Libya announced its landmark deal on weapons of mass destruction in a statement, obtained by the Guardian. The following is an edited version
Saturday December 20, 2003
After an agreement was reached regarding the Lockerbie case, the Libyan side ascertained that there wasn't a secret agenda on the American and British side against Libya and was assured of their good intentions towards Libya.
This encouraged Libya to go forward and open the remaining files of mutual concern, beginning with weapons of mass destruction in which the American administration and the British government were continuously asking Libya to cooperate. They are looking for transparency and confirmation that Libya has no such weapons. They want to know the size and nature of the Libyan programme in this field.
For this reason, the British prime minister was continuously sending letters and personal envoys who met with the leader Muammar al-Gadafy and asked him for cooperation because this will open horizons of collaboration and enable Libya to obtain defensive weapons.
And they promised that Libya would get great economic benefits. Libyan students will be able to obtain admission to western universities to study in fields previously restricted for them. This will speed up the restoration of American- Libyan relations ... and improve them.
Coordination took place between the Libyan Intelligence, the CIA and MI6 which required calling for experts from the three agencies to examine and discuss the nature of those programmes and to help Libya to prepare its files before entry into international treaties that prevent the proliferation of biological chemical and nuclear weapons.
Some of the [Libyan] programmes were identified by these experts as dual use or that they might lead to military use. We confirmed together that they would be under international supervision owing to the fact that Libya will be a party to those treaties and therefore they will not be used except for civilian purposes.
This regards the equipment that can have dual use or research that might lead to obtaining weapons, or military tasks.
The work has been concluded since three months. It began last March and since between one month and two weeks it was decided that the task was finished and the countries agreed to announce the completion of this job.
Muammar al-Gadafy ... confirmed that the circumstances [of announcing the breakthrough] may not be suitable as a result of the situation in Iraq and elsewhere, but the British prime minister, Tony Blair, and the American president, George Bush, insisted that the time had come to announce the news, for this will be considered a success for the Libyan, American and British diplomacy ...
They urged the leader Muammar al-Gadafy to announce that now, even though they are aware of the sentiments of Arab and Islamic states.