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“Friends of Libya” meet in New York Sept 20 -Italy

“Friends of Libya” meet in New York Sept 20 -Italy

A second "Friends of Libya" conference will be held in New York on Sept. 20 to help with reconstruction after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said on Saturday.

September 4, 2011 10:31 by

Western powers met Libya’s new interim leadership, the National Transitional Council (NTC), in Paris on Thursday in a first “Friends of Libya” conference. They handed over $15 billion of Gaddafi’s foreign assets to start the rebuilding job.

“The conference will be on Sept. 20,” Frattini told reporters on the margins of a conference.
Frattini reiterated that Italy would maintain its role as Libya’s leading partner in the oil sector.

“It has always been so and will continue that way. We confirm all our commitments,” he said.

Italian oil and gas group Eni is Libya’s biggest foreign oil operator, producing about 270,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2010.

The state-controlled company, in Libya since 1959, has oil production contracts in force to 2042 and gas contracts to 2047.

“I see that other countries too, such as Russia, are engaged in confirming their oil contracts in Libya. What is important is that Italy remains the leading foreign partner in the country,” Frattini said.

Some analysts are concerned that Eni could lose assets or opportunities in the long run if Italy’s hesitancy in supporting the rebel government early in the conflict leads to a backlash.

Eni has said it hopes to restart gas exports from Libya by mid-October. Libya provides about 12 percent of Italy’s gas needs.

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