WASHINGTON, April 4 (Xinhua) — The United States on Monday lifted sanctions against former Libyan foreign minister Moussa Koussa, who defected to London on March 30.
The Department of Treasury said that two weeks after President Barack Obama imposed sanctions against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and the Libyan government in late February, the department designated Koussa for sanctions for being a senior official of the government of Libya.
“One of the intended purposes of sanctions against senior officials in the Libyan government was to motivate individuals within the Gaddafi regime to make the right decision and disassociate themselves from Gaddafi and his government,” the Treasury said in a statement.
It said that as Koussa has severed ties with the Libyan government, the United States is lifting sanctions against him and he is no longer subject to an asset freeze.
“Koussa’s defection and the subsequent lifting of sanctions against him should encourage others within the Libyan government to make similar decisions to abandon the Gaddafi regime,” said David S. Cohen, acting under secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence.
Currently 13 senior Libyan government officials are under sanctions by the Treasury.