News and Views [ June 2004 ]

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Wednesday, 30 June, 2004: By resuming diplomatic ties with the United States, Libya might stimulate its backward economy and corrupt bureaucracy, analysts said Tuesday, but others warned Washington's move sends the wrong message - that America is ready to do business with state sponsors of terrorism if the terms are right. An American whose brother was killed in the Lockerbie bombing said Tuesday that President Bush had made a mockery of Washington's policy of isolating state of sponsors terror. "Big business. There is no question that what drives this administration is big business," Bert Ammerman said. [AP]
Wednesday, 30 June, 2004: ... Bob Armao, the acting president of the nonprofit U.S.-Libya Trade and Economic Council, saw resuming diplomatic ties with Libya differently. "This is very heartening for American businesses, which are keen to go back to Libya," Armao said by telephone from his New York office. He said American oil companies will be leading the race to secure investment opportunities in Libya. There could be $10 billion worth of investment in Libya's energy industry in the next five years, he said. [AP]
Wednesday, 30 June, 2004: ... Saleh Ibrahim, the director of Libyan Academy for Higher Studies said the resumption of ties would greatly stimulate the economy and education sector. "It is very difficult for a country to develop if it doesn't have diplomatic relations with the U.S. and other Western countries," Saleh told The Associated Press by telephone from Tripoli. Another North African analyst, Saad Djebbar, said Qadhafi, who came to power in a 1969 coup, should capitalize on the U.S. move by undertaking a "new revolution" to improve the economy, revive health and education services, stamp out corruption and provide more political freedom. [AP]
Tuesday, 29 June, 2004: The U.S. resumed direct diplomatic ties with Libya on Monday after 24 years. Assistant Secretary of State William Burns formally opened a U.S. liaison office in Tripoli. The announcement was made after meetings between top State Department officials and Libyan leader Qadhafi. The statement called on Libya to "repudiate violence for political purposes and to implement its pledge to cease all support for terrorism." Earlier this month, President Bush said the U.S. was investigating a report that Libya might be involved in a plot to kill Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler. "We do not have enough to make a conclusive judgment, I think, one way or the other," State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said. He added that if the report was found to be true, "it would call into question continued development of relations with Libya." [CNN]
Tuesday, 29 June, 2004: The United States reminded its citizens Monday Libya continues to be on the government's state sponsors of terrorism list. The warning coincides with the opening of the U.S. Liaison Office in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. In a statement issued in Washington, the State Department urged U.S. citizens to exercise caution while traveling to Libya. "Although Libya appears to have curtailed its support for international terrorism, it may maintain residual contacts with some of its former terrorist clients," the State Department warned. [UPI]
Tuesday, 29 June, 2004: Talks aimed at relaunching co-operation between the Central African Republic (CAR) and Libya have stalled over some 400,000 tons of oil that allegedly went astray under ousted CAR president Patasse. A CAR government delegation that is with President Francois Bozize on a visit to Libya got "a real shock" when it was told by officials that Tripoli had delivered "more than 400,000 tons of petroleum products to the CAR at a preferential price" between 1999 and 2002. "This aid, instead of benefiting the Central African people, was diverted from its intended destination". The aid was used to "fill personal overseas accounts of officials from the Central African People's Liberation Movement (MLPC)", Patasse's party. [SAPA]
Tuesday, 29 June, 2004: Libya has pledged that Maltese citizens applying for a visa would not need to have an "invitation" to visit the country before the document can be issued, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Investment Promotion said yesterday. The ministry, reporting on a two-day visit that Minister John Dalli has just paid to Libya, said the decision by Tripoli meant there would be "full reciprocity" in the way the two countries processed applications leading to the issue of visas. The need of a visa followed Malta's accession to the European Union. [Times Of Malta]
Tuesday, 29 June, 2004: Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has contacted several heads of state who might have contacts or influence regarding Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army rebel leader, Joseph Kony. Defence state minister Ruth Nankabirwa told Parliament on Thursday that Museveni had contacted Libyan president Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhfi, who in turn talked to Sudan leader Gen. Omar Bashir "who is very influential in this war." [New Vision]

Monday, 28 June, 2004: The Bush administration has turned to Libya to help mount a $100 million relief operation in western Sudan. Facing resistance from Sudan's government, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice says the U.S. is working with others to get a less dangerous route for supplies into Darfur. Rice provided no further details regarding the Libyan role. [AP]
Monday, 28 June, 2004: Secure Computing [based in San Jose, California, USA] found that the only Middle Eastern domain suffix to host pornographic web pages in the SmartFilter database is the Israeli dot-il (.il) domain, which hosts 77,800 pornographic web pages. The only Arab country domain in the database that hosts any pornography is the Libyan dot-ly (.ly) domain. [ENN]
Monday, 28 June, 2004: Members of the Maghreb Arab Union (UMA) met in Tunis to discuss threats posed to farming by locusts and desertification. Delegates from Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia on Friday discussed the threat posed by locusts recalling that a regional action plan called on UMA members to share information on the problem. [AFP]
Monday, 28 June, 2004: Illicit sales of uranium from Niger were being negotiated with five states including Iraq at least three years before the US-led invasion of Iraq, senior European intelligence officials have told the Financial Times [FT]. Intelligence officers learned between 1999 and 2001 that uranium smugglers planned to sell illicitly mined Nigerien uranium ore, or refined ore called yellow cake, to Iran, Libya, China, North Korea and Iraq. [FT]
Monday, 28 June, 2004: Interior ministers of western Mediterranean states are calling for elimination of terrorism's financial and logistical sources as a means of combating it. The group, known as the 5+5 countries, issued a closing statement Friday night at the end of a two-day conference in Tunisia. The 5+5 members are Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Mauritania, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Malta. [UPI]
Monday, 28 June, 2004: The Turkish State Minister for Trade Kursat Tuzmen said on Sunday Turkey wants to boost commercial relations with Libya. Tuzmen met with Libyan Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem in the third day of his official visit in Tripoli. Speaking to reporters in Tripoli, Tuzmen said that Libya is a gate for Turkey to reach the African market. [Cihan]

Sunday, 27 June, 2004: Iraqis who live in Fallujah say foreign Muslim fighters have instituted a Taliban-like regime in the city, the Washington Times reported Friday. One of the few to object to the mujahedin presence was a man who identified himself only as Naqoz. "There are Arabs from Syria, Yemen, Libya, Egypt," he said. "They come for jihad. They see Fallujah as a battleground between themselves and the Americans. The people of Fallujah are afraid of them." [UPI]
Sunday, 27 June, 2004: The five jailed Bulgarian medics are living at abhorrent conditions, Dr Zdravko Georgiev, who was the only one acquitted by a Libyan Court in Benghazi, said. He visited on Saturday the death sentenced nurses, who were removed from Benghazi to Tripoli, while the appealing procedure is dragging on. The women, sharing a cell with two Libyans, suffer greatly from the extreme heat, flocks of mosquitoes and even strolling rats, he witnessed. [Novinte]
Sunday, 27 June, 2004: Minister of Capital Investments Velimir Ilic announced on Saturday that together with Minister of Foreign Economic Relations Predrag Bubalo he would shortly visit Libya, so as to "help our Ivan Milutinovic PIM construction company to get a local job". Speaking at a press conference in Kostunici, Ilic said that the Serbian government had granted PIM a two-million dollar credit, so that the company could obtain corresponding guarantees for the reconstruction of the Tripoli port, a job worth some 122.5 million dollars. [Tanjug]

