News and Views [ July 2005 ]

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Sunday, 31 July, 2005: Libya has contacted the Irish authorities to request the extradition of a suspected Al-Qaeda financier living in Dublin. Ibrahim Buisir, an Irish citizen who has lived in the country for more than 20 years, was named by the American Treasury last year as the head of a European Al-Qaeda cell. Last month the Filipino government's Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) ordered banks to freeze and report his financial assets. It also linked Buisir to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group which has attempted to assassinate Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, the Libyan leader, on at least two occasions. Buisir has denied the allegations and maintains that his involvement in Islamic charities is purely altruistic. A Department of Justice spokesman said last week that no official request had been received as yet and no extradition treaty with Libya exists, but garda [Ireland's National Police] sources say Libyan security services have made it clear they want to extradite Buisir for trial in Libya. Buisir was the director of the Dublin branch of the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA) which shut down in 2002. [The Sunday Times]
Sunday, 31 July, 2005: Malta has asked Libya to allow 15 Maltese boats to fish within the declared Libyan Fishing Preservation Zone at any one time during the year. The request was made in a note verbal that Foreign Minister Michael Frendo handed over to Libyan Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem during a short visit to Libya. The meeting was held in Sirte on Thursday evening, the government said yesterday. Last April, Libya unilaterally declared a 62-mile fishing conservation zone which includes areas where Maltese vessels often fish. Maltese fishermen have so far not been stopped from fishing in the Libyan Preservation Zone. [Times Of Malta]
Sunday, 31 July, 2005: A group of foreigners studying at Islamic schools in Pakistan urged the president Saturday to reconsider his decision to expel international students in an effort to stop the schools from being used to spread extremism. The students denounced terrorism and said they had only come to Pakistan to receive an Islamic education. Most of Pakistan's madrassas [schools] are funded by private donations or religious political parties. A few are believed to also receive money from Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Libya. [AP]

Saturday, 30 July, 2005: Occidental Petroleum Corporation announced today that the Libyan authorities have approved, effective July 1, 2005, Occidental's recent agreement with Libya's National Oil Corporation whereby Occidental will resume operations in its historical Libyan contract areas. Occidental was required to leave its oil exploration and production operations in the prolific Sirte Basin in 1986 when the U.S. barred American companies from doing business in Libya. The immediate impact of Occidental's resumption of operations will be to add net production in the range of 12,000 to 15,000 barrels per day to the company's 2005 exit rate. [OXY]
Saturday, 30 July, 2005: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi cancelled a Thursday meeting with Spanish Foreign Minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos, during which the two were supposed to discuss the fate of five Bulgarian nurses sentenced to death. Spanish newspaper El Pais branded the cancellation as a "serious diplomatic incident." It reported that Libya's Prime Minister told Moratinos that Qaddafi was too busy to meet him Thursday. [SNA]

Friday, 29 July, 2005: A vet who helped to snatch five children from their British mother in a plot organised by an al-Qa'eda terrorist was jailed for six years yesterday. The operation was masterminded by Djamel Beghal, the man who recruited shoe bomber Richard Reid and who is serving a 10-year sentence in France for a plot to blow up the US embassy in Paris. The children of Anita Elgirnazi - Rumaysa, then aged 11, Safiya, nine, Ali, seven, Hamza, four, and Aisha, two (photo) - were taken to Libya. They are now in Tripoli with their father, Azzedin Elgirnazi, being raised as strict Muslims. Mrs Elgirnazi had been given custody of the children at her home in Saxlingham Thorpe, Norfolk, after divorcing. In June 2000, her ex-husband arrived to visit them, but then drove them to Dover with Beghal, Abushima and several others. [The Telegraph]
Friday, 29 July, 2005: U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman has removed Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's lobbyist in Washington from the Energy Department's top advisory board, administration officials said on Thursday. Randa Fahmy Hudome, a former international policy adviser to then-Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, was appointed to the department's highest level external advisory board by Abraham in May 2004. Soon after she became Libya's lobbyist. Her membership on the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, first reported by Reuters in May, drew fire from some government watchdog groups and families of the victims of the 1988 Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. Libya has taken responsibility for the bombing and agreed to a compensation deal. [Reuters]
Friday, 29 July, 2005: Two American engineers who claimed they were thrown into a Libyan prison for 105 days and tortured as suspected spies have been awarded $17.8 million in their lawsuit against the Libyan government. The default judgment in favor of Roger Frey and Michael Price on Monday -- an exception to sovereign immunity normally provided to foreign countries in U.S. courts -- found that the Libyan government had sponsored their torture. Andrew C. Hall represented the plaintiffs before U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth in the District of Columbia. Arman Dabiri Abkenari, a Washington attorney who had represented Libya, withdrew in May. In his motion to withdraw, Abkenari claimed that Libya had failed to cooperate with him and had not fully reimbursed him for his work. Frey and Price sued Libya in 1997, alleging the Libyan government had tortured them for several months in 1980. [Law]
Friday, 29 July, 2005: Libya snatched the Africa senior weightlifing men's crown in Uganda yesterday after her lifters picked up six gold and six silver and two bronze medals. The North African country, who brought a contingent of 17 lifters, snatched 212 points in the heavier weights. Hamzah Abughat (94kg) and Tarek Ahou (105kg) got Libya four gold medals. The Libyans beat Uganda, who settled for second place. The championships that ended yesterday, were sponsored by Rio Insurance, Imperial Hotels, Scandinavia Express and Eleiko. [The New Vision]

