1/7 As discussions ramp up on a deal to lift the #Libya oil blockade, a few (optimistic) thoughts on how this could be leveraged:
2/7 The blockade is hurting all parties. For Libyans the loss of revenues is impacting budget negotiations and depleting foreign currency reserves. External players will also need a functioning Libyan economy to get the economic rewards they seek (reconstruction contracts etc.)
3/7 A deal to reopen thus has an economic imperative and may be a way to stave off a major military confrontation over the oil crescent (causing further damage to oil infrastructure) and potentially a bridge to an agreement over Sirte.
4/7 It also provides an opportunity to kick start needed negotiations over revenue distribution: establishing an interim mechanism to send funds to the east in a way which caps expenditure and does not mobilise funds for military purposes.
5/7 This would undercut the militarisation of the economy in the east and allay the heavy financial pressures the eastern-based authorities are under. It would also mean that the east is not backed into a corner.
6/7 This could be basis of more substantive negotiations to fix pressing economic challenges, like those in the banking sector (via the Libyan Expert Economic Commission) & wedded to political negotiations. It shld be contingent upon agreement that no more currency from Russia
7/7 The agreement should also be used to seek assurances from external players that they will stop tacitly supporting eastern efforts to export oil directly (no more UAE-based companies engaging) thereby reducing the risk of de facto partition.
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