The U.S. Treasury Department has put in place sanctions against Libyan Speaker and President of the House of Representatives Agila Saleh Issa for undermining the political transition in Libya. As a result of this designation, all property and interests in property of Mr. Issa that are within the jurisdiction of the United States or in the control of U.S. citizens are blocked, and Americans are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with him.
“Agila Saleh Issa is responsible for stalling political progress in Libya,” and this “action sends a clear message that the U.S. Government will continue to target those who undermine the peace, security, and stability of Libya,” said John Smith, Acting Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control. “We will continue to support Libya’s Government of National Accord and its efforts to build a better and more stable future for the Libyan people.”
Mr. Issa repeatedly blocked votes by the House of Representatives needed to support Libya’s political transition. In October 2015, Mr. Issa presided over a legislative session that was scheduled to hold a vote to endorse the Libyan Political Agreement and the government of National Unity, or GNA. The session ended prematurely because Mr. Issa listed four new conditions for the legislature to approve the GNA, then departed, forestalling a vote.
In early November 2015, the House of Representatives vote was again postponed due to Mr. Issa’s trip to Saudi Arabia, which appears to have been another deliberate act to prevent a vote on the Government of National Accord. Despite repeated Libyan calls to hold the vote, Mr. Issa began to travel again as part of his delay tactics.
On January 25, 2016, the House finally voted to ratify the Libyan Political Agreement and endorse the Presidency Council. Since that time, however, Mr. Issa has prevented a vote on the Government of National Accord’s Cabinet despite broad support for the Cabinet by the membership of the House of Representatives and in violation of the Libyan Political Agreement.
The United States fully supports Libya’s Government of National Accord and will not tolerate actions by individuals who undermine the political transition in Libya.