Thursday, 28 July, 2005: "High oil prices, while it is to the benefit of the African oil producing countries, it is a calamity to non-oil producing African countries, especially poor African countries." Libya's leader Qadhafi told the Libyan news agency JANA. "I deem it my duty, and the responsibility of oil producing African countries, especially Libya, Algeria, Nigeria and Angola to take decisive decision on this issue, which unless we expedite practical measures, the economies of several African countries will be harmed, he added". [Arabic News]
Thursday, 28 July, 2005: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi received a special message from Egyptian President Hosni Mobarak Monday, the Libyan News Agency, JANA, reported. It said the director of Egyptian intelligence services, Omar Souleiman delivered the message to the Qadhafi. Coming just days after Sharm Al-Cheikh bombings that killed 88 people and wounded about 200 others, observers said the message could concern the terrorist attacks. [Angop]
Thursday, 28 July, 2005: The higher scientific committee will hold a meeting on Thursday to finalize the agenda for the Sixth Arab Urological Association Conference, to be held 25-27 September 2005 in Libya's capital, Tripoli. Urogenital System specialist and head of Kuwait Urological Association, Dr Khalil Al-Awadhi told KUNA that Kuwait would participate in the Arab committees meeting, which would finalize the Arab conference's agenda. [KUNA]

LLHR: Libya; Four Executions By Firing Squad?

Wednesday, 27 July, 2005: In a repeat trip to Libya, Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) met with Libya's leader in a congressional effort to secure the country's cooperation in the war on terrorism. Weldon traveled with a delegation of senior members of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committee as part of a four-day trip that also included a stop in Lebanon and culminated in a meeting with British Prime Minister Blair in London. The delegation left Washington on Friday afternoon and traveled to Tripoli, the capital of Libya, where Weldon was scheduled to speak at an ocean-security conference on Saturday. The conference offered the "perfect opportunity" for Weldon to follow up on his previous meetings with Qadhhafi. [The Hill]

Tuesday, 26 July, 2005: The five bidding contractors for the estimated $70 million-80 million contract to build the Zueitina gas pipeline have been asked to submit final revised prices by the local Zueitina Oil Company. The bidders for the contract are: Italy's Bonatti; Athens-based Joannou & Paraskevaides (J&P); Germany's MAN GHH; Egypt's Petrojet; and India's Punj Lloyd. The client is expected to make an award in the autumn, once the government approves the budget. The scope of works covers the construction of a 42-inch-diameter, 215-km-long steel pipeline with capacity of 1,500 million cubic feet a day. The pipeline will run from Zueitina's 103A supply base in the Sirte basin to the Brega coastal pipeline. [MEED]
Tuesday, 26 July, 2005: The UN World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed Libya's agreement to help cover the costs of its airlift of food aid to western Sudan's Darfur region, where up to 3.25 million people will require its assistance. The Government of Libya has agreed to waive tariff increases on jet fuel for this humanitarian cargo. Without this help, the UN agency would have been forced to suspend the airlift because jet fuel was set to rise from 13 to 33 US cents per liter, costing WFP an additional US$1.5 million a month to maintain the airlift operation. [WFP]
Tuesday, 26 July, 2005: Libya wants to export oil to Moldova, a Libyan trade representative told Moldovan Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev on Monday. The Libyan trade representative, Nassradin Elkhweldy, who was visiting this former Soviet republic, said his country also wants to develop ties with Moldova in a number of industries, including pharmaceuticals and tourism. Tarlev did not say whether Moldova would buy Libyan oil, but said that his government would work to boost economic and cultural exchanges with the North African country. [AP]

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Amnesty International: Take Action For Omar Deghayes

Monday, 25 July, 2005: The lifting of sanctions and liberalisation of trade in Libya has prompted several food exporters from the UAE to introduce their goods to Libyan taste buds. Five food companies have signed up to the UAE in Libya Exhibition which aims to bring together UAE firms with potential customers in Libya. Sameer Chaturvedi, general manager of Al Safrad Foodstuff LLC believes that trade between Libya and the UAE is set to increase exponentially. [AME]
Monday, 25 July, 2005: The quasi-official Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) is organizing a trade delegation to help manufacturers tap emerging markets in Africa, a TAITRA official disclosed Sunday. According to the official, the delegation is scheduled to visit Libya, Nigeria and Egypt from Nov. 21 through Dec. 2 to explore trade opportunities in the three countries, seen as having the greatest development potential in the region. [Asia Pulse]

Sunday, 24 July, 2005: Rep. Mark Souder, R-3rd, Indiana, U.S., will spend the weekend in Libya and Lebanon, then visit London to give Britons a token of American condolences for the deaths in the subway bombings. Souder will be among a group of three Republicans and three Democrats from the House who, against State Department wishes, will spend today in Libya traveling with military dictator Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and two days in Lebanon meeting with government officials. In Libya, the group will travel with Qadhafi and will attend an energy conference. Qadhafi "wants to become an energy player, and, simply put, we need oil. Yes, Libya's not the most stable place in the world. Hardly any place where there's oil is stable. If they're not going to be stable, we need more of them, Souder said. It is Souder's second trip to Libya in 18 months. The group will travel on a military jet. [Fort Wayne Journal Gazette]

