Seven countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Turkey, announced their support for the National Oil Corporation (NOC) of Libya's UN-backed government as the sole legitimate authority for the country’s energy sector, a joint statement issued by the UAE, Turkey, France, Germany, Italy, Britain and the U.S. said on Sunday.
"We fully support Libya's NOC as the country's sole independent, legitimate and nonpartisan oil company," the statement read.
"Now is the time to consolidate national economic institutions rather than break them apart. For the sake of Libya's political and economic stability, and the well-being of all its citizens, we exclusively support the NOC and its crucial role on behalf of all Libyans," it said in the statement.
The statement came after Khalifa Haftar, commander of the eastern Libyan forces, appointed parallel board last week for Brega Petroleum Marketing Company (BPMC), a local unit of the NOC.
Last week, the NOC condemned the appointment of a parallel board for BPMC and defined it as an attempt to divide the country and set up an illegitimate entity to export oil.
The UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) accuses the UAE of supporting Haftar's forces, which Abu Dhabi has previously denied on several occasions.
The oil-rich country has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a NATO-backed uprising after four decades in power.
Libya has seen an emergence of two rival seats of power: One in the east to which Haftar is affiliated, and the Tripoli-based GNA, which enjoys UN recognition.
By Busranur Begcecanli