OPEC Picks a Side in Libyan Conflict

Before the annual summit of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna last week, it was not clear which of the two rival Libyan governments would be invited to attend the gathering.

According to a report from Middle East Eye, both the government of Prime Minister Abdulla al-Thinni in Tobruk and another, led by a rival Prime Minister, Omar al-Hasi [Hassi], based in Tripoli, had expected to be invited to the conference.

However, OPEC chose to invite only the Tobruk administration, following the lead of the United Nations and world powers who have recognised Thinni’s government.

Analysts have suggested that to do otherwise would have been seen as taking a major political decision, and put the organisation into conflict with international powers.

Meanwhile, Hasi’s oil minister, Mashallah Zwai told Reuters that if he was not invited to the OPEC meeting, his cabinet would take legal action against OPEC.

Analysts doubt that such a court case would succeed, with OPEC likely to cite the issue of UN recognition, but the spat could exasperate the existing rift in Libya.

(Source: Middle East Eye)

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