On Monday, the European Union (EU) imposed sanctions on three Turkish, Kazakh and Jordanian companies for violating the UN arms embargo on Libya.
The EU top diplomats, during their meeting today in Brussels, also decided to freeze the assets of those companies in the EU as well as cutting them off from EU finance markets and barring them from doing business with anyone in the bloc.
According to the report, the sanctions also targeted two individuals, which include asset freezes and travel bans.
Turkey backs the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), which had been fighting against the Libyan National Army (LNA) until a recent ceasefire, and has been accused by European powers of escalating the conflict with military aid and the transfer of foreign fighters to Libyan soil.
The EU has a naval mission operating in waters off Libya which is tasked with policing the embargo and collecting intelligence on violators, but Monday’s measures are the bloc’s first independent sanctions related to the conflict.
Libya has endured almost a decade of violent chaos since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
But there have been signs of progress, with representatives from the two sides meeting for peace talks in Morocco after last month announcing a surprise ceasefire and pledging national elections.
“After many months I see a reason for cautious optimism. There is a positive momentum, there is a ceasefire and we need to use it,” EU diplomatic chief Josep Borrell said as he arrived for the foreign ministers’ talks.