News and Views [ September 2005 ]

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A New Libyan Site: "LibdaCafe.Com"

Friday, 30 September, 2005: By exploring new locations, Libyan oil reserves are expected to increase by 70 billion barrels to reach 105 billion barrels, said Wednesday a Libyan official. In a statement to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) on the sidelines of the 18th World Petroleum Congress (WPC), the official from Libya's National Oil Company (NOC), Tareq Hassan Bek, said Libya has been encouraging international oil companies to invest in the much-needed explorations because only 37 percent of Libyan areas have been explored. He said Libya has already qualified 15 oil firms to invest and explore 45 areas after 120 had presented their bids, adding that next October 2 signifies the end of the second bidding phase that includes exploring 44 areas. [KUNA]
Friday, 30 September, 2005: Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) has announced it is looking at expanding its business in Libya and will participate in an exhibition for UAE-based companies as part of its growth plans. The bank will promote its financial packages at the 'UAE in Libya' event taking place from 27-30 November, when companies looking to break into re-opened markets will converge on Tripoli as part of the government-backed event. [AME]
Friday, 30 September, 2005: [Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi] and president Idriss Deby discussed Thursday the process of the Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) community and the latest situations in Darfur region. President Deby arrived in Libya Thursday afternoon at Sirte international airport where he was received by Major-General Alkhwaldi Alhmeadi. [LJBC]
Friday, 30 September, 2005: A global oil conference concluded Thursday in South Africa's Johannesburg with calls for more investment in African oil ... The 18th World Petroleum Congress was convened against a backdrop where Africa plays increasingly important role in the global oil market, in which crude oil prices have soared sky-high during the past two years. Officials from oil-rich Nigeria, Algeria, Angola and Libya told delegates attending the congress that vast oil and gas investment opportunities are emerging in Africa. [People's Daily]
Friday, 30 September, 2005: Three Egyptian men yesterday appeared in court to answer charges of ferrying irregular immigrants over to Malta. The three, Tamer Ibrahim Attia, 25, Hassan Mabruk Ali, 27, Wagdi Abdel Gawad, 26, claimed they worked as fishermen in Libya. The prosecution claims that they were the captain, his assistant and the mechanic on a boat used to ferry the last batch of irregular immigrants who arrived in Malta on 25 September. [Independent]
Friday, 30 September, 2005: Aisha al-Qadhafi, daughter of the Libyan leader Qadhafi commended what she called the Iraqi resistance men and called for not keeping silence over what is taking place in Iraq of violations. Aisha al-Qadhafi said, in the inauguration of the conference on the violations of human rights under the invasion and occupation of Iraq, which is organized by Wa'tasimou Association "Observe a sit in" which she presides over, that the Iraqi men of resistance were able to destroy the dreams of America on their rock." The conference is attended by several former Iraqi detainees who were tortured in Abu Ghreib prison. [Arabic News]
Friday, 30 September, 2005: A Belgian judge has indicted Hissene Habre, the former dictator of Chad, charging him with large-scale human rights violations, and has issued an international warrant, the Justice Ministry announced Thursday. Mr. Habre was once supported by the United States, which provided him with considerable military aid because it found him useful as a bulwark against Col. Mu'ammar el-Qadhafi in Libya. But Mr. Habre's violent campaigns against his opponents led to his overthrow. [The New York Times]

Thursday, 29 September, 2005: President Bush on Wednesday issued an order to let U.S. companies work with Libya to destroy its stockpile of chemical weapons - a move the U.S. is taking in response to Libya's voluntary efforts to disarm. In another order, the president waived restrictions on Libya so it can refurbish eight C-130 aircraft the nation bought from the United States in the 1970s. Libya owns the aircraft, but never took possession of the planes that are stored in the U.S. Bush's actions waived certain restrictions of the Arms Export Control Act, which prohibits defense exports to Libya because it is on Washington's list of states that sponsor terrorism. The waivers are in keeping with the U.S. commitment to unblock Libyan property in the United States and respond to Libya's steps to disarm. [AP]
Thursday, 29 September, 2005: The head of the Libyan delegation at the General Conference of the International Atomic Energyu Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria, Maatoug Mohamed Maatoug, held a working session with the president of the Argentinian Nuclear Energy Office, Jose Abriata, official sources in Tripoli said Tuesday. The meeting focused on cooperation between the two countries, in particular on issues related to desalination by using nuclear energy that meet the security standards as defined by IAEA, the sources said. During the talks, held alongside the IAEA proceedings in the Austrian capital, Abriata informed Maatoug, Libya's Defence Force, Training and Employment Minister, of his country's readiness to cooperate with Libya in the nuclear field by bringing its technical and scientific assistance. [Africast]
Thursday, 29 September, 2005: Libya is looking to date palm and olive crops – valuable trading commodities in the Mediterranean – as potential ways of supplementing its oil revenues. As part of this forward investment, the Libyan Date Palm and Olive Development and Improvement Corporation wanted to ensure it had enough 'elite plant material' to guarantee a steady flow of plants from their micro-propagation units near the Mediterranean coast. Plant experts from the University of the West of England (UWE) are helping to achieve this aim. Links between UWE and Libya began around eight years ago, and since then two MSc graduates from Al-Fateh University in Tripoli came to UWE to do their PhDs. They have now returned to teach at their home University. [Innovations Report]
Thursday, 29 September, 2005: Romanian prosecutors questioned the chief executive of the country's second-largest oil company, Rompetrol, on Wednesday over accusations of manipulating the stock exchange. In May, prosecutors briefly detained Rompetrol Chairman Dinu Patriciu on charges of money laundering and tax evasion. That investigation relates to money received by Rompetrol from Libya for a debt from the 1980s when Rompetrol was owned by the state. Prosecutors say the state is owed more than $30 million, but Rompetrol claims it implicitly bought the debt when it acquired the company. [AP]

