News and Views [ July 2004 ]

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Saturday, 31 July, 2004: A prominent U.S. Muslim activist admitted to being involved in a Libyan plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's de facto leader and pleaded guilty on Friday to illegal financial dealings with Libya. Abdurahman al-Amoudi, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Eritrea, pleaded guilty to three charges as part of a plea deal with the government. Under the deal, al-Amoudi faces a maximum sentence of 23 years in prison and the remaining 31 charges against him are dropped. Al-Amoudi admitted to contacting Saudi dissidents in London on behalf of some Libyan government officials who wanted them to kill Saudi prince Abdullah. FBI officials have said that al-Amoudi told them the plot was approved by Libyan leader Qadhafi. [Reuters]
Saturday, 31 July, 2004: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi said Friday he was opposed to a Saudi proposal to send an Arab or Muslim force to strife-torn Iraq. "Arab or Muslim forces should be sent only if the occupation forces pull out and are replaced by forces authorised by the UN," said Qadhafi in comments published by the Jana official news agency. "Otherwise the (Arab and Muslim) forces would also become occupation forces," he added. US Secretary of State Colin Powell on Thursday said he welcomed the Saudi proposal of dispatching Arab or Muslim troops to Iraq to serve either as part of the US-led multinational force or separately. [AFP]
Saturday, 31 July, 2004: An appeals court in Washington Friday refused to dismiss a suit against Libya for the kidnapping and murder of a U.S. citizen in Lebanon. The U.S. government negotiated for Kilburn's release. But in April 1986, U.S. warplanes struck Tripoli for Libya's involvement in the bombing of a Berlin nightclub that killed two U.S. servicemen. Libya then announced it wanted a U.S. hostage to murder for the airstrikes. A Libyan-supported terror group paid $3 million for Kilburn and subjected him to torture. His body was found along a road outside Beirut with those of two British hostages. Kilburn's brother sued Libya and Iran for damages in the US court. [UPI]
Saturday, 31 July, 2004: Mobile phone users in Africa are being encouraged to send text messages in support of a women's rights petition. Campaign groups are pressing leaders to ratify the African Union (AU) Protocol on the Rights of Women. A year after being adopted by the AU, just three countries have ratified the protocol. Comoros, Libya and Rwanda have given their backing to the protocol, which is designed to guarantee women's rights to health, education and justice, as well as protection against violence. [BBC]
Saturday, 31 July, 2004: Question: Mr. Powell, could you please shed some light on the recent activities regarding Qadhafi's attempt to assassinate Crown Prince Abdullah. How does that affect the relations between Washington and Libya? [U.S. Secretary of State] Powell: We are very concerned about these reports, and we are examining them. I have had conversations about the subject with the Foreign Minister. And, the Libyans, of course, have a different story. We are examining this ... the relationship [with Libya] will not be fully normal until it is absolutely clear that Libya is no longer participating in any kind of terrorist activity. So, we take these charges very seriously, and we are gathering all the information we can. We will take it all into account as we determine how fast or how to move forward with our relationship with Libya. [Al-Ikhbariya]
Friday, 30 July, 2004: Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Thursday Israel would only reconsider the need for its "deterrent capability" when there is a comprehensive Middle East peace and its neighbors abandon WMDs. International experts estimate Israel has an arsenal of 100 to 200 warheads. Sharon noted that longtime foe Libya had agreed to rid itself of WMDs and Iran has come under international pressure to come clean on its atomic program. [Reuters]
Friday, 30 July, 2004: North and West African leaders and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have made a fresh appeal for at least US$ 58 million to tackle growing locusts swarms, that threaten to decimate crops across the region. The request came after a two-day meeting of FAO officials and government ministers from Algeria, Chad, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal and Tunisia. [UNIRIN]

Thursday, 29 July, 2004: The family of the disappeared Shiite imam, Sheikh Musa Sadr, has filed a complaint against the Libyan leadership for kidnapping the Imam in 1978 and forging evidence of his presence in Tripoli. The move might compromise Lebanese-Libyan relations, especially in light of the fact that Tripoli cut diplomatic relations with Lebanon in Sept. 2003 and imposed economic sanctions. Sadr disappeared along with two of his companions, Mohammed Yaacoub and Abbas Badruddine, 26 years ago, while on an official visit to Libya. [Daily Star]
Thursday, 29 July, 2004: Libya has begun delivery of its fleet of mothballed Mirage fighter jets to Pakistan, which plans to cannibalize the Libyan planes to keep its own Mirages aloft, Pakistan Air Force officials said today. Libya agreed to sell its Mirages to Pakistan at a "very reasonable price" earlier this month. "The spares will undergo a detailed testing process before being used," the official said. "Both countries have already worked out the modalities for the planes, which are presently being refurbished by Lockheed Martin company in the U.S.," an official said.[DPA]
Thursday, 29 July, 2004: The Italian branch of Amnesty International sent an appeal to Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to spare the life of the five Bulgarian nurses sentenced to death. Amnesty International also asked for an immediate suspension of the death verdicts of the five Bulgarian women and the Palestinian doctor. The international organization urged the Libyan authorities to abandon their vicious practice of isolating all detainees. Libya should also ban torture practices that are no crimes under the Libyan law. [Novinite]
Thursday, 29 July, 2004: Ministers from nine African countries are meeting to decide a plan of action as millions of locusts loom over the region, poised to annihilate its crops. The ministers will review national strategies at a conference in Algeria, before drawing up a region-wide plan. The worst locust plague in 15 years has spread from Morocco to Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. The meeting brings together agriculture ministers from countries already battling the locust plague and from states where the threat is drawing closer - Chad, Libya, and Tunisia. [BBC]

Wednesday, 28 July, 2004: Bulgaria has rejected a proposal to settle the fate of five nurses sentenced to death in Libya for infecting children with the HIV virus. The Bulgarian foreign ministry said Tuesday a proposal from Libyan Foreign Minister Abdelrahman Shalgham that Bulgaria reach a settlement with the families of the children was unacceptable. Bulgaria says the nurses are innocent of all charges and therefore there is nothing to negotiate. [UPI]
Wednesday, 28 July, 2004: Turkish Foreign Ministry has sent a protest note to Libya over an article posted on al-Qadhafi web site, which denounced Turkey's aspirations for full EU membership. "It is in Turkey's economic interest to be part of Europe. It is also in the interest of the Muslim world that an Islamic nation like Turkey is within the EU, as a Trojan horse... But the thing that Europe will never be lenient on or adventurous about is to let Turkey be a Trojan horse," the site says. According to Turkish newspaper Vatan, citing a Libyan official, the article reflects Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's personal opinion rather than Libya's official stance. [Novinite]
Wednesday, 28 July, 2004: In its latest success in moving from pariah state to international respectability, oil-rich Libya on Tuesday was accepted as a candidate for membership in the World Trade Organization. WTO members agreed unanimously to allow Libya to start negotiations on membership in the body that sets global rules on international trade. The process likely will take several years. Libya first applied for membership in December 2001, but the issue has never been formally put to the WTO before because it was clear that the United States would oppose the request. Under WTO rules, all decisions are made by consensus. [AP]
Wednesday, 28 July, 2004: Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer says federal police are investigating an alleged terrorist cell in Melbourne. Two newspapers have reported that the Tawhid Islamic Group, which claims to be Al-Qaeda's European branch, has a cell that regularly meets in inner-city Melbourne. The group posted an online notice on the weekend threatening to turn Australia into "pools of blood" if Australian troops are not withdrawn from Iraq. Downer says the group has institutional links with a similar organisation in Libya. [ABC]
Wednesday, 28 July, 2004: The Maghreb Arab Union (UMA) is to hold a summit in Libya after the five member states agreed to no longer condition a reactivation of the UMA to the Western Sahara dispute, Libya's foreign minister said Monday. Abdelrahman Shalgham, without giving a specific date, announced at a Tripoli press conference "the holding this year in Libya of a summit of the UMA", which groups Libya with Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. The last UMA summit was held in Tunis in 1994. [MEOL]

