US resumes normal relations with Libya
Libya-USA, Politics, 5/16/2006
The US resumed normal relation with Libya after many years of trying to isolate Libya and cutoff of relations that were the result of US assertions of Libya's involvement in terrorsit acts against the US, by Libya targeting a US soldiers' visited club in Germany, and 1988 bombing a Pan_AM plane over lockerbie, Scotland.
A US bombing raid on Libya in 1988 aimed at killing the Libyan leader Muammar al-Qathafi resulted in killing the daughter of the Libyan leader.
Later, the US received money compensation from Libya for the families of those killed in the plane incident. Now, Libya is demanding compensation from the US as a result of the the US bombing of Libya.
US Secretary Of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday in a statement that the United States soon will re-establish full diplomatic relations with Libya. Rice said the decision was because of Libya's decision to renounce terrorism and close down its programs for production of weapons of mass destruction.
Rice said "Today marks the opening of a new era in US-Libya relations that will benefit Americans and Libyans alike," adding that in the immediate term, the United States would re-open its embassy in Tripoli and remove Libya from the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism. In addition, the United States no longer will cite Libya as a country not fully cooperating with US-led counterterrorism efforts.
Libya will be removed from the list of terrorism sponsoring country whenever this report is set to be released, whose date has not been set yet, the US Department Of State said.
The Department Of State spokesman yesterday said that with respect to Darfur, Sudan " we did engage with the Libyans and try to encourage them to -- encourage, use whatever leverage they might have with various parties to bring them to the table and get them to sign an agreement."
Rice said this should be an an example for others calling on Iran and North Korea to follow the steps of Libya.
Rice said "today's announcements open the door to a broader bilateral relationship with the United States that will allow us to better discuss other issues of importance. Those issues include protection of universal human rights, promotion of freedom of speech and expression, and expansion of economic and political reform consistent with President Bush's freedom agenda."
A Washington Post report quoted Henry Crumpton, the State Department's counterterrorism coordinator, saying Libyan cooperation had greatly improved and that "They have made direct and important contributions to our national security."
In reaction to the announcement, Libya said in reaction that "This is an important step to promote bilateral relations between the two countries and to develop them in all fields to serve the interest of both sides and promotes peace stability and security in the world."
In March of this year, the US Department of State human rights report, while noting "some improvement occurred during the year", described Libya as "an authoritarian regime," adding that the following human rights problems were reported in Libya:
• inability of citizens to change the government
• poor prison conditions
• arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention
• lengthy political detention
• denial of fair public trial
• infringement of privacy rights
• severe restriction of civil liberties freedom of speech, press, assembly, and association
• restriction of freedom of religion
• corruption and lack of government transparency
• societal discrimination against women, ethnic minorities, and foreign workers
• trafficking in persons
• restriction of labor rights
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Qathafi receives two US Congressmen
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