Freedom House: A Full Eyewitness Account of the Abu-Sleem Massacre


Saturday, 26 June, 2004: A U.S. team will visit Libya on Monday to help assess whether it sponsors terrorism following recent allegations Tripoli ordered the assassination of Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William Burns and State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism Cofer Black are expected to meet Qadhafi. "Basically, it's to outline for the Libyans ... what they need to do and what questions they need to answer for us" if they are to get off the list [of state sponsors of terrorism,] said one U.S. official. [Reuters]
Saturday, 26 June, 2004: French President Jacques Chirac is due in Tripoli 29 June for an official visit to Libya, diplomatic sources told PANA. An advance of party of French diplomats have been in the Libyan capital in the last two weeks to prepare for Chirac's trip. [Angop]
Saturday, 26 June, 2004: A US federal judge blocked testimony by a key prosecution witness in the case against five brothers accused of illegal computer shipments to countries that supported terrorism. The case revolves around a shipment of computer modems to Libya via Malta. The Maltese witness, Kenna Nevill told the FBI that one of the brothers tried to order 300 computer modems to ship to Libya in 1997 or 1998, which would have been illegal. [Malta Star]
Saturday, 26 June, 2004: The Turkish Minister of Foreign Trade and Costums, Korshad Tuzman, and his accompanying delegation arrived Friday in Tripoli in a visit to Libya. [JANA]
Saturday, 26 June, 2004: South Africa is bidding to host the Pan African Parliament along Egypt. Despite this stiff challenge, it is almost certain the country will get the right to permanently host the PAP. Libya has however reportedly pulled out of the political race while Morocco did not submit her bid since it is not a fully-fledged African Union member. [BuaNews]
Saturday, 26 June, 2004: A medical library comprising many references, books, specialized scientific magazines, computers and internet cafe and lecture halls were inaugurated Wednesday morning at the Medical Specialization Council in the Libyan capital Tripoli. [LJBC]

Friday, 25 June, 2004: Eighteen years after the bombing of a West Berlin disco that prompted U.S. air strikes on Libya, a German court on Thursday rejected sentence appeals of the four people convicted in the attack, likely closing the final legal chapter in the case. The ruling by the Federal Court of Justice brought closure, but also some disappointment, for survivors of the April 5, 1986, blast at the La Belle club. The attack killed three people - two U.S. soldiers and a Turkish woman - and injured 229. A Berlin court ruled in November 2001 that the attack was planned by Libya's secret service with help from the Libyan Embassy in then-communist East Berlin. [AP]
Friday, 25 June, 2004: A radical dance-music band has teamed up with the English National Opera to produce a stage show on the life of Libya's enigmatic leader Mu'ammar Qadhafi. The London opera house said on Thursday it had commissioned the production from award-winning Asian Dub Foundation (ADF). Rapper JC001 will play Qadhafi, while the opera's chorus will play Qadhafi's entourage of glamorous female bodyguards. The production will explore relations between the West and the Middle East, as well as the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing. It will also touch on the 1984 killing of British policewoman Yvonne Fletcher, who was shot in the back as she helped to police a demonstration against Qadhafi at Libya's London embassy. [Reuters]
Friday, 25 June, 2004: Libyan Prosecutor's Office appealed the sentence of the only released Bulgarian medic in Libya's HIV trial. Doctor Zdravko Georgiev, one of the six Bulgarian medics in the drawn-out ordeal, was sentenced to four years in prison. The medic was released as he had already served his sentence during the investigation and the hearings. Bulgaria's Deputy Foreign Minister Gergana Grancharova explained that the information for the appeal was presented to Bulgaria's envoy in Libya Zdravko Velev on Wednesday. Georgiev is still in Bulgaria's Embassy in Libya and he will remain there until the final verdict is said. [Novinite]

Thursday, 24 June, 2004: Libya is planning to increase its oil output by 50,000 b/d to 1.7 million b/d from late July or early August, a Libyan oil official told Dow Jones Newswires Tuesday. The official said Libya is producing "close to our capacity of 1.65 million b/d." Under OPEC's current production agreement, Libya has an official output quota of 1.258 million b/d. But most OPEC members continue to ignore their quotas and are pumping close to capacity. [Dow Jones]
Thursday, 24 June, 2004: The Libyan medical team selected to carry out organ transplantation in Libya held its first preliminary meeting at Tripoli central hospital. The team which comprise many professors, specialists and medical staff held its preliminary meeting with one of the Libyan consultants specialized in heart and lung transplantation in Canada, Dr. Hani Shanieb, and one of world consultants in organ transplantation from America, Dr. George Abuna. [LJBC]
Thursday, 24 June, 2004: A Libyan man was admitted to hospital yesterday morning after suffering a stab wound during a fight in Bugibba, Malta. In a statement, the police said the 30-year-old was walking in St Paul's Bay when he was involved in a fight with a group of people. He was hit with a sharp and pointed instrument in his left arm. His injuries were described as slight. On his insistence, the man was transferred to a private hospital. [The Independent]
Wednesday, 23 June, 2004: Libya on Tuesday told a UN panel that ■there are no al-Qaeda training camps within its territory and that Libyan law ■"prohibits recruitment and support for operations against foreign states."■ ■ The assertion is contained in an annex to a note verbale from the Libyan ■■Mission to the UN addressed to the Security Council Committee concerning ■■Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities.■ The document is issued at a time Libyan leader Qadhafi denied ■accusations that he ordered the overthrow of the Saudi rule.■ [KUNA]
Wednesday, 23 June, 2004: Bulgarian Chess World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova who was set to try males at charity seances of Libya's Tournament was not allowed to play in Tripoli. She arrived in Libyan capital upon the invitation of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) as part of her Chess Queen's mission of peace worldwide. Etti - as friends and relatives are used to call her - attempted to replace Alexander Morozevich, who quitted the game, but amended rules prevented the 25-aged Bulgarian grand master to join as a contestant. [Novinite]
ALFA: A Full Eyewitness Account of the Abu-Sleem Massacre