Tuesday, 27 July, 2004: The World Trade Organization (WTO) looks certain to agree Tuesday to open accession talks with Libya, marking a further step in Tripoli's drive to normalize its international relations, diplomats said. Libya's application to join the Geneva-based trade body has been put on the agenda of the executive Council for the first time since it was received in 2001, which is a clear sign there is no longer any opposition, they added. [Union-Tribune]
Tuesday, 27 July, 2004: Libya, which has sentenced to death five Bulgarian nurses, proposed Monday negotiations about their fate with the families of children they were accused of infecting with the HIV virus, the AFP reported. "We suggest that the Bulgarians negotiate with the families of the victims and if the families are inclined to do this, we'll approach a solution to the problem," the agency quoted Libyan Foreign Minister Abdelrahman Shalgham as saying. [BNN]
Tuesday, 27 July, 2004: Libya expects to reach a deal with Germany in the next few days on compensation for victims of a 1986 nightclub bombing, Libya's foreign minister said on Monday. German and Libyan officials failed to agree on the payouts in May because of a "significant gap" over the amounts. "There are talks about figures over the compensation. I expect that we'll reach a solution, not within the next few weeks but within the next few days," Libyan Foreign Minister Abdelrahman Shalgam told reporters. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 27 July, 2004: Libya warned that a non-African military deployment in Darfur to combat the humanitarian crisis in the strife-torn region of western Sudan could provoke an "explosive" situation. The crisis in Darfur is "very dangerous", Foreign Minister Abdelrahman Shalgam told a press conference, while criticising what he called "the US and Western escalation" in calling for foreign intervention. "We reject any foreign military presence down there, apart from within the framework of the African Union (AU)," Shalgam said. [AFP]
Monday, 26 July, 2004: [Qadhafi's son] Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi has announced the establishment of The Sirte Forum which will be specialized in evaluating the development and encouraging creativity in Africa. During the opening ceremony, which was attended by Libya's prime minister, minister of energy and minister of finance, Saif al-Islam said forums are popular in the west and Africa could not ignore them. The new forum is partnership between Libya, South Africa and Gabon, with a capital of a 1 billion Euro. [LJBC]

Sunday, 25 July, 2004: North Korea (DPRK) today rejected a US suggestion that it follow the example of Libya and abandon its nuclear weapons programmes. Calling the American proposal "nothing but a sham offer", Pyongyang reiterated that it would freeze its nuclear facilities as a first step toward their dismantling, but only if Washington provides energy aid, lifts economic sanctions and delists N. Korea as a sponsor of terrorism. The North Korean spokesman called the US proposal "little worthy to be discussed any longer”. He said: “The USA is foolish enough to calculate that such mode imposed upon Libya would be accepted by the DPRK, too." [AP]
Sunday, 25 July, 2004: Observers in Tripoli have criticised moves towards a defence and military pact between France, Spain, Italy and Portugal on the northern shores of the Mediterranean and Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia on the southern end within the '4+3' entente of the four European and three Maghreb countries. A senior editor at the Libyan news agency (JANA), which generally reflects the official line in Tripoli said the move was a blow to other forums in the region, notably the '5+5' Dialogue and the Arab Maghreb Union. [Angop]
Sunday, 25 July, 2004: The U.S. is actively cooperating with the Bulgarian authorities in the case of the five Bulgarian nurses sentenced to death in Libya. Upon his arrival from the US Foreign Minister Solomon Passy revealed that he has been informed on the actions undertaken by Washington during his visit to the US. Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor accused of deliberately infecting Libyan children with HIV were sentensed to death on May 6. [Novinite]

Saturday, 24 July, 2004: A gathering for Libya's Jews called on the Libyan government to facilitate the return back "of the Libyan Jews" who were forced to migrate before and after the launching of September revolution in 1969. The representatives of the Libyan Jews in Britain called in a press conference held in London for establishing a Jewish - Arab partnership on the ground of mutual interests and to forget the hatreds of the past. [Arabic News]
Saturday, 24 July, 2004: Libya may struggle to hit its ambitious oil production growth targets in coming years, even with the imminent return of U.S. companies to its oil sector, industry analysts said on Friday. Libya's oil company wants to boost oil output from around 1.5 million barrels per day now to 2 million bpd by 2010. But high decline rates at Libya's state-owned fields, the uncertain condition of fields U.S. companies left behind in 1986, and notorious government bureaucracy, are making some analysts skeptical of the country's output targets. [Reuters]
Saturday, 24 July, 2004: Chevron-Texaco officials have met with Libyan oil executives in Tripoli in recent months to discuss the possibility of investing in the former pariah state's oil and natural gas industry, a company spokesman said. "We have had more than one trip to Tripoli by our executives, where they met relevant Libyan officials," Andy Norman said. "We are really increasing our knowledge of what potential there could be for us further down the road." [AP]

