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NATO in favor of political moves in oil-rich Libya

Libyan oil production down more than 60 percent from pre-civil war levels.

By Daniel J. Graeber
NATO allies express support for latest political steps in oil-rich Libya, fracturing along rival lines since the outbreak of civil war. File Photo by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/c921ced5ee4358f74138074aad6c1a0c/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
NATO allies express support for latest political steps in oil-rich Libya, fracturing along rival lines since the outbreak of civil war. File Photo by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- NATO allies expressed support for political movements in oil-rich Libya, which they said are vital steps in ensuring peace in the war-torn country.

Libyan authorities sent a list of names for a unity government to ministers with the Libya House of Representatives for approval. The governments of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States welcomed the move and reminded authorities of an obligation to vote on the list in its entirety within 10 days.

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"Members of the House of Representatives are responsible for taking this next vital step in implementing the Libya Political Agreement, which provides the only means to restore peace and stability in Libya," the NATO allies said in a statement.

Libya is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that once produced more than 1 million barrels of oil per day and seen as a main North African exporter to the European market. Two weeks ago, NATO allies expressed solidarity with the U.N.-backed administration in Libya, noting control over oil terminals rests solely with that government.

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Libya in July moved to reopen some of its oil terminals, which were idled for nearly two years by threats from rival internal powers. A commander in charge of Libyan oil security said last month that crude oil exports from two of the country's largest ports, opened only sparingly, were ready to resume.

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Libya produced about 304,000 bpd last month, down about 6 percent from June

Fighting has been sporadic near the Zuetina oil facility. All parties, the allies said, are called on to restrain from hostilities that would damage or otherwise interrupt operations at Libya's energy infrastructure.

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Libya's political environment fractured in the wake of civil war in 2011, with factions establishing authority from opposite sides of the country.

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