Tuesday, 22 June, 2004: Libya is expected to take part next week in a Tunis conference to layout a regional socio-economic blueprint for the coming thirty years, organisers said on Monday. Libyan Prime Minister Shokri Ghanem (photo) will join world-renowned decision makers, businesspeople and thinkers participating in "The Arab World in 2030: Technology and Economic Development" conference, organised by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on June 24-25. [Jordan Times]
Tuesday, 22 June, 2004: US administration knows about the bad conditions in which the five Bulgarian nurses are kept and closely watches the development of the case. That said in a radio interview the US Ambassador in Bulgaria James W. Pardew. "The issue for the Bulgarian medic is part of the US dialogue with Libya and we do everything possible in order to decide the problem but now we mustn't say more on the problem", announced Ambassador Pardew. He added that the USA believe that the Bulgarian medics unfairly treated and they have to be released. [FIA]
Tuesday, 22 June, 2004: Libya may pardon five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor it has sentenced to death for allegedly infecting hundreds of children with the AIDS virus only if families of the children ask for clemency. The medics will be left entirely to the mercy of the children's parents if the court confirms the death sentences, state TV quoted Council of Europe Secretary General Walter Schwimmer as saying. In a letter to Bulgarian lawmakers Schwimmer said Libyan Foreign Minister Abdelrahman Shalgam gave him these clarifications during a recent discussion they had at a meeting of the Organization Islamic Conference in Istanbul, Turkey. [BNN]
Tuesday, 22 June, 2004: An Egyptian lawyer is expected to boost the defence of five Bulgarian nurses expecting appeal proceedings on their death verdicts. According to Osman Bizanti, Libyan defence teamer, his Egyptian colleague will handle the defence of Nasya Nenova and Kristiana Valcheva, both claiming their confessions were extorted with torture. Thus the Bulgarians' defence will see a triple boost after Bulgarian lawyers Hari Haralampiev and Georgi Gatev joined lawyers Plamen Yalnazov and Osman Bizanti. [Novinite]
Tuesday, 22 June, 2004: Libya, which is currently undertaking economic reforms, has invited Malaysian private sector to invest in tourism in the large northern African country. Libya's Tourism Minister Ammar Mabrouk Eltayef said that the oil-rich country with some six million people has decided to focus on tourism in its efforts to diversify the country's economy. "Libya is a new destination. We hope the (Malaysian) private sector will consider and invest (in Libya)," he told reporters during a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur Monday. [Bernama]

Monday, 21 June, 2004: Libyan officials negotiating compensation to victims of a 1986 bomb attack in Berlin are demanding money for victims of German World War II mines as well as the extradition of Libyan opposition members. Hussin Akeel, one of the Libyan negotiators, said meeting the demands would "positively influence" the talks, according to Focus magazine. The demands came as a surprise to German lawyers for the more than 160 non-American victims of the attack on "La Belle" nightclub, which killed two Americans and a Turkish woman. [DW]
Monday, 21 June, 2004: Libya, chess and politics were proving a volatile mix as an international chess tournament kicked off in Tripoli yesterday [Saturday]. The World Chess Federation, known by its French initials FIDE, was going ahead with the Tripoli championship despite Libya's refusal to welcome players from the 'Zionist enemy' Israel. [AP]
Monday, 21 June, 2004: Bulgaria presses for more access to its five jailed nurses in Libya. The women were sentenced to death by a Benghazi court, and were recently moved to the capital Tripoli. They are only allowed to see visitors once a week. But Bulgaria's ambassador has sent a special note to local authorities, requesting for three visiting days weekly. In the meantime, Deputy Foreign Minister Gergana Grancharova admitted that the nurses did not enjoy too good conditions in prison. They have asked for an air conditioner and satellite TV. [Novinite]

Sunday, 20 June, 2004: Libya is opening up to the world. But that does not make reporting on it plain sailing. I thought gaining access and working in Saudi Arabia was hard, but in terms of the amount of government control, Libya was the hardest place I've worked. Described by one businessman as a cross between the worst of Soviet and Arab bureaucracy, Libya is a nation where nothing important happens without the say of its leader for 35 years, Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi (photo). [The Age]
Sunday, 20 June, 2004: Children suffering of AIDS from Libya and other African countries carried out in Tripoli an international demonstration for solidarity, RIA Novosti reported, quoting the Middle East News Agency MENA. Several hundreds of HIV-infected children handed a petition to the UN representative in Libya. It condemns the deliberate infecting of children with HIV by the Bulgarian nurses in the Al-Fatah hospital in Benghazi. The petition says, "This crime can only be compared to the use of biological weapons". [FIA]
Sunday, 20 June, 2004: Bulgaria will table an appeal against Libyan death sentences on July 5 at the latest, Bulgarian solicitor said. On May 6, Libyan court sentenced to death five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor. They were found guilty of deliberately causing HIV infection at the Benghazi hospital they used to work at. Court's decision prompted a series of protests among Bulgaria's people, as well as among politicians - both domestic and foreign ones. [Novinite]
Sunday, 20 June, 2004: Nigerian football administrator, Patrick Okpomo is at the head of a CAF team that will begin inspection of facilities in Libya on Monday for the hosting of the 2008 African Cup. The team inspected facilities in Ghana from June 10-15. The other country, South Africa, withdrew a fortnight ago following their triumph in the 2010 World Cup hosting race. [Vanguard]
Sunday, 20 June, 2004: The Chairman of Bank of Valletta (BOV), Joseph Zahra, together with Tony Camilleri, Chief Officer, Financial Markets Division, recently visited BOV's Representative Offices in Libya and Tunisia. Meetings were held with the Chairmen of a number of commercial banks both in Tripoli and Tunis as well as with officials from the Central Bank of Tunisia led by the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia, Mr. Bayoudh Laroussi. [Di-Vi]
Sunday, 20 June, 2004: New Delhi is pushing for a tech-for-oil deal with Tripoli in the wake of the US lifting laws that bring into Washington's crosshairs any non-American company investing over $20 million in Libya's oil sector. A team of Indian oilmen, led by additional petroleum secretary M S Srinivasan, sought stakes in oilfields in Libya in return for Indian investment on modernising Libyan refineries. [Times Of India]

Saturday, 19 June, 2004: Saad H. M. Eabaied, 36, and Masoud A. Albuiweiser, 35 both from Benghazi, Libya, on Friday were arraigned in court accused of conspiring to sell or deal drugs and for importing 350 grams of cannabis resin to Malta. Saad Eabaied was also accused of being in possession of drugs. The two men (photo) were arrested at the Malta International Airport on Thursday as they had just arrived from Tripoli. [Di-Vi]
Saturday, 19 June, 2004: Libya have held a Cameroon to a goalless draw in their 2006 World Cup qualifying match in Group Three. The Lions domainated most of the match but were unable to find a way past the Libyan goalkeeper El-Emmami. The draw means Libya pick up the first point of their campaign following their 2-0 loss away to the Ivory Coast a fortnight ago. [BBC]
Saturday, 19 June, 2004: Turkish State Minister Kursad Tuzmen will go to Libya between June 25 and 27. The visit aims at evaluating Turkey's trade potential in Libya and searching for joint investment opportunities in the Libyan market. Turkey's exports to Libya increased by 62 percent when compared with the previous year and reached 255 million U.S. dollars. [Anadolu Agency]