Friday, 23 July, 2004: "... We have received reports that Eritrean [refugees and asylum seekers] in Libya are currently being held in Kufra, Misurath, and Tripoli in anticipation of mass deportation to Eritrea. We strongly urge the Government of Libya to respect its obligations under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (which Libya ratified in 1989) ... As a party to the Convention, Libya has an obligation not to return any person to a place where they face torture or ill-treatment". [HRW]
Friday, 23 July, 2004: The Libyan bank of commerce and development will open a new bank for children in an attempt to help them learn how to deal with bank services. The director of the bank, Jamal Abdulmalik, said the new bank is the first of its kind in Libya and it aims at promoting children's understanding so that they can deal easily with bank services. He said that a playground will be built beside the bank in addition to an internet café. [MenaReport]
Friday, 23 July, 2004: In presence of the the Secretary of Economy and Trade, the third meeting of the joining of Libya to the World Trade Organization (WTO) took place in Tripoli Saturday. The Secretary of Economy and Trade has indicated that this meeting takes place ten days ahead of the meeting of the WTC Council to study the request by Libya to join the organization. [Liquid Africa]
Friday, 23 July, 2004: Tarek Hassan Beck, member of the management committee of Libya's National Oil Company (NOC) said that NOC will invest US $30 billion for development of the Libyan oil sector and to duple the production and exporting of oil quantity. [Liquid Africa]
Thursday, 22 July, 2004: Italy's government has said up to two million Africans and Asians immigrants are in Libya waiting for illegal sea passage to Europe, the BBC said, citing a statement Italian Interior Minister Pisanu made to Parliament. Pisanu was reporting to parliament on the expulsion of 37 Ghanaian and Nigerian asylum seekers who sought political asylum in Italy earlier this month on false claims they were Sudanese refugees from Darfur. [Bloomberg]
Thursday, 22 July, 2004: Libya captain Tarek El-Taib (photo) has joined Gaziantepspor of Turkey from Tunisia's Sfaxien for a fee of US$1.2 million. The talented midfielder has ended speculation over his future by signing a three-year deal with the Turkish club. "After more than five years with Tunisian clubs, I was determined to search for a new destination," said El-Taib, who has played for leading Tunisian sides Club Africaine, Etoile Sahel and Sfaxien. [BBC]
Wednesday, 21 July, 2004: The case of suspected al-Qaeda member Ibrahim Tantoush was postponed in the Pretoria magistrate's court on Tuesday. Tantoush, who is facing possible extradition to Libya, was arrested in Pretoria in February for allegedly being in possession of a fake South African passport. The case was provisionally postponed to Nov. 17, as the prosecution was still waiting for presidential permission to accede to Libya's extradition request. [SAPA]
Wednesday, 21 July, 2004: Is Libya the new Iraq? When Petroleum Intelligence Weekly, an influential energy industry newsletter, posed that question recently, the answer was clear. Many multinational oil companies, previously enamored of Iraq, have shifted their focus in the near term to Libya now that it is shedding its pariah status and their frustrations have increased in Iraq amid growing security fears and uncertainty over that country's investment climate. [HT]
Wednesday, 21 July, 2004: A vanguard of American lawyers, bankers and consultants has traveled to Tripoli to evaluate Libyan opportunities. Many of them are focused on expectations that Libya plans to offer as many as 11 new oil exploration blocks this month to foreign companies, in the first opening of the nation's oil fields available to Americans since 1981. [HT]
Wednesday, 21 July, 2004: Libya holds useful lessons as the U.S. and South Korea pursue their shared goal of peacefully eliminating North Korea's nuclear weapons programs, the top U.S. disarmament diplomat said in Seoul. Bolton said he hoped his visit would forge a coordinated approach to disarming Pyongyang. "We've had some successes in that area in the case of Libya renouncing the pursuit of WMDs in a very significant step forward," said Bolton. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 21 July, 2004: Libya's central bank - aiming to spur and broaden its oil-based economy - has cut its key lending rate by two percentage points to three per cent, government officials said yesterday. Libya wants to draw investment to areas outside the oil industry and rebuild an economy hit by three decades of isolation. [Gulf Daily News]

Tuesday, 20 July, 2004: More than 100 leaders representing companies and organisations from throughout the US packed a conference room at the JW Marriott in downtown Washington, on July 14 to July 15 for a forum on Libya described by USA Today as "the first conference here in more than two decades on US investment ... in Libya." Following last week's conference, which was designed to provide an introductory framework for doing business in Libya, New Fields will hold the 2nd Libya-US Enterprise Conference on Sept. 29 to Sept. 30 in Washington, DC. The September conference aims to explore the Libyan market for specific industries. [ENO]
Tuesday, 20 July, 2004: Libya has ignored scientific facts and credited mistranslated evidence to sentence to death five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor it convicted of infecting hundreds of children with the AIDS virus, Nature magazine reported. [BNN]
Tuesday, 20 July, 2004: Norsk Hydro, the Norwegian energy and aluminium group, reported a sharp increase in second-quarter earnings and unveiled a new joint venture with Germany's Wintershall covering energy exploration and production in Libya. Norsk's increased focus on Libya will help clarify its future strategy in the face of dwindling North Sea oil and gas reserves. Kjetil B. Solbraekke, head of business development in Hydro, said Hydro would act as operator for discoveries in offshore Libya while Wintershall would handle any discoveries onshore. [FT]
Tuesday, 20 July, 2004: Libyan Ambassador to the Philippines Salem Adam met with leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Saturday in an undisclosed place in Maguindanao. Adam, who met with MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, vice-chair Abdulaziz Mimbantas and other MILF officials, expressed confidence the formal peace talks between the Philippine government and the MILF will resume next month in Kuala Lumpur. [Minda News]
Tuesday, 20 July, 2004: Al-Saadi, the son of Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, the Libyan dictator, might invest in Liverpool. Sources close to al-Saadi say he is a keen admirer, in particular of Michael Owen. Al-Saadi is believed to have visited Anfield and his interest in investing in the Merseyside club has been increased following the failure of Liverpool to attract funding from Thailand. Al-Saadi led Libya's unsuccessful bid to stage the 2010 World Cup. Last week his desire to host the 2008 African Nations Cup was also unsuccessful with Ghana defeating Libya. [Telegraph]
Tuesday, 20 July, 2004: Statoil is one of several Norwegian companies that want to establish itself in Libya. It will most likely bid on new exploration areas. "We have among other things established whether or not we can operate in Libya in accordance to our ethical guidelines, and it appears as if we can," said Kai Nilsen, head of information at Statoil, to NTB. [TV2-NO]

Monday, 19 July, 2004: Malta's newly appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Michael Frendo, went to Libya on an official two-day visit. This was Frendo's first bilateral visit in Libya. The main themes on the agenda were the bilateral topics of interests between Malta and Libya. Frendo was also to meet the Maltese community in Libya and was to inaugurate a new showroom in Tripoli which was invested in by Maltese investors and Libyans. [Malta-Media]

