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Libya’s divided central bank board holds rare meeting

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TRIPOLI, Dec 7 (Reuters) – The board of the Central Bank of Libya, whose western and eastern branches have for years been split between the country’s warring rivals, said it held a first meeting in years on Monday.

Unifying key institutions, including the CBL, and creating a single exchange rate across Libya have been key goals of a U.N.-led process aimed at resolving some of the economic problems obstructing a political solution to the conflict.

CBL said in a statement that it had held a preliminary meeting to discuss the reactivation of the board’s work including ensuring stability of prices, supporting the integrity of the banking system and adjusting the exchange rate.

Since the country split between rival factions in 2014, different exchange rates for the Libyan Dinar have emerged in east and west, aggravating its economic problems.

In recent weeks the bank has also been involved in a public dispute with National Oil Corporation (NOC) over the payment of energy revenue.

Both have accused each other of inaccurately reporting oil revenues and NOC has said it will temporarily stop transfers of sales income to the bank’s account, holding them instead in the Libyan Foreign Bank.

Last week, a U.N.-led economic working group urged a CBL board meeting and said it supported the NOC in freezing oil revenues “under apolitical management as an exceptional and temporary measure” until a long-term deal was agreed. (Reporting by Reuters Libya newsroom; Writing by Angus McDowall; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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