News and Views [ February 2003 ]

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Friday, 28 February, 2003: India is helping Libya acquire long-range missile capability, says a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report submitted to the United States Congress. According to the report, the suspension of the United Nations sanctions in 1999 has allowed Libya to expand its efforts to obtain ballistic missile related equipment, materials, technology and expertise from foreign sources, which include substantive assistance from India. [Daily Times]
Friday, 28 February, 2003: A total of 13 heads of state will take part in an Arab League (AL) summit slated for Saturday in the Egyptian Red Sea town of Sharm El-Sheikh. The participators will include the leaders of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, Qatar, Morocco, Yemen, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan, Somalia, Jordan and Libya. Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Palestine, Oman, Mauritania, Djibouti, the Comoro Islands and the UAE will dispatch their deputies. [Xinhua]
Friday, 28 February, 2003: Libya's state-run National Company for Supply Commodities has received all offers for a re-tender to buy 120,000 tonnes white sugar and it will decide next week on the result, a senior company official said on Wednesday. "We got all the offers from bidders and now a committee within the company began mulling over the offers in the merits of prices and quality and the decision will be the middle of next week," he said. [Reuters]
Friday, 28 February, 2003: Libya's National Oil Company has lowered most of its March term crude prices 10 cents from February, the company said Thursday. Amna and Sarir were raised by 5 cents and Bouri was left unchanged. [Dow Jones]
Thursday, 27 February, 2003: Eccentric Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi is believed to be paying the salary of Zimbabwe's ambassador to Tripoli, John Mvundura, and rent for both the ambassador's residence and the chancery building, officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Ministry of Foreign Affairs senior secretary Willard Chiwewe however denied that Mvundura was on the payroll of the Libyans, but admitted that Tripoli had provided a car for the ambassador and also paid rent for the chancery building. He said it was Libya's policy to assist African governments when setting up their representative offices in Tripoli. [The Financial Gazette]
Thursday, 27 February, 2003: Relatives of the Lockerbie bomber left their Scottish home yesterday, days before their visas ran out, and returned to Libya to reapply for permission to live in Britain. Under Home Office rules, the family of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi have to return to Libya in order to reapply for leave to stay in the UK. Megrahi's lawyers have complained that this is unfair as it denies him family visits. Al-Megrahi, a senior official with the Libyan secret service, was convicted of the murder of the 270 people who died in the Lockerbie bombing following a year-long trial at the specially established Scottish court in the Netherlands. [The Guardian]
Wednesday, 26 February, 2003: The U.S. will not be satisfied with toppling Saddam Hussein, but also seeks to change other regimes throughout the Arab world. Richard Perle, chairman of the U.S. Defense Advisory Board, said the regimes include those in Iran, Libya and Syria. Perle told Arab journalists during a trip to London last week that the U.S. tactic would differ for each country. Perle, who is close to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, is said to be one of the architects in the Bush administration on the policy of the toppling of the Saddam regime. [World Tribune]
Wednesday, 26 February, 2003: Arabs will go ahead with a summit this week despite a request to delay from Iraq. Libya's representative to the Arab League, Abdel Mun'em al-Honi, told The Associated Press Libya was taking part in the summit but that he was unaware who would lead its delegation. Whether personally or through an envoy, al-Honi said, Qadhafi would offer "some ideas which could resolve the crisis in Iraq." The Egyptian daily Al Ahram reported Tuesday that Qadhafi will propose that Iraq offer a full accounting of its weapons of mass destruction in return for the United States halting plans to launch a military attack. [AP]
Wednesday, 26 February, 2003: Libya's Qadhafi Foundation (QF) has expressed an interest to form a joint venture with the Philippine's National Development Company (NDC) to establish a palm oil plantation in Liguasan Marsh, North Cotabato. Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye said this was signified by Libyan Foreign Minister Abdelrahman Shalgem to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in their bilateral talks during the opening of the two-day 13th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit. QF is headed by the son of Libyan leader Qadhafi. [Asia Pulse]

