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US Secretary of State Pompeo hopes oilfields in Libya to reopen after Berlin conference

Two major oilfields in the southwest of Libya were closed after Prime Minister of Libya’s Government of National Accord demanded at the Berlin conference an immediate resumption of oil exports

BERLIN, January 20. /TASS/. US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo hopes that major oil fields in Libya would be reopened following an international conference on Libya in Berlin on Sunday, the US Department of State said in a statement.

"America has a counterterrorism interest there [in Libya]," the statement quoted Pompeo as saying to journalists after the conference. "There are important energy opportunities there in Libya."

"One of the things I did mention is that we hope that the closure that had taken place - the closure of some of the crude oil getting out - we hope that will be opened up as a result of this conversation as well," Pompeo said. "And we’re committed to a political resolution, as we have been for a long time, and we’re implementing United States’ efforts, diplomatic efforts to achieving that outcome."

Two major oilfields in the southwest of Libya, El Sharara and El Feel, were closed on Sunday after Prime Minister of Libya’s Government of National Accord Fayez Sarraj demanded at the Berlin conference an immediate resumption of oil exports.

The El Sharara oilfield was closed upon the request of representatives of Libyan tribes working there. The oil production of Libya is likely to be paralyzed with the closure of the El Sharara and El Feel oilfields, which are located some 800 kilometers (almost 500 miles) to the southwest of Tripoli.

Pompeo also said that the conference in Berlin was a considerable step to a ceasefire agreement in Libya.

"There was progress made towards a full-fledged ceasefire, a truce, temporary stand-down," he said adding that, "there’s still a lot of work to do. It’s a complicated battlefield."

"But you had [Turkish] President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin, [German] Chancellor [Angela] Merkel, all making a sincere commitment… and said we’re going to do this - we’re going to reduce risks, we’re going to conduct the ceasefire," the US secretary of state continued.

Pompeo also said the participants in the Berlin conference also succeeded in negotiations on the issue of maintaining embargo on arms supplies to Libya.

"I think we made progress, at least progress in getting fewer new weapons systems, fewer new forces to flow into the region, so that we can get at least a standstill so that we can begin to unwind this potential tragedy and get to the political resolution that I know everybody that came there today wanted to achieve," the statement from the US Department of State quoted Pompeo as saying.

The high-level conference on Libya was held in the German capital of Berlin on Sunday and it was attended by the leaders of ten nations, including the Russian, Turkish and French presidents and the UK prime minister. The United Nations secretary general, US secretary of state, representatives from Algeria, Egypt, China and the United Arab Emirates took part in the conference as well.

Leaders of Libya’s conflicting parties, Prime Minister of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Sarraj and Libyan National Army (LNA) Commander Khalifa Haftar also arrived in Berlin.