"About The West And Its Muslim Population?"  By : Ghoma

Saturday, 23 July, 2005: U.S. oil and gas producer Occidental Petroleum Corp. on Friday said it reached an agreement to restart Libyan operations it was forced to abandon in the mid-1980s, when U.S. sanctions were imposed. The company expects to receive formal approval from the Libyan government in the near future, Chief Executive Ray Irani said. The deal is expected to add 12,000 barrels to 15,000 barrels per day to its production rate this year, Irani said. [Reuters]
Saturday, 23 July, 2005: Russian shipbuilding experts are willing to offer Libya assistance in creating greater capacities at existing shipbuilding and ship-repairing yards, Valery Venkov, Deputy Director-General of the Central Research Institute of Shipbuilding Technology, told a news conference Friday. "We would like to offer a project to build a shipbuilding yard with a design capacity of 25-50 fishing vessels per year," Venkov said. A Russian delegation, including 15 representatives of some of Russia's major shipbuilding and design companies, will discuss these and other related projects during its forthcoming visit to Libya. [RIA Novosti]
ALFA : Letter To The UN Secretary-General

Friday, 22 July, 2005: Libya's joining in the Euro-Mediterranean partnership depends on the solving of the case with the five Bulgarian nurses sentenced to death in Libya, Italian Denaro newspaper reported. Libya has voiced its willingness to join the Euro-Mediterranean partnership. Resolving the issue of the medics is a condition if the EU is to give Tripoli the green light to join. The Barcelona Process is a unique and ambitious initiative, which laid the foundations of a new regional relationship and which represents a turning point in Euro-Mediterranean relations. Libya has observer status since 1999. Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were sentenced to death 6 May 2004 after being pronounced guilty of deliberate HIV infection of more than 400 children in a Libyan hospital. [SNA]
Friday, 22 July, 2005: The cooperation that began a few weeks ago between Brussels and Libya to curb the crossings of hundreds of illegal immigrants from the North African state to the EU took a step forward yesterday. At the end of the first technical meeting between the EU and Libya on saving lives in the Mediterranean Sea, hosted by Malta, the two sides agreed to start preparations for joint exercises as from next year. The draft conclusions, a copy of which was seen by The Times, show that the EU and Libyan delegates recommended that in the first meeting of the joint-committee, scheduled to take place later on this year, preparations should start for the establishment of joint search and rescue exercises in 2006. [The Times Of Malta]

Thursday, 21 July, 2005: An Egyptian human rights group on Monday said that Libyan authorities had executed recently four Egyptians on criminal charges. The trial of the four Egyptians lacked guarantee for fair trial, they added. The Arab Centre for the Independence of the Judiciary and Legal Council said in a statement that there are 15 other Egyptians on death row. The Cairo-based centre said it has strong doubts on the fairness of the sentence which was passed in the absence of any guarantee for fair trials. The centre pleaded with the Egyptian government, the Libyan Leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and his son, Saif al-Islam, to intervene to save the lives of the remaining Egyptians who are on the death row in Libya. [Khaleej Times]
Thursday, 21 July, 2005: Greece and Libya on Wednesday signed a cooperation memorandum for regular consultations on matters of mutual interest between the Greek and Libyan foreign ministries, during a visit to the country by Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valynakis. Valynakis expressed his satisfaction with the traditionally good ties between Greece and Libya, noting that his was the second visit by a Greek minister within the space of two months, and stressed that the Greek government was ready to further develop these ties on all levels. [ANA]

Wednesday, 20 July, 2005: The son of Libya's ambassador to Bulgaria has hit a motorcycle with his car last night, then he tried to escape from the site of the accident. The crash happened near the Park-Hotel Moskva, near Sofia's downtown area. Tahir Benshaban's son ignored a red right and rushed through a crossroad to turn left. There his car hit a young woman on her motorcycle. Test showed that the infringer had not consumed alcohol, but he didn't have identification documents for the vehicle. The driver refused to talk to police officers, and his father, who arrived to the scene soon after, behaved arrogantly and affronted the policemen. Injured Rossitza Gotseva was taken to an emergency clinic for examination and then released. [SNA]

Tuesday, 19 July, 2005: Libya has recalled two diplomats from its embassy in the Czech Republic whose sons were accused in raping 10-years-old boy, reports AFP citing announcement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Prague. The three Libyans (all ages 13) attacked the Czech boy in a theatre in Prague. [SNA]
Tuesday, 19 July, 2005: Heroin users and prostitutes in Myanmar have spread HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, through large parts of Asia, according to a Council on Foreign Relations study released on Monday. The use of so-called genetic fingerprinting now allows scientists to identify changes in the evolution of the virus and thereby dispute accusations, such as the one Libya made against Bulgarian nurses, that one group or another was spreading the virus. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 19 July, 2005: Malta will this week welcome technical experts from Libya and all EU member states for talks on search and rescue operations related to illegal immigration. The meeting, proposed by Malta, will be the first of such encounters following the opening of negotiations between the EU and Libya on a long-term action plan to combat the illegal traffick of humans across the Mediterranean. The two sides have agreed to form a joint committee to draw up a cooperation programme including the possibility of joint air and sea patrols. [Times Of Malta]
Tuesday, 19 July, 2005: More than 800 immigrants landed in southern Italy in one day, the Sicilian coastguard said on Monday. Boatloads of around 200 people each landed in various locations, including the tiny island of Lampedusa, which has become famous as an arrival point for thousands of would-be immigrants from Africa. Lampedusa is just 170 km off the African coast. Italy has started sending those who fail to prove they deserve asylum to Libya for repatriation, a policy which has been condemned by human rights groups and the European Parliament. [Reuters]

