Brussels, March 10 (DPA) European Union states signed off on a new round of sanctions against allies of Libya’s regime Thursday, freezing the assets of companies including the country’s central bank.
The EU imposed an arms embargo on the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and imposed visa bans and asset freezes on him and 25 key allies and relatives Feb 28.
On Tuesday, member states agreed in principle to extend the list to bring in five key financial companies, with diplomats saying that they included Libya’s central bank and the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Libya Investment Authority (LIA).
On Thursday, national capitals signed off on the agreement by a system known as “written procedure,” whereby the deal is automatically approved unless member states object to it, the EU’s Hungarian presidency announced.
The sanctions are due to come into force Friday as soon as they are published in the EU’s official journal.
The names of the remaining three companies have not been confirmed. The LIA holds shares in a number of major European companies, including Italian football club Juventus.
Sanctions were also due to hit Mustafa Zarti, a Libyan businessman who had his assets frozen by Austria last week on suspicion that he was shoring up funds for his country’s regime, one EU diplomat said.