Sunday, 18 July, 2004: Libyans say they were frustrated by Qadhafi's eccentric belligerence during the long years of isolation. "Of course we were angry about it, but what could we say? Criticising the regime is the most stupid thing you can do," said Omar, 35, a Libyan businessman. While Libyans say the mookhabarat, or security services, have relaxed their grip on Libyan society, a modicum of Qadhafi worship is still compulsory. "If you open a clinic or a shop, and they see you don't have a picture of Qadhafi on the wall, you're screwed," said Omar. [The Age]
Sunday, 18 July, 2004: With average salaries standing at 200 dinar ($A207) a month, a pitiful amount for average families with 12 children or more, some express anger at the regime's use of Libya's oil wealth. "(Qadhafi's) sons are driving around in Ferraris and they fly their friends to the desert in private jets, but what can we say? We just have to look and shut up," said Omar. "It would be fine if he took the oil and we could still work. But change has to come from the inside, too. We need taxes to be lower and salaries to be raised," he said. [The Age]
Sunday, 18 July, 2004: Colonel Qadhafi's "blood stained money" is not welcome at Crystal Palace Football Club, fans warned today. Supporters reacted angrily to reports the reformed Libyan leader wants to buy the newly-promoted London club. Fans at Palace say the memories of Lockerbie, in which Libyan terrorists blew up Pan Am Flight 103 killing some 270 people, were still raw. Gordon Law, editor of the Holmesdale Online Palace fan website, said: "Around 90% of fans would not want him any where near the football club". [The Scotsman]
Sunday, 18 July, 2004: Libya has agreed to give the U.S. two more months to ease the remaining US economic sanctions on Tripoli and drop it from the US state sponsors of terrorism list, US officials said on Friday. Under the new deadline Washington has until Sept. 22 to take both steps or the families of the 270 people who died in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing will see their potential $10 million payments from Libya cut. Libya initially set a deadline of April 22 for both steps, then extended it to July 22 and has now agreed to extend it to Sept. 22. [Reuters]
Sunday, 18 July, 2004: On the first French Libyan seminar on wheat and bread in Tripoli; France expressed her desire to resume selling wheat to Libya. The French national professional office said that French wheat production is 36.3 million tons this year. [Liquid Africa]

LHRS: The Case Of Ibrahim Tantoush

Saturday, 17 July, 2004: Libya lashed out at U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell for describing the regime of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi as authoritarian and undemocratic. Libyan Foreign Minister Abdelrahman Shalqam Friday issued a statement saying his country will file suit against Powell for slander, libel and insult on behalf of the Libyan people and its leadership. He said Powell's comments reflected his ignorance of the existing democratic system in Libya. [UPI]
Saturday, 17 July, 2004: Libyan leader Qadhafi could buy promoted English premier league soccer club Crystal Palace, The Guardian newspaper reported on Saturday. It said Qadhafi, who owns a 7.5 percent stake in Italian club Juventus, has not made an offer yet but has shown interest in the small south London club. "I've been told that Qadhafi and his son (Al-Saadi) are interested in acquiring Palace," the Guardian quoted the club's chairman Simon Jordan as saying. [Reuters]
Saturday, 17 July, 2004: Libya is interested in strengthening ties with Russia, President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov of the Russian internal republic of Kalmykia told a press conference at the Interfax main office on Friday. Ilyumzhinov met with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi in Tripoli in July during the world chess championship. The Libyan leadership fully supports the strengthening and expansion of ties between the two countries," Ilyumzhinov said. [Interfax]

Friday, 16 July, 2004: Despite the recent easing of U.S. economic sanctions against Libya, U.S. businesses face numerous obstacles to investing in the North African nation. Among them: Libya has required foreign companies that want to set up branch offices to sign a letter certifying that they have no business dealings with Israel. U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce William Lash says he raised the issue with the Libyans in June and they gave him verbal assurances that the Arab boycott would not be a hurdle for U.S. companies. [USA Today]
Friday, 16 July, 2004: US Vice President Dick Cheney cannot escape his past. The US Treasury Department recently began an investigation into the activities of oil giant Halliburton in Iran during the time it was headed by Cheney ... In the early 1990s, Halliburton was found to be in violation of federal trade barriers for supplying Libya and Iraq with oil drilling equipment, which could be used to detonate nuclear weapons. Halliburton Logging Services, a former subsidiary, was charged with shipping six pulse neutron generators through Italy to Libya. [Arab News]
Friday, 16 July, 2004: Libya has agreed to open a new aid corridor across the Sahara Desert to speed up the delivery of relief supplies to Darfur, Sudan. Under the agreement with the World Food Programme, the first road convoy will make the 3,000 km - journey next month. The first shipment of wheat flour, from Switzerland, is expected to arrive in the Libyan port of Benghazi in early August. From there it will be taken to the border area between Chad and Sudan. [BBC]
Thursday, 15 July, 2004: US President Bush at Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin rally: "... Three years ago, Libya was spending millions to acquire WMDs. Now thousands of Libya's chemical munitions have been destroyed. Libya has given up nuclear processing equipment, and the American people are safer for it ... Three years ago, the dictator in Iraq had the capability of producing WMDs. And now that dictator faces justice, and the American people are safer for it. We will finish the work of democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq ... Free societies are peaceful societies." [PRN]
Thursday, 15 July, 2004: Tony Blair yesterday accepted responsibility for any mistakes made "in good faith" over the use of intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war. But he stood by the decision to go to war. "I cannot honestly say I believe getting rid of Saddam was a mistake at all ... "Had we backed down in respect of Saddam, we would never have taken the stand we needed to take on WMD, never have got progress on Libya ... and we would have left Saddam in charge of Iraq, with every malign intent and capability still in place and every dictator with the same intent everywhere immeasurably emboldened." [The Scotsman]
Thursday, 15 July, 2004: The Middle East Association (MEA) and Compass Rose International announced a two day conference and networking event in Libya on 12th and 13th October 2004. This will be held in Tripoli, and follows the success of the visit of the MEA trade mission to Libya and the seminar held in London with Denton Wilde Sapte. "Libya – Opportunity and Challenge" will equip delegates with the insight needed to seize opportunities in this market. [Mena Report]

Wednesday, 14 July, 2004: Uzbekistan's Rustam Kasimdzhanov has won the World Chess Federation Championship in the Libyan capital. In a dramatic final in Tripoli, he beat England's Michael Adams in the two rapid tiebreakers 1.5 to 0.5, after the first six games ended in a 3-3 draw. The tournament has caused controversy, as some see it as a ploy by Colonel Qadhafi to end his country's isolation. Most of the world's top players boycotted the championship. [BBC]
Wednesday, 14 July, 2004: Three days after a scathing Senate report on the U.S. intelligence used to justify the war, President Bush ... defended [his] decision to oust Saddam Hussein from Iraq. "Because the Libyan government saw the seriousness of the civilized world, and correctly judged its own interests, the American people are safer," Bush said. Democrats charge that Libya's decision to relinquish its weapons is the result of years of negotiations, started under President Clinton in the 1990s, and not a consequence of the Iraq war. [CBS]
Wednesday, 14 July, 2004: Close on the heels of purchase of 50 Mirage combat jets from Libya, Pakistan is mulling another deal to buy 28 aircraft from Tripoli. "The two sides have had many rounds of talks" on purchasing the additional aircraft, which are in a semi-operational condition, a senior defence official told IANS. The Libyan Air Force initially wanted to retain these Mirages but the F-1 level upgrade proposed by the French was proving too costly. Besides, with sanctions against Tripoli lifted, the Libyan government would rather opt for modern fighters. [IANS]
Wednesday, 14 July, 2004: Britain has been quietly moving toward selling military systems to Libya. British industry sources and officials said contractors have been discussing the prospect of selling weapons to Libya. The process could take a year before the first contracts would be signed. The British effort seeks to focus on the transfer of dual-use aviation. Officials said they could include the upgrade of airports and training of Libyan military and security officers. [MENL]