Wednesday, 28 September, 2005: Occidental Petroleum Corp. said Tuesday it will deliver the first shipment of oil to the U.S. from Libyan fields since international sanctions were levied against the North African country nearly 20 years ago. Los Angeles-based Occidental resumed operating oil fields in Libya after winning nine of 15 bids for exploration in January. The first shipment by Occidental, the country's fourth largest oil company, will bring 900,000 barrels of low-sulfur crude to the U.S. Occidental has three oil-producing properties and interests in 13 exploration blocks in Libya, making tit he largest oil operator in the country, and its Libya-based production will add about 22,000 barrels a day to Occidental's 2005 production rate. [Los Angeles Times]
Wednesday, 28 September, 2005: Libya requested foreign companies employing expatriates to train Libyans to prepare them to replace foreign workers. Labor ministry official, Fathallah bin Jareed, told employment agencies Tuesday that they 'should give priority to Libyans seeking work rather than importing workers from abroad.' He said foreign companies requesting permission to employ expatriates were asked to carry out training for Libyans to fill vacant positions for which foreigners are sought. [UPI]
Wednesday, 28 September, 2005: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak discussed the Darfur peace talks with leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi Tuesday, shortly after the Egyptian leader took the oath for a fifth term. Qadhafi flew to Cairo for Mubarak's inauguration Tuesday. In their talks after the ceremony, Mubarak and Qadhafi concentrated on Sudan and the negotiations to bring peace to its western region of Darfur, where more than two years of fighting has left about 180,000 people dead and 2 million people displaced. [AP]
Wednesday, 28 September, 2005: Libya's telecommunication company Almadar, has signed a contract with Swedish's Ericsson to expand its capacity and coverage throughout Libya. Under the agreement, Ericsson will supply its Softswitch solution for a major coverage and cost-efficient growth. Ericsson will also provide Almadar with a radio network; deliver a charging system; and provide GPS capability. Almadar is one of the mobile operators in Libya. It is owned by the General Company for Post and Telecommunication. [LJBC]

