Italy may unfreeze 2.5 billion euro of Libyan assets

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Italy is planning to release 2.5 billion euros ($3.6 billion) of Libya's assets and transfer it to the rebel government, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said on Saturday.

Italy is planning to release 2.5 billion euros ($3.6 billion) of Libya's assets and transfer it to the rebel government, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said on Saturday.

Italy, once Libyan closest partner in Europe, froze about 7 billion euros of Libyan assets after the UN imposed sanctions against Muammar Gaddafi's, who was toppled last week after the 42 year-reign.

Frattini said the assets could be unfrozen within one or two weeks after the UN sanctions committee's approval is received.

Earlier on Saturday the chairman of Libyan National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil said that China was blocking the release of Libyan frozen assets.

France had already pledged to unblock 5 billion euros for the Transitional Council out of Libya's French-based 7.6 billion euros.

According to French authorities, Gaddafi's government reportedly has total of 50 billion euros in assets all over the world.

Earlier on Thursday, Russia, along with other 60 countries, recognized the Libyan National Transitional Council as the only legitimate power in the country.

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