Monday, 18 July, 2005: U.S. authorities have alleged for the first time that Abdulrahman Alamoudi, a Washington-area activist who represented Muslims at the highest levels of the U.S. government, raised money for al-Qaida in the U.S. The assertion, in a Treasury Department statement, gave no details. Alamoudi's lawyer denied the allegation and noted that his client had never been charged in court with supporting al-Qaida. Alamoudi, 53, an Eritrean immigrant, was convicted last year of illegally accepting nearly $1 million from Libya. [Washington Post]
Monday, 18 July, 2005: The Libyan authorities shot dead 11 sentenced to death criminals, RIA Novosti reports. Six Libyans, four Egyptians and two people with unknown citizenship were sentenced to death after being charged with armed robberies and deliberate murders. [FIA]
Monday, 18 July, 2005: According to JANA, in response to Libyan leader Qadhafi's call to the Ayar Liberation Front in Northern Niger, to put an end to violence and resort to dialogue, the leader of the military wing of the Front, Mohammed Abulla, handed over weapons of the front, and put all its fighters and cadres at the disposal of the leader. This was carried out during a major ceremony in Ubari City in Wadi al-Hayat Shabya (municipality), southern Libya, Friday evening, before a large crowed of Taureq elderly and tribe chiefs in Libya, Niger, and Mali. [Al-Bawaba]

Sunday, 17 July, 2005: Attacks against Muslim minorities and their mosques and schools whenever there is a terrorist attack in the West illustrate the dangerous level of hatred and racism that exists in the [West]. Arabs and Muslims have been subjected, and still are, to invasions, aggressions, occupations, oppressions and acts of state terrorism from the Western nations and the Jewish state closely allied to them. This has resulted in hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of victims, whether in the recent past in Palestine, Egypt, Sudan and the Arab Gulf countries under the British occupation, or Lebanon, Algeria, Syria, Tunisia and Morocco under the French or Libya under the Italians, or at present in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. Needless to say, all terrorist acts should be condemned, whether carried out by individuals, groups or armies under government orders. While these terrorist acts are not justifiable in any way, equally unjustifiable are the West's biased policies toward Israel and against the Arabs and Muslims. [Arab News]
Sunday, 17 July, 2005: Grendene, the greatest shoe manufacturer in Brazil, plans on exporting to another two Arab countries, Algeria and Libya. The information was disclosed by Investor Relations manager, Doris Wilhelm. The company has traded in the Arab market for seven years, selling to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Morocco, Lebanon, Bahrain, Egypt and Oman. According to Doris, the Arab market is attractive and "has a good growth potential". [ANBA]
Sunday, 17 July, 2005: Jamal Moharram, vice chairman and CEO of the Egyptian Commercial Bank, said that the Greek Bank Piraeus has won another 10% stake in the bank after convincing the Libyan investors to sell half of their 20% stake in the bank. [APD]

Saturday, 16 July, 2005: Two Turks, sentenced to death in Libya have been executed, the Anadolu Agency reported. The two Turkish citizens have been sentenced to death in 1995 over murder.Five Bulgarian nurses and one Palestinian doctor are also on death row in Libya. They have been detained since 1999. Tripoli's Supreme Court, which was to confirm the death sentences of the Bulgarian convicts or call for a retrial on May 31, delayed the case for Nov. 15. [Novinite]
Saturday, 16 July, 2005: Turkey expressed sorrow on Friday because Libyan authorities executed two Turkish nationals, accused of killing two Libyan citizens. A Turkish Foreign Ministry statement said its officials' efforts to convince their Libyan counterparts not to apply the death penalty on the two Turks failed, noting that Libya refused all the Turkish offers. [KUNA]
Friday, 15 July, 2005: Libya international Al-Saadi al-Qadhafi (photo) has been charged with 'sporting fraud'. The decision to charge the son of Libya's leader was announced by Prosecutor Sergio Sottani in Perugia [Italy] on Wednesday. The 32-year-old, who recently signed for Uefa Champions League contenders Udinese from Perugia, is to appear in court in November, said the Italian news agency ANSA. Al-Saadi tested positive for nandrolone after a match between Perugia and Reggina in October 2003 and served a three-month ban backed by world football's governing body FIFA. [BBC]

Friday, 15 July, 2005: Italy and Libya have concluded a major naval exercise. The two navies completed the Nurs-2005 exercise in the western Mediterranean on July 11. The exercise was meant to demonstrate interoperability as well as improve combat skills in the effort to prevent insurgency and smuggling. Nurs-2005 was said to have marked the largest exercise since the two countries resumed annual naval maneuvers in 2002. "The exercise was meant to increase combat naval capability and intensify cooperation," an Italian diplomatic source said. [MENL]
Friday, 15 July, 2005: About 900 kilograms of spent nuclear fuel from six countries are currently stored at sites across Russia, a senior figure in the country's nuclear industry said Thursday. Addressing an int'l conference, Multilateral Approaches to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Non-Proliferation Issues, Alexei Lebedev, deputy chief executive of Techsnabexport, said the nuclear waste had come from Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Libya, Latvia and Uzbekistan. [RIA Novosti]
Friday, 15 July, 2005: Four suspected Al-Qaeda members who escaped from an American-controlled air base changed out of their orange prison jumpsuits before making their getaway from the heavily guarded compound, a U.S. military spokesman said Wednesday. U.S. and Afghan forces early today still had not found the prisoners from Syria, Kuwait, Libya and Saudi Arabia, who were reported missing early Monday from Bagram air base, north of Kabul. [NewsDay]
Friday, 15 July, 2005: The Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company (Lafico), a state-owned company that controls Libyan government investment abroad is studying the establishment of a branch in Brazil. "The idea is to create companies turned to specific sectors, like livestock farming and tourism," said the Libyan ambassador to Brazil, Mohamed Heimeda Matri. Matri stated that the iron ore sector is also generating great interest. [Brazil Magazine]
Friday, 15 July, 2005: Bulgarian government has decided to allot additional BGN 400,000 from the state budget to cover expense under the AIDS trial in Libya. The budget means are meant to cover the fees at the parallel civil lawsuits launched against the Bulgarian medics by families of HIV-inflicted children. The sum will also cover expenses under the civil lawsuits initiated by the Bulgarian medics against Libyans accused of torturing them into confessions. The Supreme Court of Libya is expected to rule on the appeals of death sentences of the medics on Nov. 15. [SNA]
Friday, 15 July, 2005: Eight open heart surgeries to remedy congenital heart deformities were carried out on Tuesday morning at the Libyan National Centre for Heart Surgery and Treatment, and four catheterization performed on children. Dr. Aliwa Mohamed Aliwa and Dr. Mohammed Sasi carried out eight surgeries for the open heart on children, while Dr. Salem Albajigni and Dr. Mohammed Baisho carried out catheter operations. [JANA]

