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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

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


January 13, 2017

Dear Mr. Speaker: (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, 2017.

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 Government of National Accord (GNA), which was established through the Libyan-led and U.N.-facilitated Libyan Political Dialogue, has sought to bolster its support in Libya but continues to face obstacles from spoilers and hardliners. The House of Representatives in eastern Libya, which the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) stipulates should function as the GNA's legislature, continues its attempts to compete with, rather than work with, the GNA. GNA-aligned forces, backed by air strikes and intelligence support from the U.S. military, successfully ousted the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from Sirte; however, ISIL and other terrorist groups continue to pose a threat to Libyan stability as well as U.S. and allied interests outside Libya. Recent clashes between militias highlight the continued threat of violence in Libya and the potential for renewed fighting over the country's resources, and we run the risk of further destabilization if sanctions do not remain in effect.

We continue to encourage all 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 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 in order to welcome the signing of the LPA and to demonstrate international support for Libya's political transition process. We will continue to work with the international community to identify those individuals that pose a threat to Libya's democratic transition and 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.