Tuesday, 13 July, 2004: President George W. Bush said he made the right decision to invade Iraq last year, and offered Libya's agreement to stop building weapons of mass destruction as evidence of progress in the war on terrorism. "Although we have not found stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, we were right to go into Iraq," Bush, 58, said after touring Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, where Libya's weapons are now being stored. [Bloomberg]
Tuesday, 13 July, 2004: The battle for the chess world championship got under way in Libya Monday between a Britain's Michael Adams and Uzbekistan's Rustam Kasimdzhanov. Adams, 32, hopes to become Britain's first world chess champion in the deciding game of the Fide world championship final in Tripoli. With eight of the world's top 10 players missing from this year's tournament, this could be his best chance to win the title, the Telegraph reports. [Big News]
Tuesday, 13 July, 2004: Libyan strongman Qhadafi's government convinced New York city officials to drop more than $28 million in back property taxes against its diplomatic headquarters — only to later renege on its end of the bargain. Libyan officials refused to pay a dime in taxes, claiming that U.S. sanctions first imposed by President Reagan kept them from ever using the 24-story building at 309 East 48th St. as commercial property. Three mayoral administrations refused to buy the argument. But the Bloomberg administration sat down with Libyan officials and the U.S. State Department, and then allowed Libya to get off the hook. [NY Post]

Tibra Spotlight, July 2004

Monday, 12 July, 2004: A Libyan man captured in Afghanistan and held at Guantanamo Bay must challenge his detention in federal court in Washington D.C. rather than California, a federal court in San Francisco has ruled. The case, brought by Belaid Gherebi on behalf of his brother Falen, was transferred to federal court in Washington, D.C. by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court ruled that the Washington, D.C. district court was the appropriate venue for claims brought against the government by non-citizens being held outside the US. [Reuters]
Monday, 12 July, 2004: In the category of never-say-never, the Bush administration has reestablished diplomatic relations with Libya after 24 years of hostility. This improbable exchange of olive branches is what foreign policy wonks call "realpolitik." But Libya remains a dictatorship with a poor record on human rights. And recently, Qadhafi has shown disturbing flashes of his old self. In April, he suggested if things didn't go his way he might revert to terrorism; and there are allegations that last year he might have plotted to kill Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. [RMN]

Sunday, 11 July, 2004: US President Bush will highlight the war on terrorism Monday during a visit to the government's nuclear weapons and research complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. Details of the visit were pending, but Bush is expected to see where nuclear weapons equipment from Libya is being stored. The Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, the nation's principal storehouse for weapons-grade uranium, received the first 55,000-pound shipment from Libya in March as part of an agreement with Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to give up Libya's nuclear weapons program. [AP]
Sunday, 11 July, 2004: An attempt by the airline Pan Am to sue Libya and its agent who was convicted of the Lockerbie bombing was delayed yesterday. The case, in which Pan Am is seeking more than £200 million in damages, was called at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Scotland, but postponed until November. Abdelbaset al-Megrahi (photo), 52, a former Libyan intelligence officer, is serving a minimum of 27 years in prison after being convicted in 2001 of the Lockerbie bombing. Pan Am is suing for $375 million for the destruction of its Boeing 747 jet, the loss of revenue and the damage to its business reputation which is said to have contributed towards the airline's demise. [The Scotsman]
Sunday, 11 July, 2004: The Qadhafi International Foundation for Charity Associations, headed by Seif al-Islam, son of Libyan leader Qadhafi, has pleaded for the release of the Bulgarian hostages in Iraq. The foundation issued a statement calling on the Iraqi insurgents to release the two Bulgarian hostages, out of humane and not political reasons. We have noted a change in the behaviour of the Bulgarian government and its contingent mission in Iraq, whose presence aims at the restoration of the country, the statement reads. [Novinite]
Sunday, 11 July, 2004: The President of Ghana, J.A. Kufuor, has been endorsed by the African Union (AU) to chair a six-member committee of African Heads of State to study a Libyan proposal on the adoption of common defence and security policy for Africa. At the AU session currently under way in Addis Ababa, Libya was rather pushing for the adoption of common defence and security policy. It is not clear whether it is the same as the proposal for the creation of unified defence force which was rejected at the special session of the AU in Libya. [Ghana Web]
Sunday, 11 July, 2004: A Libyan man, who claims to be a tourist in Malta, has been accused of threatening to kill a man while holding him against his will last Saturday. Ashref Mohammed Ahmed Aroud, 22, from Paceville, was accused of holding his landlord, Pierre Caruana, against his will between 2 and 8pm last Saturday. Aroud pleaded not guilty of threatening Mr Caruana with stones or other hard objects by throwing them at him. Defence attorney Dr Martin Fenech told the court that the accused rented his flat from Mr Caruana and that it was Mr Caruana who had entered Aroud's residence on the day in question. [The Independent Of Malta]

Saturday, 10 July, 2004: Ghana was chosen Thursday to host the 2008 African Nations Cup in a vote by the Confederation of African Football's executive committee. Ghana got nine of 12 votes cast, with Libya picking up the remaining three. It's the fourth time Ghana has been chosen to host the event, following its staging of the tournament in 1978 and 1963 and co-hosting the 2000 cup with Nigeria. Tunisia will host the 2004 tournament and Egypt will host the event in 2006. [AP]
Saturday, 10 July, 2004: The U.N. food agency said on Friday it was close to signing a deal with Libya to transport urgent food aid to 150,000 refugees who have fled to Chad to escape fighting in neighbouring Sudan's Darfur region. "In July we will try to reach one million and 1.2 million by the end of August," World Food Programme (WFP) spokesman Simon Plus told a briefing. Janjaweed Arab militias have driven non-Arab villagers off their land in Darfur in what U.S. officials have described as a campaign of ethnic cleansing. [Reuters]
Saturday, 10 July, 2004: An investigation of the black market supplying countries wanting nuclear arms has spread to more than 20 firms - some of them North American - the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief said on Friday. A senior diplomat identified one of the firms as US based. The diplomat also said the Syria and Saudi Arabia are also being investigated as possible buyer nations, beyond Iraq, Iran, Libya and N. Korea. [Daily Times]
Saturday, 10 July, 2004: The U.S. supports requests by Libya and Albania to extend deadlines for destroying chemical weapon stockpiles, says U.S. Ambassador Erik Javits. Both countries must still meet the Chemical Weapons Convention's (CWC) final deadline of April 29, 2007. Javits also offered U.S. support for Libya's request to convert its Rabta chemical weapons production facility to peaceful purposes, even though the CWC's deadline for completing such work expired more than a year ago. [USInfo]
Saturday, 10 July, 2004: Libyan sources in railways project mentioned that there is international competition for execution of railway project which is considered the second strategic Libyan project after the Great Man Made River project. 10 companies submitted offers for import of railways lines for the first stage of the railways project. [Liquid Africa]
Saturday, 10 July, 2004: Grandmaster Michael Adams of England struck back with vengeance, crushing GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan in the third game of the finals in the 17th World chess championship in Tripoli, Libya, on Thursday. The match is now down to last three games and Kasimdzhanov will have white in two of them. Ideally the Uzbek is the favourite now but chess pundits believe that this one will be extended till the tie-break. [PTI]