"Once More On The Oppositionists' Get-Together!"  By : Ghoma

Thursday, 14 July, 2005: The United States pressed Libya to take tough steps against terrorism financing in the highest-level U.S. trip to the North African country since sanctions were lifted, a U.S. official said on Wednesday. Stuart Levey, the U.S. Treasury's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in written testimony for a Senate banking committee hearing that he had traveled last month to oil-rich Libya, a pariah since the 1988 Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. In a sign of renewed engagement, Levey met with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, Finance Minister Mohammed Ali al-Houeij, and Central Bank Governor Ahmed Mohammed Moneisi to discuss the fight against dirty money. [Reuters]
Thursday, 14 July, 2005: Libya's tourism investment and development board (TIDB) chairman, who is in town to promote Libya's tourism industry, invites Malaysians to invest in Libya's construction activities. "Our government is now concentrating in developing the infrastructure to boost tourism activities in an effort to diversify the country's economy. "With the minimum infrastructure and construction-based activities currently, Libya needs more foreign investors, particularly from Malaysia to realise our mission," Dr Ali F. Aweda said Wednesday. [Bernama]

Wednesday, 13 July, 2005: The European Commission today released Euro 1 million to provide urgent support to Libya in its fight against the AIDS/HIV epidemic in Benghazi. This money will pay for urgent policy advice and technical support to the Libyan health authorities and upgrade the capacity of the Benghazi Centre for Infectious Diseases and Immunology (BCIDI) to international standards. These projects are part of the "HIV Action Plan for Benghazi". The Action Plan was launched by the EU in Nov. 2004 and is being implemented by the Libyan authorities with support from the Commission and EU Member States. In Benghazi, more than 400 children and mothers have been infected by HIV/AIDS. Measures taken over the last six years have not succeeded in bringing the BCIDI to the high standard of medical care needed to tackle such a massive epidemic or in raising awareness of the wider community to reintegrate patients into society. [MNT]
Wednesday, 13 July, 2005: Libyan officials discussed the "cement shortages in the Libyan market, especially that we are going to implement mega projects in the field of housing" the official news agency JANA yesterday quoted officials saying. It quoted officials saying discussions "concluded several important procedures amongst which the need to glut the market with cement and to provide huge quantities of it during the coming period to satisfy the needs, he added." The report added "It was agreed to import 4 million tons of cement at least, besides production of local factories, which production is estimated at over 4 million tons a year." [Arabic News]
Wednesday, 13 July, 2005: Yesterday Italian Interior Minister, Giuseppe Pisanu, went to Sirte, in Libya, where he had a long and cordial meeting with Colonel Qadhafi on Italian-Libyan cooperation problems and Euro-African ones. "Especial attention was given to the fight against Islamic terrorism and the criminal organisations that manage and piteously exploit illegal immigration. Such organisations based in Libya and other countries in the Mediterranean need to be fought energetically via intense international collaboration." [AGI]
Wednesday, 13 July, 2005: Libya and Italy completed a joint tactical navy exercise, aimed at enhancing their fighting capabilities and strengthening relations between the two countries, the London-based daily Al-Hayyat reported. Libya possesses the longest coast in the Mediterranean. This is the fourth year running that the two countries are conducting this joint exercise. Though Italy controlled Libya before World War II, the two countries now maintain friendly relations and have recently cooperated in fighting illegal immigration to Europe. [Media Line]

Tuesday, 12 July, 2005: The first phase of the viability study for an irrigation project that the government of Libya is interested in investing in the Brazilian state of Bahia should be ready in 90 days. The Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company (Lafico) recently signed an agreement with construction company Norberto Odebrecht for the execution of the study. The enterprise covers an area of 60,000 hectares and has already been chosen by the federal government. [Anba]
Tuesday, 12 July, 2005: 2005 is turning out to be another deadly year for journalists. According to Vienna's International Press Institute's statistics, 40 journalists, in particular those investigating corruption, drug trafficking and other illegal activities, have been killed so far this year. At least 11 journalists and media staffers have died in Iraq alone. Six journalists were killed in the Philippines, and two each in Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Haiti, Mexico, Pakistan and Somalia ... Journalists were also killed in Libya and Lebanon. [INM]

LLHR: Libya; Gross Violations Of The Right To Freedom...

