Monday, April 4, 2011

U.S. Frees Libyan Defector's Frozen Assets

The Obama administration sweetened the pot for a major defector from Moammar Gadhafi's regime, releasing recently frozen assets for the former Libyan foreign minister and sending a message to others considering bolting from the fracturing government.

The Treasury Department announced today on its blog it has taken Musa Kusa's name off the list of Gadhafi family and associates whose financial assets were frozen last month.

"One of the intended purposes of sanctions against senior officials in the Libyan government was to motivate individuals within the Gadhafi regime to make the right decision and disassociate themselves from Gadhafi and his government. And today’s announcement shows the ability of sanctions to advance our national security and foreign policy goals and objectives," wrote David Cohen, acting under secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence.

"Kusa's defection and the subsequent lifting of sanctions against him should encourage others within the Libyan government to make similar decisions to abandon the Gadhafi regime," Cohen added.

The Obama administration froze the assets of Libyan officials ahead of air strikes against Gadhafi's military and strategic communications targets.

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