Lifting Sanctions Against Libya's Former Foreign Minister
David S. Cohen
Two weeks after President Obama implemented sanctions against Muammar Qadafi and the Government of Libya, Treasury designated Libya’s then Foreign Minister, Moussa Koussa for sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13566 for being a senior official of the Government of Libya.
Koussa has since severed ties with the Qadhafi regime, and today the United States is lifting sanctions against him as he is no longer subject to sanctions for being a senior official of the Government of Libya. Koussa’s name will be removed from Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List, and he is no longer subject to an asset freeze.
One of the intended purposes of sanctions against senior officials in the Libyan government was to motivate individuals within the Qadhafi regime to make the right decision and disassociate themselves from Qadhafi and his government. And today’s announcement shows the ability of sanctions to advance our national security and foreign policy goals and objectives.
Sanctions are a powerful tool that we have at our disposal to apply pressure against individuals to influence their decision-making calculus.
As we’ve said from the beginning, these sanctions are preventative and are not intended to be permanent.
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 Qadhafi regime.
There are currently 13 senior Libyan government officials on the SDN List, and we expect to announce additional sanctions against other officials in the coming days. Those who continue to serve in the Libyan government should be put on notice that Treasury will continue to aggressively identify and target senior officials for sanctions.
David S. Cohen is Acting Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
Terrorism and Financial Intelligence