Monday, 11 July, 2005: Libya said Sunday it has decided to lift custom tariffs on more than 3,500 imported commodities in a move to liberate the country's economy. Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem (photo) told the official Libyan news agency the measure was aimed at "improving the economic performance and easing the pressure on Libyans in terms of high prices on some products." He said he expected the removal of custom duties would lower prices, end bureaucratic measures, limit smuggling and increase the trade volume. Ghanem added the move was a step to make Libya a free market economy and turn it into a transit point between Africa and Europe, as well as "the rest of the world." [UPI]
Monday, 11 July, 2005: TNT Express [air chargo, the world's leading B2B [business to business] express delivery company, has added 20 countries - including Iraq, Libya, Morocco and Sri Lanka - to its 'Express Import' service, which allows customers to arrange collections from an overseas client and pay for delivery in their own currency or send shipments overseas and the recipients pay for the transaction in their local currency. [AMEInfo]
Monday, 11 July, 2005: Libyan Dinar per: $US 1.32750, Euro 1.58915, Pound Sterling 2.30733 Japanese Yen 84.56497, Swiss Franc 1.02178. Year High 1.32750. Year Low 1.20550. [Forex]

TV Debate: The Regime And The Opposition ( Budabbous and Buisier )

Sunday, 10 July, 2005: Libya has reportedly paid off an estimated 25 million dollars in overdue medical bills to Jordan, chalked up by sending thousands of its own citizens there for medical care. "A Libyan delegation visited Jordan and met with hospital officials and paid bills totaling 25 million dollars," Fawzi Hammuri, the president of the Association of Private Hospitals, told the state-run Petra news agency. According to Petra around 13,000 Libyans, sponsored by their government, seek medical treatment each year in Jordan. [AFP]
Sunday, 10 July, 2005: The African Court on Human and People's Rights will merge with the African Union (AU) Court of Justice, an AU official discloed Tuesday on the sidelines of the AU Summit. Xinhua reported from Sirte, Libya, that the merger, recommended by the Executive Council of the AU, will be completed for consideration by the next ordinary session of the Council and the AU Assembly, possibly to be held in the Sudan, the official added. [ENA]

"Caught In The Trappings Of The Past...?"  By : Ghoma

Saturday, 9 July, 2005: A delegation of young Libyans are due to arrive at Heathrow [UK] on Saturday to start on the second leg of a unique exchange with young people in Wales. The project began during Easter, when a group of 14 Welsh youngsters and three leaders from Gwerin y Coed (The Woodcraft Folk in Wales), the Welsh Youth Forum on Sustainable Development and the Urdd Gobaith Cymru spent two weeks in Libya. "The aim of our project," said Emily Ashton-Hughes, 16, from North Wales, "is to improve the link between our countries." [ICWales]
Saturday, 9 July, 2005: The African Union in its summit in Libya decided to request two seats on the UN Security Council reserved for the African continent. The African Union seeks that the veto right of the five permanent members on the Security Council to be abolished. It is not clear how these African requests will impact on the so-called G-4 countries (Germany, India, Japan, and Brazil) in their coordinated bid to gain seats at the Council. The African Union holds 53 votes, a large portion of the needed 2/3 majority of countries in the UN General Assembly, to start the approval process to change the charter of the United Nations. [Arabic News]

Friday, 8 July, 2005: Lack of sufficient evidence is the main ground for the acquittal of the torturers of the Bulgarian medics in Libya. The information emerged Thursday. Osman Bizanti (photo), lawyer of the Bulgarian nurses sentenced to death by Libyan authorities for deliberately infecting children with HIV, obtained the documents with the jury's grounds. Bizanti said he will appeal against the verdict. Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were sentenced to death 6 May 2004 after being pronounced guilty of deliberate HIV infection of more than 400 children in a Libyan hospital. [SNA]
Friday, 8 July, 2005: State Duma deputies are eagerly anticipating their summer vacation, which starts Saturday, to plant vegetables at their dachas, go hunting and fishing, drink fresh milk and lard-laced vodka or even fly to Libya to meet with Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. Independent Deputy Sergei Popov said he would fly to Libya to meet with Qadhafi and discuss his "Green Book." Qadhafi penned "The Green Book," a treatise on Islamic socialism as an alternative to capitalism and communism, during the 1970s. [The Moscow Times]
Friday, 8 July, 2005: Malta is ready to host a technical seminar involving experts on search and rescue from the European Union and Libya as a first step towards mitigating the issues related to migration. During yesterday's Meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives held in Brussels, the Maltese Permanent Representative Richard Cachia Caruana intervened to emphasise the magnitude of the problem of immigrants heading North from the Libyan Coast. Malta is proposing to hold this seminar on the coming 20th July. [Di-Ve]

Thursday, 7 July, 2005: Leading human rights groups say European Union proposals to stop illegal immigrants entering the bloc from Libya are "irresponsible". Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) say European Union (EU) cooperation with the African country that is "known for regularly scorning human rights -- particularly those of immigrants and refugees" could compromise refugee protection and migrants' fundamental rights. Last week, the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, announced "emergency measures" to help Malta, Italy and Libya tackle the growing problem of illegal immigration from the African country to the EU member states. [IPS]
Thursday, 7 July, 2005: The Committee for Defending Saddam Hussein has turned over full control of the defense to a group headed by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. Lawyer Ziad Khasawneh, the Jordanian head of the committee, said he contacted Saddam's wife, Sajida Khairallah, and informed her about his decision to quit the committee, which was established in Amman in June 2004 by 24 lawyers from Jordan, Belgium, France, the United States, Sudan and Libya. The committee, which includes former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas and Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's daughter, Aisha, has been unable to meet with Saddam face-to-face. Khasawneh said the committee might be dissolved. [The Washington Times]

