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Monday, February 23, 2015

PRESIDENT ISSUES LETTER REGARDING CONTINUATION OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO LIBYA

FROM:  THE WHITE HOUSE
February 23, 2015
Letter -- Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Libya

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date.  In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13566 of February 25, 2011, with respect to Libya is to continue in effect beyond February 25, 2015.

Colonel Muammar Qadhafi, his government, and close associates took extreme measures against the people of Libya, including by using weapons of war, mercenaries, and wanton violence against unarmed civilians.  In addition, there was a serious risk that Libyan state assets would be misappropriated by Qadhafi, members of his government, members of his family, or his close associates if those assets were not protected. The foregoing circumstances, the prolonged attacks, and the increased numbers of Libyans seeking refuge in other countries caused a deterioration in the security of Libya, posed a serious risk to its stability, and led me to declare a national emergency to deal with this threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.

The violence that has spread throughout the country, resulting in the evacuation and temporary relocation of U.S. Embassy personnel, demonstrates the continued insecurity and threat to regional stability caused by the ongoing conflict in Libya.  Much of the current conflict is over power and access to Libya's resources, and we run the risk of further destabilization if sanctions do not remain in effect.  We continue to encourage Libyans to engage in dialogue and cease violence.  Those that reject dialogue and obstruct and undermine Libya's democratic transition must be held accountable, which is why we worked with the U.N. Security Council to pass U.N. Security Council Resolution 2174 in August 2014 to address threats to Libya's peace, security, and stability.  While we work with the international community to identify those individuals who pose a threat to Libya's democratic transition, we must also continue to ensure that the appropriate sanctions remain in place.

The situation in Libya continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and we need to protect against the diversion of assets or other abuse by certain members of Qadhafi's family and other former regime officials.  Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to Libya.