping taxes on selling dollars to combat money smuggling http://lyo.ly/7ejCoordination underway to form South Security Force, official says http://lyo.ly/7eiPresidential Council amends import budget decision http://lyo.ly/7e6Gaddafi cell planning to carry out terrorist acts in Tripoli arrested http://lyo.ly/7e2Jobless youngsters threaten to close oil fields in northeastern Libya http://lyo.ly/7e8Misrata Airport resumes flights after attack on customs office by outlaws http://lyo.ly/7e7Italy to finance garbage collection in Tripoli http://lyo.ly/7e4Protesters demand UN to protect civilians in Derna http://lyo.ly/7e3Video: Tripoli Copper Market http://lyo.ly/7ekLibyan Cuisine: Rishtat Burma http://lyo.ly/31d
May 21, 2018 21:11 UTC
UNSMIL’s Head Ghassan Salame has briefed the United Nations Security Council on the latest developments in Libya. “The UNSMIL urgently call on all parties to exercise restraint and to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians, and I strongly advise that the Council does likewise. The UN is working hard to address the humanitarian situation and is preparing in case the conflict worsens, and requests all actors permit unfettered humanitarian access and safe passage for civilians out of the area.” Salame told the UN Security Council. Salame also said Sabha has also suffered an alarming escalation in armed clashes, pointing out that fighting for control of strategic locations has led to rising fatalities, including many civilian casualties. “On the current draft of the Constitution, Libyan views dramatically diverge.
May 21, 2018 21:00 UTC
The Central Bank of Libya (CBL) is considering to slap 200% taxes on selling US dollars at the commercial banks to Libyans in coordination with the Presidential Council, a source at the CBL was reported by The New Arab. CBL said the move aims at combating the current hike in exchange rates in Libya. 1$ is sold nowadays for over 6.65 Libyan dinars at the black market. CBL allowed families to buy dollars at the official rates since 2017 with $400 in 2017 and then $500 this year for every family member. Meanwhile, Libya came 171 out of 180 on the Transparency International list of most corrupted countries around the world in 2017.
May 21, 2018 19:07 UTC
On the volatile security situation, he said terrorism remained a genuine threat, noting that violence continued to plague civilians in several areas. GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA (Peru) expressed support for efforts to stabilize Libya’s political situation, including the adoption of appropriate electoral legislation and updating the country’s voter registry. Mr. SKOOG (Sweden) noted the gradual improvement in Tripoli’s security situation and called for efforts to consolidate and build upon the gains already made. On the security situation, he condemned the recent attack in Tripoli as well as the escalation of violence in Sebha and other cities. Improving the security situation through dialogue with and among armed groups would require the Security Council’s special attention in the coming months.
May 21, 2018 19:07 UTC
The spokesman for the Head of the Presidential Council (PC) Mohammed El Sallak said western, central and Tripoli military zones’ commanders had started preparing for forming the South Security Force as per orders of the Head of the PC Fayez Al-Sirraj, who gave ten days for the formation. El Sallak added in a presser on Monday that Al-Sirraj said the force will be tasked with securing southern Libya, fighting terrorism, human traffickers and foreign militants infiltrating Libyan borders. “Al-Sirraj said the force will be ready to coordinate with all parties to prevail security and stability.” ElSallak added. Regarding Derna, El Sallak reiterated the PC statement call for elders’ intervention in Derna and surrounding areas to settle down the conflict peacefully and avoid bloodshed, calling for a safe passage to allow people to have needed foods, medicines and other services. “The High Commission for Overseas displaced persons started reviewing the challenges those people and how to end them and thus pave the way for their return home.” El Sallak indicated
May 21, 2018 19:07 UTC
But in South Korea, many say the blame for the sudden problems in the diplomatic process lies squarely at the feet of someone else: John Bolton. “Bolton’s preposterous ‘Libya solution’ is a red light in North Korea’s summit talks with the U.S. and South Korea,” he wrote in a Facebook post. The North Korean regime, however, remembers what happened afterward: Gaddafi was overthrown and brutally killed by his opponents. Bolton looked at it as a successful case of denuclearizing a rogue regime, while North Korea focused on the dictator’s grisly end. Others play down concerns about Bolton, noting that he is in frequent contact with his South Korean counterpart.
May 21, 2018 16:42 UTC
UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council is considering imposing the first-ever sanctions on migrant smugglers in Libya, targeting six leaders of trafficking rings, but Russia has requested more information, documents obtained by AFP on Monday showed. Presented by the Netherlands, the proposed sanctions blacklist includes two Eritrean nationals described as top operators in transnational smuggling networks and four Libyans including a the head of a regional coast guard unit. The six individuals would face a global travel ban and assets freeze if the council agrees to blacklist them. France, Germany, Britain and the United States support the Dutch sanctions request. During the council meeting, Russian Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov did not specifically mention the sanctions request but said the migrant problem should be not be tackled with “half-measures.”
May 21, 2018 16:41 UTC
A group of unemployed Libyan youths will shut down oilfields in the town of Marada in the east unless demands for better state services are met. BENGHAZI: A group of unemployed Libyan youths will shut down oilfields in the town of Marada in the east unless demands for better state services are met, the group said on Sunday. An oil engineer said that despite the threat, oil production was running normally through the pipeline feeding the Sidra terminal, which runs near Marada. “We the youth have decided to shut down all oilfields in Marada…unless all problems are solved urgently,” the group of unidentified youths said in a statement. The youths were also demanding jobs at state oil firm NOC, one security official said.