Wednesday, 6 July, 2005: Leaders and senior officials of 53 African Union (AU) members ended their meeting in Sirte, Libya, Tuesday after passing declarations on the millennium development goals (MDGs) and the UN reform. The AU expressed its commitment to the Millennium Declaration and the achievement of the MDGs within. It also made clear its position over the UN reform. Delegates also discussed issues like regional conflicts in Africa, the continent's development and debt cancellation, as well as Libya's proposal on AU construction. [CRI]
Wednesday, 6 July, 2005: African leaders have agreed to ask rich G8 nations to wipe out the debt of all African countries. The meeting of the African Union summit in Libya will present a "common position" statement to the G8 summit, calling for the debt of all African countries to be forgiven across the board by all creditors and for all agricultural subsidies to be abolished. About 40 heads of state have been meeting in Libya for the fifth ordinary summit of the AU, which comes just before the G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland. [SBS]
Wednesday, 6 July, 2005: Secretary-General Kofi Annan has announced the creation of a fund to promote democratric institutions and practices around the world - an idea first proposed by the United States. President Bush suggested the creation of a fund in a speech to the U.N. in September. He said it would help countries lay the foundations of democracy by instituting the rule of law, independent courts, a free press, political parties and trade unions. Annan announced its establishment in a speech Monday at the African Union summit in Sirte, Libya. [AP]

Tuesday, 5 July, 2005: Amid global calls to combat poverty in Africa, Libyan leader Qadhafi called on African nations to stop "begging" during the opening on Monday of an African summit attended by more than 50 leaders from this crisis-wracked continent. Qadhafi also urged African countries to overcome past failures during a typically rambling speech, which received muted applause from leaders of African states. "Pleading to the G-8 to lift debts won't make a future for Africa," said Qadhafi, wearing his traditional African dress while praising Africa's natural resources and treasures. "We need cooperation between the big and the small countries in the world." "Begging won't make a future for Africa," he added. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa also attended the opening of the meeting. [AP]
Tuesday, 5 July, 2005: A committee set up by jurists' unions in Libya has handed a protest note to the British government through its ambassador to Libya. The note was decided by the jurists at their conference yesterday during which they stressed their commitment to the jamahiri system of government. The jurists' unions, made up of members of judicial bodies and those working in the legal profession, are protesting against the fact that the British government allowed a handful of traitors, mercenaries and outlaws to attempt to harm the Libyan people's choice of democratic system of government based on the authority of the people. [BBCMS]

The Committee For Libyan National Activities In Europe : Statement

Monday, 4 July, 2005: Sources inside Libya have informed us that the the government has been launching an intimidation campaign against "internet cafes" owners and managers. Owners and managers of internet cafes, have been forced to sign agreements to turn in to authority any person who happens to brows any religious, jihad, or political site. Security agents have been making many unannounced "search and arrest" visits to all internet cafes throughout Libya. [JUS]
Monday, 4 July, 2005: Saudi Arabia yesterday rejected Libyan accusations that it had orchestrated a recent congress of Libya's exiled opposition in London. "A source at the Saudi Embassy in Britain denied allegations that the Kingdom funded or backed the congress of the Libyan opposition," the Saudi Press Agency reported. The Kingdom is "committed to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries," the source added. [Arab News]
Monday, 4 July, 2005: Heads of state and government as well as their representatives from 53 African Union (AU) members are gathering in Sitre, Libya, to attend the 5th AU summit. During the two-day meeting on Monday and Tuesday, delegates will discuss issues like regional conflicts in Africa, the continent's development and debt cancellation, as well as Libya's proposal on AU construction. In addition, the leaders, who are to be joined by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, are also expected to discuss the UN reform, seeking two permanent seats to Africa. [Xinhua]
Monday, 4 July, 2005: African leaders are expected to approve a resolution seeking two permanent seats on an expanded United Nations Security Council. A draft resolution, hammered out by African foreign ministers, has detailed the continent's common position on the UN reform. It is to be submitted to the two-day African Union (AU) summit due to open in the Libyan seaport city of Sirte on Monday. According to the draft resolution, the UN Security Council members should be increased from 15 to 26, with six of the 11 new members being permanent ones with veto right and the rest five non-permanent ones. Two of the six new veto-wielding permanent seats shall go to African countries while another two to Asia, one to Latin America and the Caribbean and one to Western Europe. The document, however, has failed to specify the candidates for the two permanent seats Africa eyes on. So far, eight African countries including South Africa, Egypt, Libya, Angola, Senegal, Nigeria and Gambia have announced intention to bid. [Xinhua]

