Britain seeks unfreezing of Libyan assets through the UN

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Britain is working with allies at the UN to unfreeze Libyan assets which were blocked after Moamer Kadhafi tried to brutally suppress an uprising, Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday.

"Diplomatically we're engaged at the United Nations and elsewhere to pave the way for the unfreezing of assets," Hague said.

Hague's remarks came shortly after a French diplomatic source said Paris was also seeking a UN resolution to unblock assets.

Earlier, a British government source told AFP that London was seeking a new Libya resolution at the UN, which would include releasing assets to help rebels set up a government and meet urgent humanitarian needs.

The government source in London told AFP that Britain was "seeking a resolution at the United Nations."

"We are exploring with partners in New York the best way of unfreezing the assets," said the source.

"The total amount frozen in the UK is £12 billion ($20 billion, 14 billion euros) but that is not necessarily the amount that would be unfrozen," it added.

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution freezing the regime's assets abroad after Kadhafi cracked down on protests in February but Western powers now want to release the assets after the rebels' triumphant march on Tripoli.

© 2011 AFP

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