Tuesday, 25 February, 2003: Canadian soccer hit the jackpot during a recent trip to Tripoli for an exhibition game against Libya. The Feb. 12 game, won 4-2 by Canada, was the most lucrative away match in the history of the Canadian men's team, according to the Canadian Soccer Association. The CSA's chief operating officer, citing confidentiality clauses in agreements, declined to say exactly how much Canada made for the contest. One source familiar with Canadian soccer said he had heard a figure of $500,000 Cdn. Libya provided the CSA with a huge helping hand in funding the $1.2-million national men's team budget for the year. Plus the Libyan federation paid for room and board during the brief stopover in Tripoli. [CP]
Tuesday, 25 February, 2003: Malaysia and Libya have agreed to intervene in peace talks between the Philippine government and separatist rebels, President Arroyo's spokesman said Monday. The offer to help was made when Arroyo held separate meetings with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Libyan Prime Minister Abelrahman Shalgem on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in the Malaysian capital. [Sun Star]
Tuesday, 25 February, 2003: The embassy of Libya in The Gambia has released what it called "forward looking" proposals from Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi aimed at ensuring Iraq's compliance with the international community and preventing a reenactment of the 1991 Gulf war. The Libyan leader's proposals arose out of meetings he held with the Spanish Prime Minister Husey Maria Aznar and other world leaders last week to seek ways of preventing war with Saddam Hussein. Prime Minister Maria Aznar was quoted by the Libyan Embassy in Banjul as informing Qadhafi of meetings held between NATO and the European Council and on going high-level talks between Spain and America aimed at finding a peaceful resolution of the Iraq crisis. [The Independent]
Monday, 24 February, 2003: Africa is racked by war, corruption, AIDS, famine and repression. Yet its leaders do very little to alleviate this situation. Africa's political leaders - with a tiny handful of exceptions - are worthy of little but international contempt. Witness the African Union, the successor to that other most pointless of international bodies, the Organisation of African Unity (whose brotherly members bickered and fought civil wars for four decades). Among the African Union's laudable and yet entirely implausible aims, are a pan-African army, a pan-African currency and the eventual creation of an EU-style superstate on the African continent. The fact that Africa cannot feed or educate millions of its own people seems secondary to such lofty ideals. The brains behind the African Union is Libya's Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. [The Observer]
Monday, 24 February, 2003: Libya and Senegal have signed an agreement to create a joint bank and a deal for the supply to Senegal of advantageously priced Libyan oil, the state Senegalese press agency APS said on Saturday. APS said Libyan Information Minister Said Hafiana's visit to Senegal this week, at the head of a Libyan delegation, had "served essentially to confirm Libya's commitments to supply Senegal with oil products at preferential tariffs". [AFP]
Monday, 24 February, 2003: King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain conferred by telephone with several Arab leaders on the upcoming Arab summit, initially scheduled to take place in Egypt next month. King Hamad had talks with the leaders of Jordan, Libya and Syria and Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. He discussed bilateral relations, the latest regional developments and the issues related to the forthcoming Arab summit. The summit was originally set to take place in Manama on March 24, but it was moved to Egypt due to the escalating Iraqi crisis. [Gulf News]

Sunday, 23 February, 2003: US President Bush said Saturday that Saddam Hussein does not intend to disarm and expressed confidence the UN will approve a new resolution authorizing war against Iraq. Bush spoke with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar at his side, reaffirming his support for Bush's Iraq policy. In recent days, Aznar has tried to expand support for Bush's stance, talking by telephone with other European and Arab leaders, including Libya's Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak. [AP]
Sunday, 23 February, 2003: Libya's minister for African Unity addressed the final session of the African-French summit. Ali al-Traiki (photo) told the summit: "We in Libya have faced terrorism from terrorists supported by the countries who are leading the war against terrorism but these countries refuse to hand them over to us despite our request". He also said: "We need to find an acceptable definition of terrorism which should be differentiated from the right of people to self determination". [JANA]
Sunday, 23 February, 2003: Retired U.S. general Anthony Zinni will meet two Iraqi generals in Athens, Greece, next Wednesday as part of EU efforts to head off a war with Iraq, according to a Greek Sunday newspaper. To Vima, one of Greece's most authoritative newspapers, said in an early copy obtained by Reuters on Saturday that military officials from other Middle Eastern countries, including Libya, would attend the meeting organised by Greek authorities. [Reuters]
Sunday, 23 February, 2003: Twentieth Century Fox is looking for partners to come aboard its expensive "Tripoli [Libya]" project, which is slated to begin shooting on the coast of Morocco this summer. The film "Tripoli" tells the true story of William Eaton, an American who helped the heir to the throne of Tripoli lead an overthrow of a corrupt ruler in the early 1800s. [Reuters]
Sunday, 23 February, 2003: At the summit of the 114-nation Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Malaysia, Iraq failed Friday to persuade Middle Eastern nations to block US access to their ports and airfields. Iraqi diplomats lobbied hard for a declaration that would have forbidden the use of bases for an American-led attack, but Arab states that host US forces blocked the move. The NAM summit's role as a forum for the developing world also suffered from the decision of some key players, including Egypt's Mubarak and Libya's Qadhafi, not to attend. [UPI]
Sunday, 23 February, 2003: Mining giant Anglo American Plc said on Friday it had transferred $35 million to Zimbabwe's forex-strapped state oil company, enabling it to import fuel amidst a crippling shortage. Zimbabwe's fuel crisis intensified late last year when Libya halted shipments due to non-payment and Zimbabwean drivers were stranded as supplies dried up. Anglo spokesman Michael Spicer denied the deal had political overtones after Johannesburg's Star newspaper called it a "bailout" of President Robert Mugabe's government. [Reuters]
Saturday, 22 February, 2003: The trial of six Bulgarian medics in Libya and the Iraq crisis dominated the meeting of Libya's ambassador to Sofia Farag Gibril and the leader of Bulgaria's largest rightist opposition party Nadezhda Mihaylova. Mihaylova notified Tripoli's envoy that her party - Union of Democratic Forces - insists on fair trial of the Bulgarian defendants in the Libyan HIV case. The ambassador assured her that the trial would be transparent and just. [Novinite]
Saturday, 22 February, 2003: Libya organised this week a conference on road accidents and their impact on social and economic conditions in the country. [PANA]

