Libya’s Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) has suspended the operations of 40 foreign companies, including France’s Total multinational oil concern.
The decision was made by the GNA’s minister of economy and industry, Ali Issawi. According to the ministry’s statement, the foreign companies’ licenses for operating in Libya have expired.
GNA’s move will also affect French Thales aerospace and Alcatel telecom companies.
The move was reportedly prompted by GNA’s anger at French President Emmanuel Macron’s reluctance to offer the Libyan prime minister, Fayez al-Sarraj, more explicit support in Libya’s ongoing political crisis.
In April, GNA directly accused France of supporting Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the leader of the Libyan National Army (LNA), who launched an offensive on Tripoli on 4 April. At that time the GNA Interior Ministry announced that it was halting all cooperation with France on bilateral agreements in the field of security.Since the overthrow and killing of longtime Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the country has been divided between two governments, with the eastern part controlled by the LNA-backed Tobruk-based parliament, and the western part governed by the UN-backed GNA.