Sunday, 3 July, 2005: Hundreds of youths protested in Tripoli over a meeting in London of exiled Libyan opposition groups which called for a peaceful end to the regime of Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. The first Libyan opposition congress was "an illegal conclave" and its participants "traitors," the protesters said. The crowd, estimated by organisers to number between 1,000 and 2,000, assembled in central Tripoli shouting slogans against the opposition-in-exile. "You are a group of traitors, you are criminals and you are in the service of foreign forces," they chanted as they displayed posters of Qadhafi. The protest organisers called in a statement for legal action to be taken against the organisers of the London congress. [AFP]
Sunday, 3 July, 2005: The Libyan authorities accused Saudi Arabia of organizing a conference for the Libyan opposition in London which called by the end of June on the Libyan leader Qadhafi who has been ruling the country since 1969 to quit authority. The Libyan people's committee on Friday in a statement criticized "those Libyans who live abroad and conspire against their country at the support of foreign countries and intelligence." For the first time, these sides directly accused Saudis of being behind the Libyan opposition in addition to unidentified intelligence sides. On June 25th, a conference attended by Libyan opposition figures held in Britain called for the removal of al-Qadhafi from power in preparation for a democratic Libya. [Arabic News]
Sunday, 3 July, 2005: Relations with Libya are of particular importance among the UK Presidency priorities. This was said by British Ambassador to Bulgaria Jeremy Hill in a public lecture on the priorities of the UK European Union Presidency assumed as of Friday. "We are profoundly aware of the suffering of the Bulgarian medics and the Palestinian doctor. We will work closely with the Bulgarian authorities for a resolution on their case," Hill said. He added that the Presidency will actively promote the EU Action Plan to assist the AIDS victims in Benghazi. [SNA]
Sunday, 3 July, 2005: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would start Saturday a tour in three Arab countries, including Mauritania, Libya and Egypt, well-informed Palestinian sources said on Saturday. Abbas, who is currently in Jordan, is scheduled to head later on Saturday to the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott to pay his first visit to the country since he took office in January. Then Abbas would go to Libya to participate in the African summit in Sirte, where he was scheduled to meet with Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. [Xinhuanet]
Sunday, 3 July, 2005: Following are the 35 countries the U.S. Border Patrol considers of "special interest" because of alleged sponsorship or support of terrorism, according to internal data provided by Border Patrol sources ... Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Yemen. [Detroit Free Press]

FLD - British Parliament EDM : Human Rights In Libya

Saturday, 2 July, 2005: Foreign ministers from African Union (AU) member states met in the Libyan city of Sirte on Friday to start their executive council meeting to prepare for the fifth AU summit due on July 4-5. During their two-day meeting, the council ministers are to discuss recommendations and reports drawn up by the AU permament representatives committee during the past days. According to Egypt's official MENA news agency, the ministers's discussions are to dwell on Cairo's proposals for setting up an African centres on treatment of AIDS and contagious diseases and on scientific research and technology, and launching a pan-African satellite channel. They are also to discuss a number of financial and administrative issues. [CRI]
Saturday, 2 July, 2005: Niger and Eritrea are liable to join a list of seven member countries banned from addressing the African Union (AU), deprived from their right to vote by the AU and whose nationals, whatever their skills, are not allowed to bid for posts advertised by the AU. As of 3 June, both countries, which owe the organisation two full years in arrears of contributions to the AU budget, were in a situation that rendered them liable to sanctions, pursuant to decisions taken 15 years ago by the defunct OAU and fully endorsed by the AU. [PANA]
Saturday, 2 July, 2005: After five years of torment, Norfolk mother Anita Elgirnazi can smile again, after seeing a man involved in abducting her five children convicted giving her the biggest glimmer of hope yet for their return. Mrs Elgirnazi will appeal directly to Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to help get her children back from his country after Mustapha Abushima's conviction strengthened her case for their return to England. Norwich Crown Court heard of the "complex and murky plot" hatched by the children's father, Azzedin Journazi to spirit them away to his native country involved top-level al Qaida terrorists. Djamel Beghal, 39, who had recruited failed shoe bomber Richard Reid, and Zacharias Moussaoui, an alleged hijacker during the September 11 attacks, was planning to use money obtained during the trip to finance a suicide attack on the US Embassy in Paris. [EDP24]
Saturday, 2 July, 2005: The European Union yesterday announced "emergency measures" aimed at helping Malta, Italy and Libya to tackle the current illegal immigration crisis. Speaking to The Times, Jonathan Faul, Director General for Justice, said the EU has allocated 1 million Euro to assist the countries most hit by the immigration crisis in the Mediterranean. He said the funds can be utilised by Malta, Italy and Libya to start joint patrols or to develop other cooperation programmes in order to tackle the difficult situation. [Times Of Malta]
Saturday, 2 July, 2005: The word for HIV-AIDS in Hausa, the language most widely spoken in Niger, means "Welcome to the grave". Many people living with HIV/AIDS ignored the illness until it was too late, a government adviser said. "Patients arrive (in hospitals) when they're terminally ill and are not taken into account in the statistics," he noted. According to Niger's 2002 sentinel survey, commercial sex workers had an average 25 percent infection rate. However, this soared to 50% in Dirkou, an oasis town in the desert north on the main trucking route to Libya. Soldiers registered 3.8%, truckers 1.7% and teachers 1.4%. [UNIRIN]

Friday, 1 July, 2005: The Libyan government plans to sell a second state-owned bank to private investors as part of reforms to expand the private sector role in the oil dependent economy, Libya's central bank chief said. "The privatisation of state-owned banks is beginning with the sell-off of Sahari and Wahda banks. We announced early this month the sale of Sahari bank and now an assessment operation of Wahda bank is under way before its privatisation," Ahmed Al Menissi told Reuters late on Tuesday on the sidelines of a meeting of Maghreb central bank governors in Tripoli. He did not say when Wahda's privatisation might start in earnest and gave no details on the sell-off of Sahari bank but said Libya was seeking to prepare the country's banking system to withstand foreign competition. [Reuters]
Friday, 1 July, 2005: Switzerland has extradited to Germany a 61-year-old engineer accused of helping Libya's now abandoned efforts to build a nuclear bomb, authorities said Thursday. Gotthard Lerch, a German living in Switzerland, was handed over by authorities on Thursday morning at the Swiss-German border control between Kreuzlingen and Konstanz, said Folco Galli, spokesman for Switzerland's Justice Ministry. Lerch was arrested in November in northeast Switzerland on an international warrant after his name figured prominently in investigations by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog. [AP]

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