TRIPOLI, Libya – Libya's premier has ordered relocation of the headquarters of the state-run oil company to the eastern city of Benghazi, fulfilling a long-standing demand by residents of the region.
Prime Minister Ali Zidan told reporters Wednesday that the decision was not taken under pressure, and that Libya's institutions must be present everywhere across the country.
Benghazi was the birthplace of the uprising that ousted longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. Despite its oil riches, eastern Libya's residents have complained for decades about discrimination by the west, where the capital, Tripoli, is located. There have been Benghazi-based movements to separate from Libya or demand self-rule.
The relocation of the National Oil Corporation and affiliated companies is expected to bring new job opportunities and boost the economic weight of the region.