Friday, 9 July, 2004: Libya has threatened to bomb Chad rebels unless they give up a key terror suspect, the rebels say. Ammari Saifi is accused of leading a group which kidnapped 32 European tourists in Algeria last year. "The Libyan secret service gave us 48 hours to hand [him] over ... or said we will suffer the full wrath of Libya's armed forces," a rebel spokesman said. Saifi allegedly leads the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), which is blamed for abducting the tourists, many of them Germans, and which is also allegedly linked to al-Qaeda. [BBC]
Friday, 9 July, 2004: Liberia and Libya are calling on every country in Africa to demonstrate a spirit of good neighborliness. The call was made Tuesday when Chairman Gyude Bryant paid a courtesy call on Ambassador Mohammed Talbi at the Libyan Embassy in Monrovia. The two sides discussed wide range of issues including investment and economic development. [The News]
Friday, 9 July, 2004: Two British adventurers driving a 1954 Morris Oxford from Oxford, England, to Oxford, New Zealand, have found that Middle East conflict and politics can complicate overland travel in the troubled region. Tim Nicholson and Joanne Bowlt said during a stop in Cairo that they needed escorts across Algeria and Libya - for security reasons in Algeria and due to government restrictions in Libya. [Daily Times]
Friday, 9 July, 2004: A major concert in support of the five Bulgarian nurses sentenced to death in Libya will be organized in London on August 7. Bulgaria's mega stars Lili Ivanova and Vasil Naydenov will also participate in the concert. Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were accused of deliberately infecting children with HIV and were sentenced to death. [Novinite]

Thursday, 8 July, 2004: Insurers for the former American airline PanAm began legal moves in a Scots court today against the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing. PanAm lost £282 million as a result of the 1988 bombing, which killed 270 people. The airline has now gone out of operation, but its insurers are trying to recover some of the money from the man found guilty of the outrage, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. He is serving a 27-year sentence in Barlinnie Prison, Glasgow. Lawyers are also hoping to win damages from Khalifa Fhima, the Libyan who was acquitted at Camp Zeist, Holland, of carrying out the bombing. [Herald & Times]
Thursday, 8 July, 2004: Ghana or Libya will be named as hosts of the 2008 African Nations Cup. A three-man delegation spent four days in each country last month to inspect stadia and hotels, plus medical, transport and telecommunication facilities. The candidates will give 30-minute presentations at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) headquarters on the outskirts of Cairo Thursday before the 13-member committee votes. A CAF official speaking on condition of anonymity predicted a close contest with at least seven votes needed for success and he said Libyan promises to pump millions of dollars into new stadia could sway delegates. [AFP]
Thursday, 8 July, 2004: Ethiopia and Libya were involved in a tug-of-war on Tuesday over which country should be the headquarters of the continent's main political organisation. Addis Ababa has offered land worth over $50 million to the African Union, in what diplomats said was a counter to Libyan leader Qadhafi's pledge of free residential houses to AU staff aimed at enticing the headquarters to his country. The tussle was taking place on the sidelines of the African Union's annual summit, being held in the Ethiopian capital Tuesday through Thursday. [Reuters]
Thursday, 8 July, 2004: A federal jury returned guilty verdicts on a combined 25 counts against five brothers accused of illegally shipping computer equipment to the Middle East. The brothers -- Ghassan, Basman, Bayan, Ihsan and Hazam Elshai -- faced more than two dozen counts of shipping computer equipment to Libya and Syria. Other charges included conspiracy and money laundering. The FBI raided the brothers' Richardson, Texas, USA, business one week before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The brothers were arrested in December 2002. [NBC]
Wednesday, 7 July, 2004: England's No 1 Michael Adams is one match away from becoming the first British player to be officially crowned chess world champion. However yesterday's opening round of his six-game series against Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan failed to follow the reliable formula which has enabled the 32-year-old Cornishman to knock out six opponents in the $1.5m (£815,000) International Chess Federation (Fide) contest in Tripoli, Libya. Kasimdzhanov, 24, who has beaten three top seeds, switched from his trademark counterpunch strategy to a solid Sicilian Defence, where his bishop and knight neutralised Adams's initiative. Adams proposed a draw at move 18, which the man from Tashkent snapped up. [The Guardian]
Wednesday, 7 July, 2004: A French attorney says Arab countries are contributing to Saddam Hussein's legal defense fund. Emmanuel Ludot -- one of 21 members of Saddam's legal team -- says "diverse aid and diverse gifts" have already been donated. He refused to specify how much money has been collected so far. But he did say some of it has come from Libya and other Arab countries. He also says Col Qadhafi's daughter has offered "logistic and financial aid." [AP]

