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Libya Rebels See Progress in Talks With Government on Oil Ports

March 31 (Bloomberg) -- Rebels seeking self-rule in eastern Libya see a possibility of an agreement with the government to restore the nation’s crude exports to full capacity in one month.

Ali Al-Hasy, a spokesman for the self-declared Executive Office for Barqa, said a deal hinges on the central government dropping a threat to attack oil ports under rebel control since July.

“The mood is positive, we can see a settlement in a month’s time,” he said, speaking on the phone from eastern Libya. “If the government withdraws its threat, all will become easy.”

The government issued an ultimatum on March 12, warning it would attack the rebels if they didn’t surrender the ports within two weeks. Authorities in the capital Tripoli didn’t specify exactly when the deadline expires and parliament members last week said the government has no intention of following up on its threat.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maher Chmaytelli in Dubai at mchmaytelli@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net Bruce Stanley, John Deane

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