Friday, 18 June, 2004: Libyan Foreign Minister Abdelrahman Shalgam denied news reports Libya agreed to host U.S. and British bases as the price for returning to international fold. Middle East News Agency Wednesday quoted Shalgam as saying "Anyone who has doubts about that can visit Libya and verify that no such plans existed in the past or will in the future". [UPI]
Friday, 18 June, 2004: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi said he would not attend the African Union summit in Addis Ababa on July 6-8 because the pan-African organization was "on the rails" and did not need any more help from him. "My role was to get the train underway," the official Libyan News Agency JANA quoted Qadhafi as saying. [AFP]
Friday, 18 June, 2004: Libya revealed plans on Thursday to purchase 22 new aircraft for its carrier, Libyan Arab Airlines (LAR). The airline has been in contact with a number of aircraft manufacturers, including Airbus and Boeing, and others in Brazil, Canada, the US and Europe. The chief executive of LAR said that US$ 1 billion had been allocated for the purchase. [M2]
Friday, 18 June, 2004: Five Bulgarian nurses sentenced to death on charges of trying to cause an AIDS epidemic in Libya have been moved from custody in the northeastern city of Benghazi to a dreaded prison in the capital Tripoli, an official said Thursday. Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister Gergana Grancharova said the nurses have been taken back to the Judeida prison - the scene of savage tortures they suffered for months during the preliminary investigation. [BNN]
Friday, 18 June, 2004: The Libyan Ministry of Culture has seized the second issue of Arajeen, a cultural magazine printed in Cairo, media reports said. According to the reports, the first issue of the magazine discussed a subject concerning the identity of a Libyan national. The magazine had applied to the publication's public department seeking permission to circulate the magazine in Libya. However, the Libyan Ministry of Culture did not grant the permission. [Khaleej Times]
Friday, 18 June, 2004: In Malta, a man was given a two-year prison sentence yesterday after he admitted his carelessness had a hand in another man's death. Darren Galea, was accused of being responsible for the death of Muhammed Hassin M. Khalif [Libyan] on 26 November 2002 through carelessness and not following regulations. Galea said he had needed help carrying bricks and he handed the man a ladder. The victim, Mr Khalif, climbed the ladder and went up on to a wall which collapsed while he was on it. He died as a result of the accident. [The Independent]
Thursday, 17 June, 2004: The families of some passengers killed 15 years ago when a Libyan agent bombed a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, are coming to Washington Thursday to lobby for lifting the remaining sanctions against Libya. The families of the 270 victims were divided over even negotiating with Libya, but their divisions deepened strongly last summer, when Libya agreed to pay $10 million for each of the 270 victims if all sanctions against it were lifted. At the time, some relatives said the arrangement seemed like a bribe. Most families accepted a first payment of $4 million in September, when the UN ended its sanctions. But the deal for the remaining $6 million - $4 million for the end of some economic sanctions and $2 million when the US took Libya off the list of nations supporting terrorism - expires on July 22. [NY Times]
Thursday, 17 June, 2004: James P. Kreindler, who represented 120 of the families in the negotiations with Libya, said relatives of 230 Lockerbie victims had signed a letter to President Bush, urging that sanctions on Libya be lifted. The letter was sent before the death of President Reagan [Qadhafi has publicly expressed regret that Reagan died before he could be tried as a war criminal] and the report that Libya might be involved in a plot to kill the Saudi prince. "... Even with these events of the last week, sooner or later these last sanctions are going to be removed and Libya will come off the list of state sponsors of terrorism," Kreindler said. [NY Times]
Thursday, 17 June, 2004: Libyan officials said Wednesday the government allocated $1 billion to renovate Arab Libyan Airlines, the nation's flag carrier. Chairman Hussein Dabnoun said the airline company plans to buy 22 aircraft of different sizes for short and long distance flights. Dabnoun said Libyan officials discussed the matter with U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce William Lash during a recent trip to Tripoli and asked for lifting restrictions that bar Boeing from selling planes to Libya. He said his company contacted other international manufacturers. [UPI]
Thursday, 17 June, 2004: The Japanese government decided Wednesday to hold a meeting of senior officials with Libya on the nonproliferation of WMDs by the end of this month, government officials said. The move is aimed at supporting Libya, which has promised to give up its WMDs, and exchanging ideas on measures to prevent nuclear technology from being transferred to North Korea and other countries. At the Tokyo meeting, Japan will be briefed by Libya on the current state of its program to scrap its nuclear and chemical weapons. At the talks on WMD, the government also plans to improve relations with Libya by expanding economic exchanges, inviting Libyan students to study in Japan and promoting sports exchanges. [The Daily Yomiuri]
Thursday, 17 June, 2004: The Italian Football League has elected to play the country's domestic 2004 Super Cup in the Libyan capital Tripoli. The Super Cup is played between the Italian league champions, currently Milan, and the winners of the domestic cup, in this case Lazio. This is the second time the Italian season's traditional curtain-raiser will be played in Libya, after the Africans hosted the match in 2002. The decision was taken at a meeting on Tuesday at the league's headquarters in Milan, and the game is due to be played on 21 August. [BBC]

Wednesday, 16 June, 2004: US officials went ahead with disarmament talks with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi even after learning last year that he may have been plotting to have Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler assassinated, USA Today reported on Tuesday. Negotiations with Qadhafi continued because of the importance US authorities placed on disarming Libya and because they no longer viewed the plot against prince Abdullah as a realistic threat after it became known, the newspaper said, citing unidentified officials. One official said he learned of the charges in "late fall". "We made it clear to the Libyans that they had to stop," the official said. [Daily Times]
Wednesday, 16 June, 2004: Libya's state-controlled newspapers denounced the Saudi royal family on Tuesday, blaming it for recent reports that accused Libya of plotting to assassinate the Saudi crown prince. "Saudi Arabia is looking for a hook on which to hang its problems and for scapegoats for its crises," Libya's Al-Zahf al-Akhdar said in an editorial Tuesday. It was referring to the series of Islamic terror attacks that have shaken the kingdom during the past 13 months... "The Al Saud family exceeded its expiration date centuries ago". Al-Shams newspaper said Saudi citizens were suffering "great oppression under the authoritarian royal family". [AP]
Wednesday, 16 June, 2004: Libya is set to employ Bulgarian medics and nurses through the state-licensed job-brokerage company Expomed. According to its chief Dr Hristo Dimov, Bulgarian X-ray specialists, midwifes, and nurses willing to work in Libya will be hired at the best hospital in Benghazi. Bulgarian medics will receive monthly salary of US$ 1,500, and nurses - US$ 800. Their employer is obliged to accommodate them free of charge at a luxury apartment, paying also monthly costs. Applicants are required to speak Arabic and English. [Novinite]
Wednesday, 16 June, 2004: Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is in the final stages of acquiring 35 old Mirages from Libya. Credible sources say that deal was almost finalized and Mirages will arrive in Pakistan shortly. Due to various sanctions and dormant Libyan Air Force, Mirages have been lying grounded for the past many years. PAF will either go for massive upgradation of these Mirages or will use them as spare parts after scrapping them. [Pakistan Times]
Wednesday, 16 June, 2004: Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano is in Libya, where he arrived on Sunday in his quality as chairman of the African Union (AU), to discuss with his Libyan counterpart, Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, the situation on the African continent. Chissano told reporters that the talks were to discuss the preparations for the next AU summit, that is to take place in Addis Ababa later this year. [AIM]