Tuesday, 6 July, 2004: Brahim Tchouma, an official in exile for the rebels' Movement for Justice and Democracy in Chad, denied a widely cited report Sunday that Libya had captured two members of [the Algerian Islamic militant group; the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat] in the Chad rebels' own regional base, as detailed in the French Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper. The newspaper claimed Salafists there were planning terror attacks on French and U.S. interests in Africa. "That's a joke, but nothing coming from Libya surprises us," Tchouma said. [AP]
Tuesday, 6 July, 2004: Rebels holding the Sahara's most-wanted surviving terror suspect accused Libya on Monday of spoiling a deal to surrender the Islamic extremist to the West. Amari Saifi, the former No. 2 man of Algeria's violent Salafist Group for Call and Combat, was claimed captured by Chad rebels earlier this year as West African armed forces backed by France and the U.S. chased him across the Sahara. Chad rebels told The Associated Press on Monday they had turned over two of Saifi's accomplices to Libyan agents on June 25. Libya, however, had failed to keep its word to turn over the two men to the West, Brahim Tchouma, an official in exile for the rebels' Movement for Justice and Democracy in Chad, told the AP by telephone. [AP]
Tuesday, 6 July, 2004: Calling it a "tale of horror," a UN-sponsored war crimes court opened the first trials Monday for rebel military commanders accused in a vicious 10-year campaign for control of diamond-rich Sierra Leone. Onlookers in the tightly guarded courtroom muttered as the court detailed the allegations in an 18-count joint indictment: systematic killings, rapes, enslavement of child soldiers and mutilation with machetes. Prosecutors also described a network of foreign backing for the rebels, including training and forces from Liberia's then-president Charles Taylor and Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. [AP]
Tuesday, 6 July, 2004: The parliamentary wing of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) urged Libya on Monday not to execute six foreign medical workers convicted of infecting children with AIDS. A resolution before OSCE parliamentarians said confessions had been extracted from the accused under torture. "It would set back all that the Libyans have been trying to do in the last 12 months" to rebuild links with the West if the executions went ahead, said Bruce George, president of the parliamentary assembly of the 55-member OSCE. Bruce George also chairs the defence committee of Britain's House of Commons. [EUBusiness]
Tuesday, 6 July, 2004: Lawyers who say they represent Saddam Hussein have gone to Libya. The daughter of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi announced last week that she's joining Saddam's defense team. And three Jordanian lawyers who claim to represent the ousted leader are due in Libya today for a two-day meeting with her. The group's aim is to coordinate Saddam's defense strategy and form a team of legal experts to help in the defense. [AP]
Tuesday, 6 July, 2004: Pakistan has acquired 50 Mirage-3 and Mirage-5 fighters, 150 engines and innumerable spares for the aircraft from Libya in a cash deal whose value has not been specified. The aircraft and equipment have begun arriving by transport planes and some would come by ship, The News reported Monday. Most of the aircraft will be stripped down to provide spares for the Pakistan Air Force's existing fleet of Mirage-3 and Mirage-5 fighters. [IANS]
Monday, 5 July, 2004: Libyan secret services have discovered a desert operations camp belonging to a hardline Algerian Islamic militant group linked to al-Qaeda. The Frensh newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, quoting a source close to the counter-espionage services of a European country, said Libyan agents found the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat camp 10 days ago in the mountainous region of Tibesti, which spans Libya's southern border with Chad. [Reuters]
Monday, 5 July, 2004: Talks between Germany and Libya on compensating people injured in the 1986 bombing of a Berlin nightclub have been delayed again, a lawyer for some of the victims said yesterday. The request for a delay came from the Qadhafi Foundation, chaired by Libyan leader Qadhafi's son Saif al-Islam, lawyer Ulrich von Jeinsen said in a statement. The bombing of the "La Belle" discotheque, which was frequented by US servicemen, in then West Berlin killed two GIs and a Turkish woman and injured more than 250 people. [Gulf Daily News]
Monday, 5 July, 2004: Libya's state-owned Tam Oil Co has bought the Niger unit of US oil major ExxonMobil Corp, in the first such deal following an end to US sanctions on Tripoli, a Tam executive revealed. Exxon Mobil in Niger operates a network of service stations, as well as having a contract to provide 50 percent of the fuel at the airport in the capital, Niamey, and all of the fuel sold at the Agades airport. [AFP]
Monday, 5 July, 2004: Libya has already begun exporting oil to the United States, Libyan Prime Minister Shokri Ghanem announced. Speaking at a news conference following a meeting with US and British financial experts in Tripoli late Friday, Ghanem said Libyan-American relations have improved. "Many of the obstacles between Libya and the US have been removed and many problems between us solved," Ghanem said. The announcement comes less than a week after Libya and the United States resumed direct diplomatic ties. [Khaleej Times]

Sunday, 4 July, 2004: Libyan officials are expected to stay away from a major conference on international terrorism being held in Edinburgh, Scotland, this week. An invitation had been extended to Libya to take part in the convention following Prime Minister Blair's historic handshake with Col Qadhafi in Tripoli earlier this year. The annual meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of Organisations for Security and Co-operation in Europe will see representatives from 55 countries come to the capital tomorrow. The invitation to top Libyan politicians and security chiefs caused controversy because of their previous sponsorship of terrorism. [The Scotsman]

Saturday, 3 July, 2004: First, US President Bush hailed the political handover in Iraq as a giant step toward democracy for the entire Middle East. Then, his administration announced it was resuming diplomatic ties with Libya -- a country ruled for 35 years by a dictator, Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi (photo). Democracy may be the US administration's hope for the region. But for today -- as the warming of relations with Libya makes clear -- it still gets trumped by security concerns in the war on terrorism. [AP]
Saturday, 3 July, 2004: The daughter of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi will help defend Saddam Hussein in court, a Jordanian lawyer and member of the legal team representing the former Iraqi dictator said Friday. Aisha al-Qadhafi (photo) will form a team of Libyan law experts team to defend Saddam Hussein, Ziad al-Khasawneh told The Associated Press. "The daughter of the Libyan president is welcomed to join us, and we consider her as an official member of the team," he said. [AP]
Saturday, 3 July, 2004: Libyan Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem (photo) said that just under half of 360 state firms earmarked by the government for reform had already been privatised. "Libya has begun the process of developing the private sector," said Ghanem after meeting British and US economic experts taking part in a conference in the Libyan capital devoted to developing the country's economy. "One hundred and sixty public companies have been transferred to the private sector and major international firms have been invited to take part in this privatisation," he said. [AFP]
Saturday, 3 July, 2004: Eminent American and British economic experts gathered in Tripoli, Libya's capital, to inaugurate discussions and planning for a new economic framework for Libya. The agenda for the two-day session (July 1st and 2nd) included a focus on content, timing, methodologies, goals and especially priorities for Libya, whose economic and political rapprochement with the U.S. has been moving forward over the last months. [CERA]
Saturday, 3 July, 2004: Germany and Libya are to resume compensation talks Monday for victims of a 1986 disco bombing in West Berlin. The main difference will be the amount of money to be paid to about 160 German victims in the blast, German News Agency DPR quoted a lawyer for the victims as saying. The Libyan side has offered some 25 million dollars in compensation which is "woefully inadequate," lawyer Stephan Maign said. In 2001, a Berlin court ruled Libya's secret service was behind the terrorist attack. [Xinhua]
Saturday, 3 July, 2004: The Lyamec Corporation, a U.S.-based investment related franchise and merchandising agreement corporation, and the U.S.-Libyan Business Council (USLBC), today announced their joint efforts to promote and facilitate a three-part series in Libya for Fact Based Communications (FBC). FBC is scheduled to air the series during the first week of July in 90 countries, and in 16 languages. The series will broadcast on more than 20 different channels including CNBC-Europe, PBS, and Euro-News. [PRN]
Saturday, 3 July, 2004: Both the Semi-finals played between British grandmaster Michael Adams and Teimour Radjabov and top seed Veselin Topalov and Uzbek grandmaster Rustam Kasimdzhanov at the 17th World Chess Championship in the Libyan capital Tripoli today ended in draws. None of the players were eager to take any risk of attacking their respective opponents and accepted draws gladly. [UNI]
National Review On Line: Same Qadhafi

