NEWS: GJW aims to avert more sanctions on Libya

Lobbying firm GJW is working for the Libyan government in a bid to fight further sanctions, it emerged this week.

Lobbying firm GJW is working for the Libyan government in a bid to fight

further sanctions, it emerged this week.



The work is being handled through a separate company - GJW International

- set up in June. GJW Holdings, the parent company of GJW Government

Relations, is the major shareholder along with Zainab Tawdrous, a PR

consultant specialising in the Middle East. At least two other lobbying

firms are understood to have been approached to work for the Libyans in

May of this year. Both turned it down.



Last week GJW co-founder Andrew Gifford, who is also chairman of

lobbyists’ industry body the APPC, told PR Week that the firm had, on

its own initiative set up a lobbying group comprising around a dozen UK

companies trading in Libya. The aim, he said, was to protect upwards of

pounds 180 million worth of British exports to Libya from the threat of

tougher sanctions.



Current UN sanctions - imposed in 1992 because of Libya’s failure to

hand over suspects in the Lockerbie bombing - are restricted to the arms

and airline industries and to the supply of equipment for the oil

industry.



Asked whether the Libyan government was funding the group, Gifford was

vague. Later he called to clarify that the firm did have a separate

contract with the Libyan government for ‘monitoring and advice’ via a

Libyan-owned bank.



The DTI confirmed this week that GJW is not breaking any sanctions by

working for the Libyan government.



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