Tuesday, 15 June, 2004: The German high court Tuesday will review prison sentences of four people convicted of the deadly Libyan-sponsored bombing of a West Berlin nightclub in 1986 that prompted US air strikes against Libya a few weeks later. The high court will be considering a prosecution appeal for increasing the sentences to life imprisonment. [Expatica]
Tuesday, 15 June, 2004: A Libyan court on Monday issued motives of death sentences it has handed to five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor whom it convicted more than a month ago of deliberately infecting hundreds of children with the virus that causes AIDS. The 218-page document written in Arabic was handed to a Bulgarian diplomat in the capital Tripoli, Bulgarian deputy foreign minister Gergana Grancharova said. [BNN]
Tuesday, 15 June, 2004: Libya has disassociated the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) from the proposed Grand Middle East project involving countries on the Asian continent. In a news release carried Saturday evening by the national news agency (JANA), Libya, which currently chairs the UMA affirmed that being part and parcel of Africa, its member states cannot be attached to another continent. The release is the first Maghreb reaction to a proposed Grand Middle East scheme grouping countries in the Maghreb, Mashrek as well as in the Arab Gulf into a single entity, which was suggested US President Bush at the G-8 summit earlier this week. [Angop]

Monday, 14 June, 2004: Qadhafi figured that by renouncing weapons of mass destruction, which it has not fully developed, Libya had secured more benefits for itself than it could by having such weapons. That was good enough for the U.S. and Europe and an excuse to mend relations with a leader whom they despised for decades, for the sake of getting their hands on Libya's oil. The West, since it takes it upon itself to get involved in the Arab countries' business, should take a more comprehensive look at the leaders with which it wishes to deal. The U.S. and Europe cannot continue to benefit from resources of countries run by dictators. [Gulf News]
Monday, 14 June, 2004: The press in Saudi Arabia has reacted with a combination of shock and indignation to allegations that Libyan leader Col Qadhafi approved a plan to kill Crown Prince Abdullah. The Libyans have denied the allegations, which are being investigated by the American authorities, and which US officials say put any possible rapprochement with Tripoli under a cloud. Relations between Libya and Saudi Arabia have been difficult in recent years, especially after an angry exchange between Qadhafi and Prince Abdullah at an Arab summit in March 2003. [BBC]
Monday, 14 June, 2004: Albert Reynolds [Ireland] is again pursuing oil and gas explorations in Libya, this time in the company of the former president of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda. Kaunda, who was president of Zambia from its independence in 1964 until 1991, is a member of the Life Energy advisory board. Life Energy has announced that it is in negotiations to establish a joint venture with the Libyan government to develop its waste-to-energy business in the North African country. But it is also seeking to secure the rights to oil and gas exploration. [The Post]

Sunday, 13 June, 2004: Egyptian security sources said Saturday the Libyan intelligence service was involved in an assassination plot against the Saudi crown prince. The source told UPI in Cairo that Mohammad Ismail (photo), a Libyan suspected of plotting to recruit assassins to kill Prince Abdullah, admitted he belonged to the Libyan intelligence service. The source said the suspect, currently detained in Saudi Arabia, also revealed to the Egyptians several Libyan connections with Islamic militants that may connected with the al-Qaida network. Egyptian authorities arrested Ismail in February upon Saudi Arabia's request and later handed him over to Saudi authorities. [UPI]
Sunday, 13 June, 2004: Libyan and German officials have failed to reach agreement in a fifth round of talks about compensation for victims of a 1986 Libyan-ordered disco bombing that killed 3 people and wounded more than 200. However the victims' lawyers say the two parties' positions came closer together in the latest round of negotiations over the bombing. A Libyan foundation has agreed to pay compensation to the non-American victims, but there is disagreement over the amount. Compensation for the American victims is being negotiated in U.S. courts. [VOA]
Sunday, 13 June, 2004: A leading Saudi-owned newspaper reported Saturday that four Libyan-recruited would-be assassins of Crown Prince Abdullah were members of Al-Qaeda, the network blamed for the terror that has hit Saudi Arabia in the past 13 months. Asharq Al-Awsat's claim came as other Saudi newspapers assailed Libyan leader Qaddafi for the second day in a row. The daily Okaz also sought to link Libya to the wave of bombings and shootings which began in Saudi Arabia in May 2003, quoting unspecified sources as "not ruling out the involvement of Libyan intelligence in some of the recent bombings and killings". [Daily Times]
Sunday, 13 June, 2004: Libya needs to make a final editing of the verdicts of death-sentenced Bulgarian nurses before handing them over to the Bulgarian authorities. Deputy Foreign Minister Gergana Gruncharova refused to specify when the documents will be received, adding that it is all "very relative." Libya did not keep the deadline, June 6, for presenting the verdicts and their motives, making it more difficult for the defence to prepare the appeals. [Novinite]
Sunday, 13 June, 2004: Five Palestinian brothers were unfairly targeted by the [US] federal government because they conducted business with Syria and Libya and are Muslims, said defense attorneys for the five men, who are charged with 25 counts of exporting contraband to nations linked to terrorism. Charges against the Elashi brothers include the exportation of computers and computer equipment to the two nations by the Dallas-area company InfoCom from 1999 to 2002. The trial began Thursday. [The Washington Times]
Sunday, 13 June, 2004: Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi should either step down or be removed from power because he has "ruined Libya," a respected Arabic newspaper columnist wrote Friday. Columnist Jihad al-Khazen compared the Libyan leader to ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, saying both had equivalent "evil intentions." His column was published in the newspaper Al Hayat on Friday, a day after American media reported that Qadhafi had plotted to assassinate the Saudi crown prince. Libya's Foreign Minister has denied the reports. "Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi was never fit to rule Libya." "Either he leaves willingly or be overthrown, because this man has ruined Libya, squandered its wealth, instigated well-known terrorist operations, and is still supporting terrorism as shown by his plotting against Crown Prince Abdullah," al-Khazen said. [AP]
Saturday, 12 June, 2004: The U.S. is investigating allegations Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi ordered the assassination of Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, U.S. officials said on Thursday. President George W. Bush, who has presided over improving ties with Libya, vowed to discover the truth about the accusations. "What I can tell you is that we are going to make sure we fully understand the veracity of the plot line. So, we are looking into it," Bush told reporters in Sea Island, Georgia. "When we find out the facts, we will deal with them accordingly". [Reuters]
Saturday, 12 June, 2004: Tareq el-Taib (photo) is the African superstar no one has really heard of. The Libya captain and playmaker is extremely talented - as all who have played against him realise - but has yet to gain widespread recognition. That does not mean the African football fraternity is totally unaware of his abilities. El-Taib was the only African-based player on the Caf long list for the 2003 African Player of the Year award. El-Taib can use both feet, but his right is particularly sublime. [BBC]
Saturday, 12 June, 2004: Libya has pardoned 28 detainees and set them free, a government foundation [The Qadhafi Charity Foundation] said on Friday. Diplomats told Reuters the 28 men were political activists jailed for belonging to moderate Islamic groups. Membership of a political party constitutes treason in Libya where political parties are criminalised. Amnesty International published a catalogue in April of what it called Libya's human rights abuses and urged Qadhafi to follow through on promises to establish a "normal criminal law procedure". [Reuters]
Saturday, 12 June, 2004: Libya must find more oil reserves because it has already produced nearly half of its discovered reserves to date, and countries historically have difficulty maintaining stable production once depletion exceeds 60%, said a senior director of Washington-based PFC Energy. "Libya will be able to ramp up [its oil production] to 1.8 million b/d through the end of the decade," said Mike Rodgers, a member of PFC Energy's upstream group. Beyond 2010, Libya must find more reserves in order to maintain or grow production, he added. [Oil & Gas]
Saturday, 12 June, 2004: German and Libyan representatives returned to the negotiating table Friday to hammer out a compensation deal for victims of a 1986 Berlin nightclub bombing - an agreement viewed as crucial to Tripoli's return to the diplomatic fold. A lawyer in the delegation for 163 mainly German victims, Stephan Maigne, said the talks had resumed on Friday, after they stalled last month due to continued discord over the amount of the pay-out. [MEOL]
Saturday, 12 June, 2004: A Turkish businessman alleged to have supplied sophisticated electrical goods to Libya's secret nuclear weapons project has said he had no idea his products were destined for Libya. Selim Alguadis, said his company's products were in free circulation and could be purchased by end-users. Mr Alguadis said the equipment provided by his company was so common that "customers are not asked what they intend to do with it". [FT]