Libyans Protest In London In Pictures

Friday, 2 July, 2004: In December 1988, Husain al-Shafei (photo) was a 20-year-old student at a technical institute in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city. In Qadhafi's Libya, students ... must attend mandatory sessions on why the political philosophy of [Qadhafi] is the only acceptable ideology, superior to democracy. When the speaker asked his captive audience if they had any questions, al-Shafei stood up and said "Libya is not democratic. We should have [political] parties and an open media. We should negotiate with different groups and discuss ideas." Less than two weeks later, Libyan police surrounded al-Shafei's home, arresting him. Hooded, they hustled him onto a military flight and took him to Tripoli's notorious Abu Salim prison. [NRO]
Friday, 2 July, 2004: Speaking in the White House on March 12, US President Bush noted the release of Libyan dissident Fathi El-Jahmi (photo), and said, "You probably have heard, Libya is beginning to change her attitude about a lot of things." Well, maybe Libya has changed her rhetoric, but not her attitude. Speaking in Cairo on March 24, Saif Islam al-Qadhafi, the Libyan strongman's son, lectured Arab governments about democracy. "Instead of shouting and criticizing the American initiative, you have to bring democracy to your countries," Saif said. But, as Saif spoke, Libyan security forces surrounded the home of El-Jahmi, shortly thereafter arresting him, his wife, and his son. [NRO]
Friday, 2 July, 2004: The appeals against the death sentences of the five Bulgarian nurses in Libya will be filed in the Supreme Court of Libya on Monday. This was announced by the Libyan lawyer of the Bulgarian medics Osman Byzanti (photo). Monday is the deadline for appealing of the sentences, issued on May 6, 2004. The five Bulgarians were visited in prison by lawyers Georgi Gatev, Harri Haralampiev and Plamen Yalnazov. [The sixth defendant] Dr. Georgiev, who wasn't issued a death sentence, met the nurses and gave them a new air conditioner in the al-Judeida prison in Tripoli. [FIA]
Friday, 2 July, 2004: Cyprus and Libya have signed an agreement to promote and protect investment, which is expected to contribute more to furthering bilateral relations and creating a favourable climate with a view to increasing the sense of security and development of investment between the two countries. The agreement was signed yesterday, an official announcement said today, at the Libyan Foreign Ministry by Cyprus' Ambassador in Tripoli Argyros Antoniou and by Libyan Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Taher Siala. [CNA]
Friday, 2 July, 2004: Libya has offered her help to end the humanitarian crisis and restore stability in Sudan's war-torn western region of Darfur. Al-Rai Al-Aam said Qadhafi's envoy Abubakr Younis Jabir, in Khartoum for celebrations for the 15th anniversary of Omar al-Beshir's seizure of power in a coup, delivered the offer in talks with the president Wednesday. At least 10,000 people have been killed in Darfur since fighting broke out in February 2003, when black African rebel groups rose up against the Arab and Muslim government in Khartoum. [AFP]
Friday, 2 July, 2004: BAe Systems has launched negotiations for the sale of aircraft to Libya. Industry sources said Libya has expressed strong interest in both civilian and military aircraft from BAe. The sources said BAe has advanced in negotiations to sell civilian jets and airport upgrades to Libya by the end of 2004. BAe, which has confirmed the contacts with Tripoli, was expected to be among the first British contractors to sign deals with Libya as part of a U.S.-approved effort. BAe has acquired British government permission to offer Libya more than 30 civilian aircraft, including the Airbus. BAe holds a 20 percent stake in Airbus. [MENL]
Friday, 2 July, 2004: Libyan foreign minister said that Libya is ready to provide help to Sudan's western Darfur region. He added after his meeting with his Sudanese counterpart that Libya is ready to open its ports and airports to carry the humanitarian aid to Darfur. [LJBC]
Friday, 2 July, 2004: The U.S. Embassy in Libya is in a state of disrepair and cannot be used, the US State Department said Tuesday. State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli told a briefing in Washington that the US has a diplomatic property in Libya, but, It is not a property that we are close to inhabiting. U.S. officials in Libya, he said, were working out of a hotel and were looking for an interim base of operations. [Big News]

Libyans Protest In London To Mark The 8th Anniversary Of Abou-Sleem Massacre

Libya Human And Political Development Forum: Human Rights In Libya

Libya Watch: Political Prisoners And Disappeared Victims In Libyan Prisons

Thursday, 1 July, 2004: Human Rights Solidarity (HRS), a Libyan rights organization based in Geneva, said that 8 years after the elapse of "Bu-Sleem massacre," committed by the Libyan security forces against prisoners in Bu-Sleem prison, the Libyan authorities did not take any measures to deal with this file. This was expressed in a statement issued by HRS on Tuesday on the occasion of the Bu-Sleem incident which claimed the lives of 1300 victims. [Arabic News]
Thursday, 1 July, 2004: A group of Libyan activists in the human rights field called on the Libyan government to abrogate laws which they said perpetuate human rights violations in the country. The activists on Tuesday took part in a seminar on the current conditions of human rights in Libya, held by the parliamentary committee of human rights at the British house of commons with the participation of Libya Human and Political Development Forum. [Arabic News]
Thursday, 1 July, 2004: The extradition hearing of a Libyan man wanted by Tripoli as an alleged al-Qaida financier was postponed Wednesday because the court was waiting for the South African government to act on the request. The Pretoria Magistrate's Court postponed the extradition hearing of Ibrahim Ali Abubaker Tantoush, a 38-year-old Libyan engineer, because presidential permission had not been received. The case was postponed until July 20. Tantoush was arrested in Pretoria in February for allegedly being in possession of a fake South African passport. He was released on bail in April. While in custody Libyan authorities requested his extradition. [AP]
Thursday, 1 July, 2004: Top seed Grandmaster Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Englishman Michael Adams reached the semi-final in contrasting styles at the World Chess Championship in Tripoli, Libya. Topalov, who won his first game against Andrei Kharlov on Monday, got the better of his opponent who gave him some resistance in the second game while Adams was the first player to qualify to semi-final when he drew his second game with Vladimir Akopian. [UNI]
Thursday, 1 July, 2004: Libya on Wednesday explained to Japan about its dismantlement of WMDs while promising to continue urging North Korea to do likewise, Japanese officials said. Giuma Ibrahim al-Ferjani, head of the international organizations department of the Libyan foreign ministry, discussed the issues with Yukiya Amano, the Japanese Foreign Ministry's director general for arms control and scientific affairs, during their talks on disarmament and nonproliferation. It was the first time that Japan and Libya held such talks. [Kyodo]
Thursday, 1 July, 2004: The first international motor show to take place in Libya will be held on 5-8 October 2004 at the Tripoli Int'l Fair Ground. Libya has a network of 25,000 km tarmac roads and there are major plans to upgrade the transport infrastructure, including the construction of a vast road network connecting Libya with North and Central Africa. The show will be aimed at all sectors of the automotive industry - passenger cars, 4x4 vehicles, commercial vehicles, spare parts, components, accessories, garage and service equipment, oils and lubricants. [Al-Bawaba]
Thursday, 1 July, 2004: Syrian Finance Minister Mohammad al-Hussein Wednesday said his visit to Libya will be a turning point in enhancing the bilateral relations. Al-Hussein held talks with Libyan Prime Minister Dr. Shukri Ghanem and Finance Minister Ali al-Hwaij. [SANA]

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