21 February, 1973: A Day To Remember

Friday, 21 February, 2003: Of the 50 or so countries participating in the 22nd Summit of the African and French Heads of State, 23 of them abuse freedom of the press on a daily basis. In these countries, journalists are still being murdered, arrested, assaulted, or threatened, and the media are constantly being censored, seized, or outlawed. Eritrea has the largest prison population of journalists in the world. The second gold medal goes to Libya, which holds the record for the longest-held journalist in the world. Abdullah Ali al-Sanussi al-Darrat has been behind bars since 1973, without being charged or tried. Libyan authorities have never responded to Reporters without Borders' questions concerning the journalist's fate. [Reporters Sans Frontieres]
Friday, 21 February, 2003: A consortium of Libyan and Italian investors are to set up four factories in Namalu subcounty Nakapiripirit district in Uganda. The factories are to process beef, vegetable oil, juice and hides. The Libyans and the Italians are to invest $80 million in this region. The construction of the four factories is to start soon. [The Monitor]
Friday, 21 February, 2003: An American retired Air Force master sergeant was convicted Thursday of offering to sell military secrets to Iraq and China, and jurors are now deciding whether to proceed to a death penalty phase of the trial. Brian Regan was found guilty of two counts of attempted espionage and one count of gathering national defense information. He was acquitted of attempting to provide U.S. secrets to Libya. [CNN]
Friday, 21 February, 2003: Agreements to finance agricultural projects in Sahelian and Saharan countries were signed today between Libya and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The agreements totalled more than $21 million. Dr. Mohamed Al-Madani Al-Azhari, Secretary General of CEN-SAD Community and the Director of the Seeds Centre signed the agreements at the Secretariat of CEN-SAD in Tripoli on behalf of the Government of Libya. [FAO]
Friday, 21 February, 2003: Lee Kreindler, one of the world's top aviation law experts and a leading advocate for air-crash victims and their families, has died, his law firm said on Wednesday. Kreindler's clients included plaintiffs in litigation stemming from the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie; the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800, and the 1998 crash of the Swissair MD-11 airliner. In the Pan Am case, Kreindler was able to get full compensatory damages for passengers' families. In 1996 he sued Libya for its alleged role in the explosion. Libya recently offered to settle the case for $2.7 billion but a final accord has been delayed. [Reuters]
Friday, 21 February, 2003: Informatics is venturing abroad with a strategic alliance with one of Indonesia's top universities. It will conduct IT programmes as part of Mercu Buana's curriculum. This deal comes just a week after announcing plans to expand into Libya. [NewsAsia]
Thursday, 20 February, 2003: Former Libyan spy Yousef Murgham, who was deported from Zimbabwe last August after being declared a security risk by Zimbabwe's premier spy agency, the Central Intelligence Organisation, has not been heard from since he left Zimbabwe, according to his family's lawyer. The Murgham family lawyer, Jonathan Samkange, told the Financial Gazette that his client had not been in touch with his family since he was deported from Zimbabwe. "The whole family is now of the belief that he is dead," he said. [The Financial Gazette]
Thursday, 20 February, 2003: African foreign ministers have reached a consensus supporting France's position on the Iraqi crisis, Libya's Secretary for African Unity Ali al-Triki (photo) said Wednesday. Representing Libya at Africa-France summit due to be held in Paris on Thursday and Friday, al-Triki made this remarks after attending a preparatory meeting of African and French foreign ministers on Wednesday. "Among the participants, there was a consensus supporting the position of France," he said. [Xinhua]
Thursday, 20 February, 2003: Libya has forgiven Uganda a debt totalling US$160 million under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries initiative, Uganda's finance minister Gerald Ssendaula told Parliament yesterday. Ssendaula said Libya had agreed to cancel the debt. [New Vision]
Thursday, 20 February, 2003: Somali President Abdi Qassim Hassan on Tuesday asked the Arab League for financial support for his war-torn country. Hassan said that the Transitional National Government (TNG) does not have the necessary international financial help. The TNG has only received $20,800,000 from three Arab countries. The funds have been provided by Saudi Arabia ($15 million), Qatar ($3 million) and Libya ($2,800,000). [Arab News]