Lajnat al-Methaq: Letter to the G8 Summit

Tibra Foundation: Tibra Awards 2004 - Revised

Friday, 11 June, 2004: Libyan Foreign Minister Abdelrahman Shalgam denied reports Libya conspired to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. "These reports are mere lies reminiscent of past attempts to tarnish my country's image in the world," Shalgam said in response to a report published by the New York Times. He told a press conference in Tripoli his country "was surprised by the report," stressing Libya "does not believe in the policy of violence". [UPI]
Friday, 11 June, 2004: A senior Bush administration official said the emergence of convincing evidence that Qadhafi (photo) had ordered or condoned an assassination and terror campaign could cause a full "180 degree" change of U.S. policy toward Libya. While the Libyan leader was renouncing terrorism and negotiating the lifting of sanctions last year, his intelligence chiefs ordered a covert operation to assassinate the ruler of Saudi Arabia and destabilize the kingdom. President Bush has conveyed to the royal family that he is going to find out what happened in the alleged conspiracy. [IHT]
Friday, 11 June, 2004: A jailed American Muslim leader and a Libyan intelligence agent have told U.S. and Saudi authorities they were involved in a Libyan plot to assassinate the ruler of Saudi Arabia, U.S. officials said Thursday. The plot was revealed separately by Abduraham Alamoudi, an American Muslim leader jailed in Alexandria, Va., on federal charges of having illegal financial dealings with Libya; and by Col. Mohamed Ismael, a Libyan intelligence officer currently in Saudi custody. Both men have provided U.S. and Saudi investigators with detailed information about an alleged Libyan plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah intended to destabilize the Saudi government, which has been beset in recent months by a series of deadly terrorist attacks by al Qaeda and other Islamic fundamentalists. [CBS]
Friday, 11 June, 2004: The U.S. State Department said Thursday the U.S. has raised concern with Libya "at the highest levels" about reports that country may have been involved in a plot to assassinate the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Abdullah. It said Libya has responded with an assurance that it would not use violence to settle disputes with any state. Officials are declining comment on specifics of the plot allegations raised in a front-page story Thursday by the New York Times. But they say the matter has been taken up directly with authorities in Tripoli, including Libyan leader Qadhafi, and that the U.S. has been told that Libya has no future intention of using violence to settle disputes with other countries. [VOA]
Friday, 11 June, 2004: The Philippines has offered the former US naval base at Subic Bay north of Manila as a storage facility for Libyan oil for distribution in Asia, the foreign department said Wednesday. The proposal was made by Foreign Secretary Delia Albert, who is on an official trip to Tripoli, during a meeting with Abdullah Salem el-Badri, chairman of the state-run National Oil Corporation of Libya. "I suggested to Mr. El-Badri the availability of storage facilities in the Philippines, especially at Subic, for Libyan oil exports to Asia. He assured me that this proposal would be considered in the long term," Albert said in a statement. [AFP]

Thursday, 10 June, 2004: Parents of several university students held a sit-in outside the Jordanian Parliament on Tuesday protesting the suspension of their children from a Libyan university in May. "Our children have been unlawfully suspended from Al-Nasser Al-Umamiyah University in Libya by an oral directive from the university dean who did not give them any explanation," Mohammad Bani Hani, one of the parents claimed. He added that his son was among 36 other Jordanian students who enrolled in the university last December. [Jordan Times]
Thursday, 10 June, 2004: Two more lawyers will join the team of the defense of death-sentenced Bulgarian nurses in Libya. Georgi Gatev and Hari Haralampiev have been picked because of their professional background and the positions they have voiced on the trial. The decision for their election has been taken at a meeting of Justice Minister Anton Stankov with the nurses' lawyer Plamen Yalnazov and Supreme Bar Council Chairperson Trayan Markovski. [Novinite]
Thursday, 10 June, 2004: Lebanon's Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on Wednesday expressed support for Bulgaria's bid to free five Bulgarian nurses Libya has sentenced to death on charges of infecting hundreds of children with the AIDS virus. He however emphasized the solution of the case depended throughly on Libyan authorities and particularly on the country's leader Qadhafi. "This is an issue of sovereignty," Hariri said during a visit to the Bulgarian capital Sofia. [BNN]
Thursday, 10 June, 2004: The Palestinian doctor who was sentenced to death in Libya has been moved from Benghazi to Tripoli. But the five Bulgarian nurses remain in the same prison. The six medics were found guilty of deliberately causing HIV epidemic at the Benghazi hospital they used to work at. The verdicts came after the trial lingered for more than five years, and despite not-guilty pleas. Bulgaria opposed the court ruling, and voiced determination to appeal. Top diplomats also pressed for the medics to be moved to Tripoli, where they would be safer. [Novinite]

Wednesday, 9 June, 2004: PWN Exhibicon International, the company that organized the first exhibitions authorized by the U.S. government for U.S. companies in Cuba, then-U.S.S.R., and in China, has announced that planning is underway for the first U.S. Trade and Industrial Exhibition to be held in Tripoli, Libya, from January 11-15, 2005. The U.S. Trade and Industrial Exhibition, to be held at Tripoli International Fair will include exhibitors from the following sectors: Oil and Gas Equipment and Services; Energy & Power Equipment; Construction Equipment and Materials; Telecomm. & Satellite Equipment and Services; Agricultural Commodities and Farm Equipment; Medical Equipment and Supplies; Transportation Equipment; Food Products; Packaging & Food Machinery; Tourism and Hospitality; and Consumer Products. [Business Wire]
Wednesday, 9 June, 2004: The Libyan government will build modern rental shops at Old Kampala Muslem Council [Uganda] as part of the national Muslem project. The development is meant to generate sustainable funds for all other projects undertaken by the council, Sheikh Edrisa Kasenene, the secretary general said in an interview recently. Kasenene said the Mufti's residence, national mosque, training centre and conference hall would also be built. [New Vision]