May 21, 2018 14:03 UTC
Misrata Airport announced the resumption of air traffic after two days of suspension because of attacks on the security authorities at the airport. On its Facebook page, the airport administration asked travellers to check the reservation offices to confirm their flight booking. The airport administration announced last Thursday the suspension of flights because of what it described as the attack of smugglers on members of the airport security forces. The airport administration mentioned earlier that the customs had managed to seize an amount of foreign currency that was intended to be smuggled out of the country in collusion with a flight crew member of the Afriqiyah Airways on its trip to Istanbul, adding that a group of outlaws stole the amount seized by force from the customs at the airport.
The Presidential Council has amended its previous decision on authorizing the supply of certain commodities, establishing the new import budget to $ 950 million. The Council first announced a $ 1.5 billion import budget before adjusting the figure to 450 million Libyan dinars. The amendment to the resolution included an approval of requests for supplying commodities and transferring them to the Central Bank of Libya after adopting it by the Chairman of the Presidential Council. The amendment also stipulated that the prices of supply should not exceed the standard prices approved by the competent committee of the Ministry of Economy except within the maximum limit of 15% on the predetermined price. The amendment noted that import companies are not allowed to apply for the supply of more than one commodity that was mentioned in the latest decision.
A group of jobless youngsters in the desert oasis town of Maradah, northeastern Libya, threatened Sunday to close the oil fields in their region unless their demands to improve services in their town are met. The group explained in a statement that their action aims to put pressure on the authorities in order to look into their problems urgently. The statement complained about the absence of the state, lack of health care and services, and poor state of roads leading to their town. Last December, unknown gunmen blew up an oil pipeline near Maradah twice.
Smoke rises from a ruined house after it was hit by an air strike as fighters from Libyan forces allied with the U.N.-backed government advance into the last area controlled by Islamic State, in Sirte - REUTERSAdditional reporting by Nawal Sayed, Ahmed GomaaCAIRO – 21 May 2018: Five leaders of the Islamic State (IS) and Al-Qaeda in Derna turned themselves in to the Libyan National Army (LNA), said Abdel Karim Sabra, spokesman for the major operation against terrorists in Derna.Sabra named Ibrahim al-Hals and Hamad al-Maleki among the five who turned themselves in amid the major operation launched on May 7 in the port city of Derna, according to UAE’s News Eye Gate.The city is controlled by the Mujahideen Shura Council (DMSC), which is subordinate to the IS and Al-Qaeda.The operation has been launched upon an announcement by Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar to liberate the city from Islamist militias on May 7. According to the Emirati News Agency, LNA forces captured a wheat silo and a number of villages in the city.On Sunday, the High-risk terrorist, Omar Refaei Sorour has been severely wounded, following air strikes on Al-Qaeda hideouts in Derna, Salem al-Rafady, commander of Libyan Army’s brigade, Omar al-Mokhtar, revealed to Al-Ahram's correspondent in Libya.Rafady said that his brigade had successfully targeted several hideouts of Al-Qaeda organization in Derna. “Our sources confirmed the injury of Sorour who had been seen at a field hospital,” Rafady added.Sorour is known as “Abu Abdullah al-Masry”. He is one of the key leading terrorists in Derna and he has been known for being the judge of Al-Qaeda in Libya. Sorour is accused of establishing the so-called al-Murabeton group which is the Libyan branch of Al-Qaeda, in coordination with wanted-criminal Hisham al-Ashmawy.Sorour is responsible for recruiting and training Arab youth members and luring them to join terrorist groups in Syria, Libya and Egypt.In May, 2017, Egypt’s Armed Forces launched airstrikes against IS in Libya, attacking the IS training camps and the main center of the DMSC, which allegedly harbored the terrorist elements who carried out the Minya terrorist attacks in Egypt, killing 30 people and injuring dozens others.Libya has been in a state of turmoil since a 2011 civil war that resulted in the overthrow of longstanding ruler Muammar Gaddafi by rebel fighters backed by NATO air strikes.
May 21, 2018 12:45 UTC
Italy's ambassador to Libya Giuseppe Perrone said that his country will finance a € 2 million project to support garbage collection and waste management in Tripoli. "Let’s protect the environment together and make the make the Bride of the Sea even more beautiful," Perrone tweeted Monday. Like other cities in Libya, Tripoli is suffering from the accumulation of garbage in the streets amid the failure of official bodies in the state to find a solution to this long-standing problem.
May 21, 2018 11:15 UTC
The Council of Elders of Tripoli organized a protest Sunday outside the UN headquarters in Janzour district in Tripoli to express solidarity with the residents of Derna and demanded an end to the air raids on the city. The representatives of the council met with members of the United Nations mission and demanded the intervention of the UN to put an end to the air raids on Derna. The UN mission said representatives of the protests met with members of the UNSMIL and handed over a letter to the Special Representative and the Secretary-General, insisting that the protection of civilians must be a high priority for the United Nations.
May 21, 2018 11:03 UTC