This is historical material “frozen in time”. The website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.

Search form

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Letter -- Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Libya




February 22, 2016

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, 2016.

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 on February 25, 2011, a national emergency to deal with this threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.

The Libyan Presidency Council, established through the U.N.-facilitated Libyan Political Dialogue, is attempting to form a Government of National Accord (GNA), mitigate threats from spoilers and hardliners, and safely seat itself and its cabinet in Tripoli. Holdouts from the General National Congress continue attempts to exercise authority and compete with the GNA for control of Libya's resources. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has also established itself in Libya and increased attacks targeting Libyans and their oil infrastructure. Much of the current conflict is over 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, form a GNA, 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 United Nations Security Council Resolution 2174 in August 2014 to address threats to Libya's peace, security, and stability. In December 2015, we also worked with the U.N. Security Council to pass United Nations Security Council Resolution 2259 to welcome the signing of the Libyan Political Agreement and demonstrate international support for Libya's political transition process. While we work with the international community to identify those individuals that 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 Qadafi's family and other former regime officials. Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to Libya.