The US Treasury Department on Friday sanctioned Aguila Saleh, the president of Libya’s internationally recognized parliament in Tobruk, over what US officials say is his blocking of the formation of a UN-backed government of national accord.
Saleh “is responsible for stalling political progress in Libya. Today’s action sends a clear message that the US Government will continue to target those who undermine the peace, security, and stability of Libya,” said John E. Smith, Acting OFAC Director.
The Treasury Department’s action means that “all property and interests in property of Issa that are within the jurisdiction of the United States or in the control of US persons are blocked”. It added Americans were “generally prohibited” from carrying out transactions with him.
The statement said Saleh had repeatedly blocked votes by Libya’s House of Representatives to support the UN-backed government of national accord.
The Treasury Department move follows a similar one taken by the European Union in April against Saleh.
Along with Saleh, the EU in April sanctioned Nouri Abusahmain, president of Libya’s General National Congress in Tripoli and Khalifa al-Ghwell, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Tripoli government.
The EU said the three played a central role in obstructing the establishment of a unity government in Libya, which has become the main conduit for refugees from North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa to leave in boats for Europe.