By Vanessa Tomassini.
Three days ago, we discussed with Omar Khattaly, former Head of the LIA’s Real Estate Fund from 2012 to 2016, now CEO of the US-based Khattaly Consulting Company, about recent statements in international media, including Reuters and Al-Jazeera, by the president of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), Dr. Ali Mahmoud.
Today, we received a statement from Ismail Ayan, Relation Media Manager of the LIA, which states: “I am not aware of a request to release the assets of the LIA from Premier Fayez al-Sarraj. It would be unlikely that it would do so because the LIA is an independent sovereign entity and not subject to government decisions”.
The spokesperson also confirms that “in the past there have been false reports claiming that the LIA has requested a complete release of its resources and these are categorically false”.
The spokesman specified that “the LIA does not require the release of assets and for now is content to work within the United Nations sanctions regime”.
“Earlier this year the president of the LIA, Dr. Ali Mahmoud, said the LIA will turn to the UN Sanctions Committee to make an adjustment to the regime to create a simplified system for the reinvestment of frozen cash currently held by external investment managers. He did not request the release of the assets”. He reiterated, adding that “under the comprehensive sanctions regime in place since 2011, the LIA is unable to generate returns for the Libyan people from frozen money and incurs avoidable fees from the negative interest rates applied by banks.”
“The LIA maintains close coordination with the UN Sanctions Committee and will share more details on the application after the scheduled discussions have taken place.” He concluded.