Libyan Doctors Society: Press Release

Wednesday, 19 February, 2003: Libya expressed concern Tuesday that a planned emergency Arab summit on Iraq would take a pro-US line on the disarmament crisis. The summit, for which a date has yet to be confirmed, "will simply play the role of a messenger" to "transmit the words of the aggressor to those aggressed," the official JANA news agency said, in an allusion to the US. The Arab world has been deeply split over US war threats against Iraq as it prepares for the summit, expected to be held in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on February 28. [AFP]
Wednesday, 19 February, 2003: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi (photo) spoke by telephone Tuesday with Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi about Tripoli's proposals to help resolve the Iraq crisis. In a call to Tripoli, Berlusconi said the proposals had been presented to a meeting Monday of the European Union members, who "approved of them", a source was quoted by the official Jana news agency as saying. Berlusconi plans to contact US President Bush and top UN officials regarding Qadhafi's plans. [AFP]
Wednesday, 19 February, 2003: The case against six Bulgarian medics in Libya will most probably continue in March. That emerged after a meeting of Libya's ambassador in Sofia with Bulgaria's parliament speaker on Tuesday. The six Bulgarians are charged with infecting 393 children with HIV in a hospital in Benghazi. Bulgaria hopes that the Libyan authorities transfer the medics' case from Benghazi to Tripoli. [Novinite]
Wednesday, 19 February, 2003: Libya's state-run National Company for Supply Commodities has re-tendered to buy 120,000 tonnes of white sugar, a senior company official said on Tuesday. "We launched the tender yesterday (Monday) to buy 120,000 tonnes of white sugar. We set February 26 as the deadline for the tender," he told Reuters. Analysts and traders estimate Libya's annual import requirements of white sugar at 300,000 tonnes. [Reuters]
Othman el-Barrani's Sabratha Page

Tuesday, 18 February, 2003: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has put forward two proposals to end military preparations for a looming U.S.-led assault on Iraq. Describing Qadhafi's proposals, the official Libyan news agency Jana said: "The first one would be that the UN Security Council or the US takes a decision, if Iraq were to possess weapons of mass destruction and handed them to the inspectors, to end all military preparations for a war." The agency said the second proposal called for new UN Security Council resolution to put Iraqi's suspected military facilities under permanent monitoring by UN inspectors to prevent Baghdad from manufacturing or developing weaponry in return for ending preparations for war. [Reuters]