Tuesday, 8 June, 2004: Despite signs of openness, few people dare to talk openly about Qadhafi. "Don't ask me about politics," says a shopkeeper in Tripoli's hardscrabble medina, or old city. Nervously, his eyes dart left and right. But a joke circulating among Libyans reveals despair: A team of American inspectors comes to search for WMDs. They look everywhere, then report back to President Bush: "Mr. President," they say, "we couldn't find any weapons of mass destruction. But we did find plenty of mass destruction." [U.S. News & World Report]
Tuesday, 8 June, 2004: "If you say something against the government, they put you in prison," says a middle-aged professional. "People are sick of Qadhafi's family. Who appointed them to rule our country?" He also argued that the U.S. needs to "put pressure on the government on human rights. Otherwise, they won't change." ... After Saddam was nabbed, graffiti appeared in Tripoli: "Today, Saddam. Tomorrow, Qadhafi." After the U.S. Army rolled into Baghdad, one of the Leader's sons, a soccer player named Saadi, was taunted by fans at a match in Tripoli. "Saadi, don't think you're a big guy," they chanted. "Your destiny will be like Uday's" --a reference to one of Saddam's slain sons. [U.S. News & World Report]
Tuesday, 8 June, 2004: Making money is exactly Libya's aim in breaking out of its isolation. In fact, Libya's staggering economy seems to be the central reason for Qadhafi's shift. With unemployment around 25 percent (higher for the youth), a decaying infrastructure, rubble-strewn neighborhoods, and oil production sliced in half since the Americans left, Libya is hurting. Its oil and gas riches combined with a sparse population of 5.8 million should make it comparatively rich. Aside from certain neighborhoods in Tripoli and Benghazi, it does not feel that way. A western diplomat warns of growing tensions: "There is steam in the kettle." [U.S. News & World Report]
Monday, 7 June, 2004: Western countries criticising Libya for sentencing five Bulgarian nurses to death should show compassion for the 426 children they were convicted of infecting with the deadly HIV virus, Libya says. Speaking at a symposium in Talloires, France, Libyan Prime Minister Shokri Ghanem denied he was offering a deal to ease the death sentence by firing squad, which he said was handed down last month after a fair trial by a court in Benghazi. "They claim that our courts are not good," he said at the symposium run by the Boston-based Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy where he earned a PhD in economics. "They are talking all the time about the rule of law and due process -- and this is what we think we have done," he said. [Reuters]
Monday, 7 June, 2004: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi expressed regret Sunday that Ronald Reagan died without standing trial for 1986 airstrikes on Libya. Reagan ordered the April 15, 1986, air raid in response to a disco bombing in Berlin allegedly called for by Qadhafi that killed two U.S. soldiers and a Turkish woman and wounded 229 people. "I express my deep regret because Reagan died before facing justice for his ugly crime that he committed in 1986 against the Libyan children," Libya's official JANA news agency quoted Qadhafi as saying. [AP]
Monday, 7 June, 2004: Five brothers whose computer company did business in the Middle East are scheduled to go on trial in the U.S. this week on charges that they made illegal shipments of computer equipment to countries that support terrorism and tried to cover up the deals. The men - Ghassan, Bayan, Basman, Hazim and Ihsan Elashyi - ran a company called InfoCom, which sold computer equipment and hosted Web sites for groups in the Middle East. Authorities charged that the Elashis made illegal shipments of computers and computer parts to Syria and Libya. [AP]
Monday, 7 June, 2004: World Cup African zone qualifier, group three : Ivory Coast 2 Libya 0. Scorers: Aruna Dindane 36, Didier Drogba 63. Half-time 1-0; Attendance: 60,000. [Reuters]

Sunday, 6 June, 2004: Libya has said its relation with India under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government was a "disappointment" and has hoped that relations between the two countries will improve with the change of guard at New Delhi. In an exclusive interview to FE, Libyan ambassador recalled several incidents when former ministers bluntly rejected invitations to visit Libya. While former external affairs minister Jaswant Singh asked him to first make peace with the US, former commerce minister Arun Jaitley had no time to give an audience to Libyan ambassador Dr Nuri al-Madani. Libya now wants to invite ministers in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in a bid to strengthen government-to-government contacts. [Financial Express]
Sunday, 6 June, 2004: A Training Session for 50 Libyan officials and police representatives, organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Libyan ministry for Public Security, will take place on Monday 7 June in Tripoli. The group will discuss issues such as border migration management and assisted voluntary return for stranded migrants. [IOM]
Sunday, 6 June, 2004: Japanese deputy foreign minister Ichiro Aisawa will visit Libya and Egypt on a six-day trip starting Sunday as Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's special envoy, the foreign ministry said Saturday. Aisawa will meet with top government officials of both countries. [Kyodo]

Saturday, 5 June, 2004: US Department of Commerce (DOC) Assistant Secretary William Lash led a commercial policy mission to Libya this week. During the 2-day mission Wednesday and Thursday, Lash met with numerous senior government officials, including Foreign Minister Abdelrahman Shalgam, Trade Minister Abdelqader Bilkhair, Tourism Minister Ammar el-Tayef, Chairman of Libyan Arab Airlines Husain Dabnon, and National Oil Corp. Chairman Abdallah el-Badri. DOC officials said the visit will help facilitate "an informal series of discussions" to support efforts by the Libyan government to develop its private sector, improve its business climate, attract foreign investment, and accede to the World Trade Organization. [Oil & Gas Journal]
Saturday, 5 June, 2004: The new issue of Modern Elegance, which will be distributed with The Times [of Malta] tomorrow, features fashion shots taken on location in the Roman ruins of Sabratha (photo), near Tripoli. The magazine's publishers say this was the first time Libya has been used as the location for a fashion shoot. Maltese models, a stylist, a make-up artist, a hairdresser and a photographer were flown to Tripoli and took with them several suitcases of clothes from fashion retailers in Malta. Sabratha is one of the three ancient cities that made up Tripolitania (Greek for "three cities") and from which Tripoli takes its name. [The Times]
Saturday, 5 June, 2004: Libya has cemented its return to the international mainstream by resuming its former role as a supplier of oil to the US. US Assistant Secretary for Commerce William Lash, speaking during a trade visit to Tripoli, said oil shipments had begun. He added that Libya was in talks over the purchase of Boeing aircraft. Libya, accused of sponsoring terrorism, was for 20 years the subject of US and UN trade embargoes. News of Libya's oil exports to the US comes as oil prices are at their highest level in years because of soaring demand, bottlenecks at US refineries, and fears that unrest in the Middle East could disrupt supplies. [BBC]
Saturday, 5 June, 2004: Libya, which is opening up to the West after the U.S. lifted many of its sanctions against it, is seeking to buy U.S.-manufactured planes, a U.S. senior trade official said. U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce William Lash ended on Friday a two-day visit to Tripoli during which "the issue of selling planes to Libya" was discussed. "We discussed Libya's preference for U.S. airplanes like Boeing. We are waiting to see how those sales could progress," he told Reuters. He did not say whether the planes Libya sought to buy would be for civilian or other purposes. Most of the commercial airliners Libya uses are Airbus planes. [Reuters]
Friday, 4 June, 2004: Libya, which remains at odds with Lebanon over the disappearance of a Shiite Muslim cleric more than 25 years ago, did not send any delegates to the OPEC meeting, an OPEC official said. In Tripoli, an official confirmed to AFP that "Libya is not participating" in the Beirut meeting. Libya was boycotting the meeting because of a dispute with Lebanon over the disappearance of Imam Mussa Sadr during a trip to Libya in 1978, an OPEC source said. [AFP]
Friday, 4 June, 2004: Libya is willing to back any action by OPEC needed to get oil prices down and isn't averse to raising the group's output ceiling by 2.5 million barrels a day, a senior Libyan delegate said Thursday. "We will take whatever action is needed to relax the market," the delegate said from Libya. Libyan Oil Minister Fathi bin Shatwan was scheduled to attend Thursday's meeting of the OPEC in the Lebanese capital, but now isn't coming. [Dow Jones]
Friday, 4 June, 2004: A medical student and son of a Libyan diplomat was knifed to death by unidentified attackers in St. Petersburg, police and embassy officials said. Mohammad al-Hammaly, a son of the cultural attache at the Libyan Embassy in Moscow, died Tuesday of knife wounds he suffered late Monday night, said Abubakr Hussein, an adviser at the embassy. Al-Hammaly, a second-year student in St. Petersburg, was the latest victim of frequent attacks on foreigners in Russia. He was in his early 20s. No suspects have been detained. [AP]
Friday, 4 June, 2004: A Palestinian doctor whom Libya has sentenced to death along with five Bulgarian nurses on charges of deliberately causing an AIDS epidemic has applied for Bulgarian citizenship, an official said Wednesday. Dr. Ashraf al-Hajuj made his request from a prison in Benghazi, where he and five Bulgarian nurses are pending appeals of death sentences a local court handed to them on May 6. "Dr. Ashraf has asked the nurses to tell (Foreign Minister) Passy that the only thnig that can make him happy at the moment is to be granted Bulgarian citizenship," deputy foreign minister Gergana Grancharova told reporters in Sofia. [BNN]
Friday, 4 June, 2004: Bulgaria sought support for the Palestinian doctor sentenced to death in Libya together with five Bulgarian nurses. Foreign Minister Solomon Passy asked Seif al-Islam, son of Libyan leader Qadhafi, for more specific information on the fate of the convict who was moved to another section of the Libyan prison. Ashraf has been living with the Bulgarians for five years now and he is already a part of our team, Passy explained. He has pleaded for the returning of the Palestinian doctor to the five Bulgarians. The Palestinian convict expressed hopes to be granted Bulgarian citizenship as his country and fellow citizens disappoint him. [Novinite]

