President Obama Declares National Emergency with respect to Libya

On February 25, 2011, President Obama issued an Executive Order declaring a National Emergency with respect to Libya.  The Executive Order provides for wide-reaching prohibitions on transactions with the government of Libya and others associated with Colonel Muammar Qadhafi. While all trade with Libya is not restricted, due to the pervasiveness of the Libyan government in its commerce, OFAC officials cautioned the audience at the recent BIS Export Control Forum in Irvine, CA to scrutinize any transaction with Libya very carefully before proceeding.

In addition, President Obama sent a letter to Congress on the matter and issued the following statement:

"The Libyan government's continued violation of human rights, brutalization of its people, and outrageous threats have rightly drawn the strong and broad condemnation of the international community. By any measure, Muammar el-Qaddafi's government has violated international norms and common decency and must be held accountable.  These sanctions therefore target the Qaddafi government, while protecting the assets that belong to the people of Libya.

Going forward, the United States will continue to closely coordinate our actions with the international community, including our friends and allies, and the United Nations. We will stand steadfastly with the Libyan people in their demand for universal rights, and a government that is responsive to their aspirations. Their human dignity cannot be denied."