Monday, 17 February, 2003: Arab foreign ministers' talks in Cairo on Iraq hit a snag yesterday amid discussions on a draft declaration which would call on Arab states to refuse Washington any help for a war on Iraq, Arab League sources said. The sources said traditional US allies such as Egypt and the Gulf states wanted the forthcoming Arab summit to urge President Saddam Hussein to be more cooperative with UN weapons inspections and abide by UN resolutions. However, states which have more troubled ties with Washington, such as Syria, Libya and Sudan, argue that a summit of Arab heads of state would be worthless unless it sent a strong message to the US, rejecting its policies which they say destabilise the volatile region. [Reuters]
Monday, 17 February, 2003: The family of the Libyan man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing are being forced out of their Scottish home because of a visa wrangle, their lawyer claimed yesterday. The wife and children of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who moved to a house in Glasgow last year to be near Barlinnie prison, have been ordered to leave when their visa expires in March. Megrahiís solicitor, Eddie MacKechnie, said immigration officials told the family they could ask for another visitor visa, but they would have to make their application from Libya. Aisha Megrahi (photo) and the couple's five children, aged four to 18, moved to Scotland last June. [The Scotsman]
Sunday, 16 February, 2003: All the indications are that US President Bush soon will press ahead with a war against Iraq, even without UN approval. And once that decision is made, the Bush administration expects many nations to fall in line behind the world's last remaining superpower. US defence minister Rumsfeld said last week that the UN had proved its fecklessness with two recent decisions: the election of Libya, a nation widely criticized for its human-rights record, to head the UN human rights commission, and the selection of Iraq to head the UN Conference on Disarmament, although Iraq said that it would decline the conference's presidency. [KRT]
Sunday, 16 February, 2003: Police today foiled the Communist Party of India (CPI) march to the UN Military Observer Group's office in protest against US war moves against Iraq. The CPI's state secretary, Muhammad Tarigami, who led the rally, was taken into preventive custody alongwith several of his party activists. Addressing the convention, Tarigami said it was Kashmiri people's moral responsibility to raise their voice against the US for her war mongering against Iraq. "We should strongly condemn US aggressive moves", he said, adding, if it was Iraq today, it could be Iran, Libya, North Korea or even Pakistan tomorrow. [GK News]
Saturday, 15 February, 2003: With less than a week before the controversial France/Africa Summit, the French government has revealed that the New Economic Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) will be the main focus. The summit, which has already stirred controversy by the invitation of Zimbabwe's President Mugabe, will also discuss human rights, financial transparency, good governance and respect for the rule of law. France said it had invited most African countries except Somalia. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi was however not invited although Libya was invited as a country. [Zimbabwe Independent]
Saturday, 15 February, 2003: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi said in a television interview Friday Libya would not attend an extraodinairy Arab summit on Iraq called for by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. "We will not attend a summit in this form. I think that Libya will not participate in this summit," he told MBC, an Arab satellite television channel. "The Arabs are going to try to save face (at this summit)," he said, dismissing Arab states as "not capable of opposing America." Earlier Friday, Mubarak called for the Arab League to hold an emergency summit on the Iraqi crisis in the last week of February. [AFP]
Saturday, 15 February, 2003: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi said on Friday a U.S. campaign against Iraq was undermining the global war on terrorism and said Washington should concentrate on bin Laden and not Saddam. Qadhafi also told MBC, an Arab satellite television channel, that he was ready to mediate an end to the crisis in Iraq if Washington gave assurances it would not attack Baghdad. "America has no right... to confront Iraq as if that were its concern. Its concern is bin Laden, not Saddam, and al Qaeda is in Afghanistan, not in Iraq." [Reuters]


Friday, 14 February, 2003: The Libyan government is continuing to develop its missile programme in spite of concern expressed by the US and Britain, according to a senior Libyan source. Libya has Scuds that have a range of up to 350 kilometres (220 miles) and is seeking to extend this to 500 kilometres (310 miles). Libya's sudden admission about its missile programme is part of a campaign by the Tripoli government aimed at avoiding being next in line for US attention after Iraq. "We have nothing to hide," the source said, during an interview in London. The source added: "We have Scuds for 350 kilometres. They need maintenance or they will expire. We will try to develop these but it will not harm Europe or Israel." [The Guardian]
Friday, 14 February, 2003: Bulgaria expects the Libyan authorities to transfer the case of the Bulgarian medics' case from Benghazi to Tripoli. Libya's Justice Minister will most probably soon take decision regarding the transferral, according to Bulgaria's Justice Minister Stankov. Six Bulgarians are charged with infecting 393 children with HIV in a hospital in Benghazi. The Criminal Court in Benghazi, which should hear the case against the six Bulgarian medics is not able to form a panel of judges and that stalls the trial. [Novinite]

Thursday, 13 February, 2003: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi held a long telephone conversation on the Iraq crisis Wednesday. The two leaders "agreed to continue to look for a peaceful settlement" to the crisis, Berlusconi's office said. Qadhafi had said Sunday that he was in favor of Iraq being disarmed, but criticized the U.S. for its plans to invade the "poor and drained" country in a massive military operation. [AFP]
Thursday, 13 February, 2003: Australia sent England crashing to their most humiliating international defeat for 53 years on Wednesday with a 3-1 victory over their oldest sporting rivals. Egypt had two players sent off and crashed to a 4-1 Cairo defeat to Denmark, while Canada beat Libya 4-2 in Tripoli, Tunisia beat Sweden 1-0 in Tunis and Belgium won 3-1 in Algeria. [Reuters]

