Libyan National Oil Corp. director Shokri Ghanem has left Libya and
arrived in Europe. Ghanem, a former prime minister, said he defected because
of what he termed "unbearable" violence by the Gadhafi regime.
"I have been working in Libya for so many years believing that we can
make a lot of reform from within," Ghanem told a news conference in Rome on
June 1. "Unfortunately this became not possible, especially now, when we see
the spilling of blood every day in Libya."
Also In This Edition
[On late June 4, six explosions ripped through the Libyan capital of
Tripoli. Minutes later, Libyan television reported a NATO air strike as the
Western alliance began using helicopters against the Gadhafi regime, Middle East Newsline reported.]
The former oil chief said production in Libya was rapidly declining amid
the international embargo on the Gadhafi regime. Ghanem said he envisioned
the ouster of Gadhafi, who has ruled Libya since 1969.
Ghanem was believed to have been one of the most senior officials to
have defected. For years, he was responsible for setting Libyan energy
policy and negotiating exploration and development contracts with Western
"I left the country and decided also to leave my job and to join choice
Libyan youth to create a modern constitutional state respecting human rights
and building a better future for all Libyans," Ghanem said. "Our best youth
and our best men getting killed."