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Netherlands releases Libyan gov't assets to the World Health Organization


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Netherlands releases Libyan gov't assets to the World Health Organization

2011-08-16 00:33:50 GMT+7 (ICT)

THE HAGUE (BNO NEWS) -- The Dutch government on Monday announced it will release a part of the frozen assets belonging to the Libyan government to the World Health Organization (WHO) so it can distribute more medicines.

Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said the Dutch government is the first country in the world to help the Libyan people directly by releasing some of the regime's assets. He said the decision was taken at the request of the WHO, which will use the money - 100 million euros ($144 million) - to distribute medicines among civilians.

"The Netherlands can release this money to the WHO because the sanctions committee of the United Nations has approved this," the Dutch Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "The medicines will be distributed to the people in Benghazi and other rebel-controlled areas, areas where fighting is continuing, and civilians who are still under the control of the regime."

Rosenthal said the move by his government is an example of how sanctions should work. "I always say that sanctions should squeeze the regime, and that the people should not fall victim to this. This is exactly what is happening now: frozen money of [Libyan leader] Gaddafi will be used to save Libyan lives."

The Netherlands is among more than 30 countries which have formally recognized Libya's rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) as the country's sole representative. Other countries have established formal or informal relations with the NTC, while some other countries only recognize the NTC as a negotiating party.

Earlier this month, the French government announced that it would transfer the frozen assets of Gaddafi, totaling about $259 million, to the NTC.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-08-16

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