Wednesday, 12 February, 2003: The US House of Representatives condemned the selection of Libya, "a gross violator of human rights and state sponsor of terrorism," to chair the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. Voting 402-6, the U.S. House passed a resolution Tuesday that expressed dismay with the European Union, whose members abstained from the January 20 vote to name Libyan ambassador Najat al-Hajjaji (photo) as commission chairwoman. The resolution now goes to the Senate. [AP]
Wednesday, 12 February, 2003: Al-Qaeda still poses the greatest threat to the United States, FBI Director Robert Mueller and CIA Director George Tenet told a US Senate panel Tuesday. Though both intelligence officials concentrated on al-Qaeda, they discussed a host of other threats: Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Cuba, South Asia, Libya, Sudan, chronic instability in sub-Saharan Africa and worldwide nuclear proliferation. [NewsMax]
Wednesday, 12 February, 2003: Arabs are highly appreciative of the stand taken by France, Germany, Russia and now Belgium against Washington's proposed attack on Iraq. There is as a result a great deal of goodwill toward the four. Likewise there is a great deal of indignation at the vitriol being flung at them by the US. To compare Germany to Cuba and Libya because, like them, it will not jump to US' commands, is preposterous. To call it and France "Old Europe" was a deliberate insult. To ridicule Belgium because it has had the audacity to join them in blocking NATO defense equipment being shipped to Turkey is downright offensive. [Arab News]
Wednesday, 12 February, 2003: Former African Footballer of the Year, Victor Ikpeba, will soon be on his way out of top Libyan club Al-Ittihad of Tripoli, his one-time club mate Chikelue Iloenyosi has said. "Both Mboma and I have left the club and Ikpeba has also told me he will be leaving very soon," said Iloenyosi. Ikpeba surprised many when he quit Bundesliga club Borrussia Dortmund to team up with the Tripoli club owned by the son of the head of state, Mu'ammar al-Qadhfi. He is believed to have pocketed a little fortune by taking up such a gamble. [This Day]
Wednesday, 12 February, 2003: Participants at a seminar on development policies in Africa, held in the Libyan capital over the weekend, appealed for a review of the terms under which African countries access the debt relief scheme for heavily indebted poor countries. [PANA]

Human Rights Solidarity: Scores Of Detainees Sentenced

Tuesday, 11 February, 2003: The fate of a retired U.S. Air Force sergeant accused of offering to sell military secrets to Iraq, China and Libya was in the hands of a jury Monday after a two-week trial. Brian Regan could be sentenced to death if convicted on three counts of attempted espionage and one count of illegally gathering national security information. [CNN]
Tuesday, 11 February, 2003: The Canadian soccer team will have to do without star striker Tomasz Radzinski, out with a back injury, when it takes on Libya in an exhibition match Wednesday. Radzinski has been replaced by veteran defender Carl Fletcher. [CP]

The home of "Libyan Relief Fund" :

Monday, 10 February, 2003: President Hosni Mubarak met in his seaside retreat Sunday with the leaders of Syria and Libya to discuss making a last-ditch overture to Iraq, which has come under increasing pressure from fellow Arab states who say it could do more to spare the region war. "The aim of the discussions is to make an effort to avoid the option of military conflict," Egyptian Minister of Information Safwat el-Sherif told reporters shortly before Mubarak, Syria's Assad and Libya's Qadhafi began their summit in Sharm el-Sheikh. [The News International]
Monday, 10 February, 2003: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi said Sunday he was in favor of Iraq being disarmed, but criticized the US for its plans to invade the "poor and drained" country in a massive military operation. "America, this superpower, is it not ashamed to mobilize all these forces against a poor and drained country, as if it is aiming to confront China or the (former) USSR under (Nikita) Krushchev? This is madness," Qadhafi told Libyan television. [AFP]
Monday, 10 February, 2003: Visiting Libyan leader, Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and his Eritrean host Issaias Afeworki held their last meeting in Asmara Sunday during which they discussed ways of enhancing bilateral ties between their two countries, official sources said. [PANA]
Monday, 10 February, 2003: Egypt said Sunday that the upcoming summit of the Arab League will not ask Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to resign. The decision against endorsing an earlier call by some Arab nations for Saddam to step down was taken at a summit of Egypt, Libya and Syria in Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday. "I don't think any Arab country would interfere in Iraq's internal affairs," Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Maher told reporters after the mini-summit. "It is the Iraqi people who should decide who rules over their country." [UPI]
Monday, 10 February, 2003: A seminar devoted to "developmental policies in Africa" entered its second day Sunday in Janzour, a western suburb of the Libyan capital, at the initiative of the Libyan academy of Advanced Studies and the French Cultural Institute of Tripoli. [PANA]
Monday, 10 February, 2003: Two of the Bulgarian medics tried in Libya's HIV case told about "tortures" they were put through during the inquest in an interview for the Bulgarian National Radio. Nurses Valya Chervenyashka and Nasya Nenova said they were beaten, tortured with electricity, deprived of food and water. The relatives of the medics now demand that the torture complaints of the detained be tabled in the UN Commission on Human Rights. The chairmanship of the commission was recently taken over by Libya, the relatives reason. [Novinite]
Sunday, 9 February, 2003: American President Bush Monday sought $379.9 billion for the Pentagon in 2004. "It's about $1 billion a day, or $42 million an hour," a senior defense official told reporters in background briefings. It was more than 20 times larger than the combined spending of the United States' most likely adversaries, including the "axis of evil" Iran, Iraq and North Korea, plus Cuba, Libya, Sudan and Syria. [UPI]
Sunday, 9 February, 2003: German Defense Minister Peter Struck said Saturday he had expressed irritation to Donald Rumsfeld over remarks in which the US defense secretary had grouped Germany with Cuba and Libya as countries opposed to war against Iraq. "I informed him that I consider grouping Libya and Cuba with Germany is not very friendly," he said following a meeting with Rumsfeld on the sidelines of an international security conference in Munich. [AFP]

