The freeze had begun in February this year, when the Obama administration decided to impose unilateral sanctions against the Libyan leader and his family, including shutting off access to Libyan government assets.
Much of these assets were investments made for the Libyan sovereign wealth fund, which many believe to have been worth more than US$70 billion at the beginning of the year, though the value has since been lessened by recent turmoil in world markets.
According to the New York Times, a large portion of the investment fund’s assets, including those in the United States, are tied up in property and in publicly traded or privately held companies. An AFP report also confirmed that only 10 percent of Libya’s total assets had been in cash.
An official from the US Treasury Department told Reuters that while the US’ sanctions against Libya will remain in place for now, the Obama administration had been looking ways whereby some frozen Libyan government assets could be made available to the Transitional National Council (TNC).
Talks have already been ongoing between the US and its global partners on how to fund the Transitional National Council for the time being.
According to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, Mrs Clinton discussed the issue of funding the rebels in a conference call with the Contact Group on Libya, which includes the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Turkey, Norway, Sweden, Canada, Denmark and the United Arab Emirates as well as the prime minister of Qatar and a British Foreign Office minister.