Italy, US eye trust fund for Libya rebels

May 4, 2011

, ROME, May 4 – Italy and the United States could set up a trust fund to help finance the uprising in Libya, an Italian business daily reported on Wednesday, a day after rebels said they needed up to three billion dollars.

Italy has already drawn up a plan for a fund that would be "under US supervision and control but with the governance entrusted to people from the Italian banking system," Il Sole 24 Ore said, without citing its sources.

The fund would "receive deposits of the regime of (Moamer) Kadhafi that are emerging and that have been frozen based on UN and EU decisions," the report said, referring to the billions of euros (dollars) in blocked assets.

The interest from the deposits, which would include oil revenue from fields and installations in eastern Libya, would go to the rebels, the report said.

"The US and Italy are apparently the first countries ready to move in this direction," it said, adding that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi would discuss the fund at a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday.

International powers including all the countries taking part in a NATO-led campaign against Kadhafi\’s regime meet in Rome on Thursday for talks on aiding Libya\’s opposition and trying to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

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