United Nations: The United States and South Africa reached a deal to let the UN Security Council release USD 1.5 billion of seized Libyan assets for emergency aid, diplomats said.
    
Thursday’s last-minute accord, meant the United States would not press for a vote at the Security Council to force the release of the money.
    
"There is an accord, there will not be a vote and the money will be unblocked," a diplomat close to the talks said.
    
South Africa had been blocking the move at the UN sanctions committee on Libya for more than two weeks because it said channeling the money through the rebel government could imply recognition of the National Transitional Council (NTC).
    
Neither South Africa nor the African Union has yet recognized the Libyan opposition administration, whose supporters have now taken much of Tripoli as it seeks to definitively take power from Muammar Gaddafi.
    
The USD 1.5 billion is held by the United States, which wants to send USD 500 million to international humanitarian groups, USD 500 million to the NTC to pay for salaries and essential services and USD 500 million to an international fund for Libya to pay for fuel and other emergency items.

(Agencies)