Saturday, 8 February, 2003: The Libyan football federation have announced that Abubaker Bany is the new coach of the national team. Bany succeeds Italian Francesco Scoglio, who was sacked after being involved in a dispute with al-Saadi, Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's son. [BBC]

LLHR: Libya, The UN Commission And The Electoral Process

Friday, 7 February, 2003: As Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld heads for Europe, German officials are criticizing him for remarks to the US Congress yesterday lumping their country with Cuba and Libya as among opponents of a war with Iraq. A senior lawmaker for the Chancellor Schroeder's (GEHR'-hahrd SHROH'-durz) left-leaning Social Democrats says Rumsfeld's remark was unjustified, adding that there is no sympathy whatever for Saddam Hussein. [AP]
Friday, 7 February, 2003: US attorney general John Ashcroft, has overruled his own federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty for 28 defendants, in a drive to spread capital punishment into states that have resisted it. Ashcroft, arguably the most conservative member of a rightwing administration, has also declared he will seek a death sentence for Brian Regan, an intelligence analyst arrested in 2001 for trying to sell secrets to Iraq, Libya and China. [The Guardian]
Thursday, 6 February, 2003: US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld insists the US military won't have to go it alone in Iraq. He insists the number of nations that would provide military support -- even without a second UN resolution -- is not a "trivial" number. But the defense secretary says only a few nations say they won't help in any respect. In that group, he lumps together Libya, Cuba and Germany. Rumsfeld is due to visit Germany on Saturday. [AP]
Thursday, 6 February, 2003: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi arrived in Eritrea on Wednesday where he met President Isaias Afeworki at the start of a four-day official visit. Qadhafi arrived in Eritrea from Djibouti, which he visited after attending Monday's African Union summit in Addis Ababa. In December, President Afeworki paid an official visit to Tripoli. [AFP]
Thursday, 6 February, 2003: US Government prosecutors finished their espionage case against Brian Regan with an FBI code expert explaining how the retired Air Force master sergeant allegedly concealed letters to Iraq and Libya. US District Judge Gerald Lee rejected a motion from defense attorney Jonathan Shapiro to dismiss the charges against Regan. Regan is accused of offering to sell confidential documents to Iraq, Libya and China for $13 million. [AP]
Thursday, 6 February, 2003: Libyan Foreign Affairs Minister Abdelrahman Shalgam has, in an interview Wednesday carried by an Egyptian weekly, reaffirmed that Tripoli has stayed an earlier decision to pull out of the Arab League, opting instead to propose strategies for a revamping of the organisation. [PANA]

Wednesday, 5 February, 2003: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi is offering to mediate between US President Bush and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to try to halt the slide towards a new Gulf war. "I wish I could have the opportunity to talk to these two persons, to address them, President Bush and Saddam Hussein," he said, speaking to CNN television on Tuesday while in Addis Ababa for the summit of the African Union. The US, which regards Libya as a pariah state over its involvement in terror acts, was unlikely to take up Qadhafi's offer. [Reuters]

Tuesday, 4 February, 2003: The first summit of the African Union (AU) has opened in Ethiopia. Libyan leader Qadhafi, whose proposal to create a "United States of Africa" was rejected by AU foreign ministers, arrived with a trademark retinue of several hundred people. Asked how he felt about the US threatening Iraq with war, Qadhafi told Reuters: "It seems that the world we are living in is in a crazy era now, but there's nothing to do, except to take good care." [Reuters]
Tuesday, 4 February, 2003: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi warned Monday that terrorists would retaliate and be victorious if the US attacked Iraq and that Saddam Hussein would rather die than leave his country for exile. "Terrorism will be victorious if you follow... the road of war," Qadhafi told reporters in Adis Ababa when asked about the consequences of such a conflict. Qadhafi stressed however that he counted himself among those opposed to terrorism. [AFP]