Thursday, 3 June, 2004: Citibank wants to resume business with Libya, particularly focusing on trade and project finance, as the North African state opens up after sanctions, a senior official of the U.S. bank said on Wednesday. Michel Accad, Citibank division head of the Middle East and North Africa in Cairo, told Reuters a team that visited Libya after many U.S. sanctions were lifted in late April was drawing up a business plan. He said they were at an early stage. A Libyan banker in Tripoli said Citibank was among several U.S. banks which had sent teams to discuss opportunities. He named others as American Express Bank and J.P. Morgan. [Reuters]
Thursday, 3 June, 2004: Korea Express has denied that it had dissolved its guarantee on the construction project for building the world's largest waterway in Libya by Dongah Construction Industrial. "We have been talking with Libya to resolve contingent liabilities created due to a construction delay and Dongah's bankruptcy," the company said on Wednesday. Korea Express and the Libyan government will hold talks on the issue next Monday. Reportedly, the Libyan government will ask Korea Express to pay $1.32 billion in compensation for the project if the construction is not completed as planned. [The Korea Times]
Thursday, 3 June, 2004: The Palestinian doctor, who was sentenced to death in Libya together with five Bulgarians, has been moved to another section of the prison. Until Tuesday, the six shared a separate ward in the Benghazi prison. Now the Palestinian has been moved to the men's section. Bulgaria's deputy foreign minister Gergana Grancharova said the move got her worried. The convicts themselves were apparently upset after Doctor Ashraf's shifting. On May 6, Ashraf and the nurses were pronounced guilty of deliberately causing a hospital HIV epidemic. [Reuters]
Thursday, 3 June, 2004: The Confederation of African Football (CAF) will send an inspection team to the countries bidding to host the 26th African Cup of Nations scheduled for 2008. The objective of this inspection is to assess the various infrastructure like the stadia, hotels, media and medical facilities available in those countries. Initially three countries S. Africa, Ghana and Libya were bidding to host this Cup but S. Africa withdrew from the race. The inspection team will first visit Ghana from June 10 to 15, and then proceed to Libya from June 21 to 24. [The Reporter]
Thursday, 3 June, 2004: The motives for the verdicts on the five Bulgarian nurses, who were sentenced to death in Libya on May 6, will be handed in to the Bulgarian defence on Saturday at the earliest, the Benghazi Court told the Bulgarian lawyer Plamen Yalnazov. Yalnazov, together with the Bulgarian consul to Benghazi and a diplomat from the Consulate in Tripoli visited the prison where the Bulgarian medics are kept. After Yalnazov talked with the director of the prison, he was permitted to visit the Palestinian Ashraf (sentenced to death together with the Bulgarian nurses), who had been unexpectedly moved to the men's department of the prison. [FIA]
Thursday, 3 June, 2004: The director of Benghazi prison where the five Bulgarian nurses and Palestinian doctor are kept, assured Bulgarian lawyer Plamen Yalnazov that by two weeks' time the six convicts would be moved to the Libyan capital Tripoli, where a special house was prepared for them. [FIA]

Wednesday, 2 June, 2004: The nephew of Col. Qadhafi has been visiting the North East. Nasser al-Qadhafi (photo) is in Aberdeen, Scotland, to forge links with the oil community to encourage them to do business with Libya. If it's good enough for Tony Blair it's good enough for Aberdeen's Lord Provost. Where the Prime Minister led the way in meeting Col Qadhafi, John Reynolds followed suit today by extending the hand of friendship to the Libyan leader's nephew. Naser al-Qadhafi has been tasked with rebuilding his country's oil industry and it was with this aim that he found himself in Scotland. [Grampian TV]
Wednesday, 2 June, 2004: Libyan Dinar per: $US 1.320, Euro 1.61646, Pound Sterling 2.42558, Japanese Yen 82.96970, Swiss Franc 1.05846, Year High 1.4295, Year Low 1.31998. [Forex]
Tuesday, 1 June, 2004: The man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing has launched an appeal against the period he must serve in jail. Abdelbaset al-Megrahi (photo) has begun a challenge against the 27-year punishment period of his jail term. Lawyers for al-Megrahi will appear for an initial hearing in court on Friday. The Crown Office has launched an appeal against the punishment period, arguing that it is "unduly lenient". The Crown's appeal is due to be heard on 28 June. The Crown Office said Megrahi was fighting the punishment period on the grounds that it breached his human rights. [BBC]
Tuesday, 1 June, 2004: The Bulgarian solicitor arrived in Libya Monday to obtain the verdicts on the five nurses sentenced to death on May 6, but his efforts failed. The Libyan court which sentenced the women to death did not publish the verdict and the motives. Bulgarian solicitor Plamen Yalnuzov failed to arrange a meeting with jurors on Monday. He is hoping to carry out his plans on Tuesday. A delay could impede Bulgaria's preparations for appealing the verdicts. Yalnuzov held a two-hour meeting with the Bulgarian nurses. [Novinite]
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