Monday, 3 February, 2003: The Criminal Court in Benghazi, which should hear the case against six Bulgarians charged with intentionally infecting 393 Libyan children with HIV, is not able to form a panel of judges. Almost all magistrates in Benghazi knew at least one of the families whose children were infected with HIV. Thus it turned out that there are no suitable, impartial judges to take part in the panel. The chairman of Benghazi Court of Appeals is in a position to approach the Justice Minister with a request for transferal of the case to another town. [Novinite]
Monday, 3 February, 2003: Libyan Oil Minister Abdulhafidh al-Zlitni (photo) has said that OPEC could reduce its oil output ceiling in March if prices are declining rapidly and demand was stable. "If there are signs in March that demand is stable and prices are falling sharply then OPEC will act to reduce production," Zlitni told reporters at an energy and environment conference. He said the market was well supplied and global inventories were building up, setting the stage for a sharp decline in prices. [Reuters]
Monday, 3 February, 2003: Saudi Prince Alwaleed Ibn-Talal, chairman of Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding Company, held a closed-door meeting with Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi - his tenth so far. During his visit, which took place at the invitation of the Libyan leader, Prince Alwaleed met with Dr. Khaled Zantooti, chairman of the Libyan Foreign Investment Company (LAFICO), for talks on joint ventures between the two companies. [Arab News]
Monday, 3 February, 2003: The Libyan government has called for the unity of the mainstream Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The differences of the two groups that politically represent an estimated five million Muslims in Southern Philippines should be resolved before the summit of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) in Kuala Lumpur in October, Libyan Ambassador Salem Adam said during a recent conference of Muslim leaders at the University of the Philippines. [Gulf News]
Monday, 3 February, 2003: Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) informed the Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchanges (CASE) that it has signed an agreement worth US$ 30 million to build a new cement factory in Libya. [Arab Finance]
Tibra Foundation: Tibra Spotlight, February 2003

Sunday, 2 February, 2003: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, held a telephone conversation yesterday after the return of Berlusconi from his official visit to the United States. It was emphasised during the conversation that the Arabs would do all they can to convince Iraq of complying with demands of the UN Security Council resolution 1441 in order to spare the Iraqi people the consequences of military action. [JANA]
Sunday, 2 February, 2003: Libyan Foreign Minister Abdel-Rahman Shalgam said he fully guaranteed that the trial against the six Bulgarian medics in Libya would be fair. "The public opinion in Benghazi will not have influence on the Court," he underlined. Shalgam (photo) surprisingly announced that two Libyan doctors, friends of his, were also in prison in connection with the infection of 393 Libyan children with AIDS. [Novinite]
Sunday, 2 February, 2003: The lawyers of six Bulgarians charged with intentionally infecting 393 Libyan children with AIDS will ask the courts next week to name a date for the new case against their clients. The Bulgarian medics have been detained in Libya for four years. They now live in a house in the suburbs of Tripoli after they were moved from the Judaiyda prison after the interference of Seif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, son of the Libyan Leader Qadhafi. [Novinite]
Sunday, 2 February, 2003: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi arrived in Adis Ababa Saturday for the extraordinary summit of the African Union (AU), scheduled for Feb. 3-4. Before the summit, Qadhafi will pay an official visit to Ethiopia at the invitation of Meles Zenawi, prime minister of the east African country. Qadhafi is expected to hold talks with Meles on issues such as further development of the bilateral relations and those concerning the AU. [Xinhua]

Saturday, 1 February, 2003: The Ethiopian government has encircled the capital of this impoverished nation with hundreds of heavily armed troops in preparation for a special four-day summit of the African Union (AU) that begins [today]. Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, who was the force and the financier behind the transformation of the ineffectual Organisation of African Unity into the AU last year in South Africa, was expected to arrive with an entourage of 400, organisers said. Although the precise number of heads of state scheduled to attend was not available, one absentee was almost certain - President Mubarak of Egypt. [SAPA]
Saturday, 1 February, 2003: Five Dallas-area brothers charged with laundering money for a senior leader of the militant group Hamas pleaded innocent in federal court Friday. U.S. District Judge Jerry Buchmeyer scheduled an Oct. 6 trial for Basman, Bayan, Hazim, Ihsan and Ghassan Elashi. The defendants face charges of illegal exports, making false statements, dealing in the property of a designated terrorist, conspiracy and money laundering. They also face charges of illegally selling computers and computer parts to Libya and Syria. [UPI]
Saturday, 1 February, 2003: Libya has delivered 160 tonnes of relief supplies to help drought victims in several parts of Ethiopia, the Libyan News Agency (JANA) reported Thursday. [PANA]

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