AI: Libya; Releases Welcome But Other Prisoners Should Also Be Freed

Tuesday, 27 September, 2005: The recent release by the Libyan authorities of five long-term prisoners of conscience was an encouraging step, Amnesty International (AI) said today, and raised hopes that other long-held prisoners of conscience will also soon be freed. The five prisoners who were released on 10 and 11 September - Ramadan Shaglouf, Tariq al-Dernawi, Tawfiq al-Jehani, Ali Be'aou and Musa al-Ziwi - had all been held since 1998. They were serving prison terms up to life after being convicted of belonging to the Islamic Alliance Movement, a banned political group. The recent releases follow increasing speculation that the Libyan authorities are preparing to release scores of other political prisoners, including prisoners of conscience. In particular, a committee established at the behest of Libyan leader Qadhafi reportedly concluded recently that some 85 imprisoned members of the Libyan Islamic Group had neither used nor advocated violence and should be released. Many of them have been held since June 1998. Amnesty International said it was particularly concerned about two other prisoners who are apparently held for peaceful expression of their opinions but who do not appear to be among those mooted for release, Fathi el-Jahmi and Abdurrazig al-Mansouri. [AI]
Tuesday, 27 September, 2005: Libya expects international oil companies to spend $7 billion on exploration in the country between 2005 and 2015, an official of the national oil corporation said Monday. Tarek Hassan Beck, director of planning for Libya's National Oil Corporation, said at a Johannesburg oil conference that the figure was part of a 10-year government plan to develop the country's oil riches. Libya has started tendering blocks to foreign companies after most U.S. sanctions were lifted last year. The official, whose exact title wasn't given in the conference's program, said the plans see at least 50 wildcat fields drilled each year over the next ten years. He said the country is targeting 20 billion new barrels of oil equivalent to be found in the next campaign, out of the 144 billion Libya believes are yet to be discovered. Discoveries in the oil-rich North African country already amount to 76 billion barrels, he said. [Dow Jones]
Tuesday, 27 September, 2005: The son of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi says Monday he has signed agreements with Canadian officials that will lead to the once-isolated country getting preferential trading status with Canada. Seif al-Islam al_Qadhafi, an unofficial ambassador for the North African country, said Monday he has met with Prime Minister Paul Martin and other senior government officials during his trip to this country. "This trip has been a success because we managed to frame the scope of the whole Canadian-Libyan relation for the next years; we have laid the foundation," Qadhafi, one of the dictator-leader's eight sons, said in an interview. [CP]
Tuesday, 27 September, 2005: The senior son and likely heir to Libyan dictator Moammar Qadhafi says his bitter, decade-long personal feud with Canada is over, thanks to his new, warm friendship with Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew. Seif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, 33, in Canada on an "unofficial" visit that included personal meetings on Thursday with Mr. Pettigrew and Prime Minister Paul Martin, remains touchy about the way Canadian officials treated him more than a decade ago. Then 22, Mr. Qadhafi was denied a student visa because of Libya's role in the bombing in 1988 of Pan Am Flight 103, which killed all 270 people on board. [The Globe and Mail]
Tuesday, 27 September, 2005: Libyans are expected to observe a solar eclipse 3 October, according to the national space science Centre. The Centre said in a statement the eclipse would be seen above the Atlantic Ocean through Portugal, Spain, then north-west to south-east of Libya, then through Sudan, before tapering off the Indian Ocean. It would last approximately four minutes and thirty two seconds in Libya. The last eclipse seen in the Libyan skies on 29 April 1976, lasted for six minutes and forty-one seconds, in the north-west of the country. It will coincide this year with the beginning of the month of Ramadan, the Muslims' fasting period. [Angop]
Tuesday, 27 September, 2005: One hundred universities world-wide are teaching Kiswahili due to its increasing popularity among students, a lecturer said yesterday. Professor Mugyabuzo Mulokozi, who teaches at the University of Dar-es-Salaam [Kenya], says 50 of the universities teaching the language are in US. Mulokozi said Kiswahili teachers were in demand, adding that Libya had advertised for 1,000 of them to teach in its secondary schools. [The Standard]
Tuesday, 27 September, 2005: Nuclear equipment that was airlifted from Libya 20 months ago remains housed at Oak Ridge's Y-12 nuclear weapons plant [USA]. Oak Ridge officials have confirmed the equipment as at the plant, but refuse to discuss what is being housed, where it's being housed or future plans for the equipment. Y-12 General Manager Dennis Ruddy says nuclear and intelligence experts are studying the equipment, which can be used to enrich uranium to make weapons of mass destruction. They are trying to learn more about the Libya nuclear program. A US-led team airlifted the materials from Libya in January of 2004. The airlift was part of a program to force Libyan leaders to abandon their nuclear program. [AP]

Monday, 26 September, 2005: Libya is a better friend than an enemy and would be a good ally in the Arab world, according to two Hoosiers who have met with Libyan leader Qadhafi recently. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., has encouraged the Bush administration to take the next steps to bring Libya fully into the world community. Rep. Mark Souder, R-3rd, said the Bush administration should quicken its pace in putting relations with Libya on the same footing with most other countries in the world. Although rules that prevented Americans from doing business in and traveling to Libya were lifted in late 2003 when it dismantled its WMD program, some restrictions remain because Libya is still on the U.S. list of countries that sponsor terrorism. Both Lugar and Souder pointed out that Libya is an oil-rich nation, and having friendly relations with Gadhafi could help with U.S. oil needs. Lugar said the reverse is true, too. [The Journal Gazette]
Monday, 26 September, 2005: The Libyan Football Association has signaled its intentions to bid for the 2010 African Cup of Nations. The Chairman of the Libyan Football Association Jamal Al-Jafari, handed Libya's bid file to CAF Federation in Cairo. Libya, Morocco, Angola and Nigeria are bidding to stage 2010 Nations Cup. Libya competed to host 2008 African Cup of Nations with Ghana which had been awarded the 2008 edition. [LJBC]
Monday, 26 September, 2005: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit Libya in November, RIA Novosti reports citing a report in the Arab newspaper Al Hayat. According to the info, Rice will visit Tunisia from 16 to 18 November and then will head to Tripoli. [FIA]
Monday, 26 September, 2005: Libya confirms its right to develop peaceful nuclear technology. In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Libyan foreign secretary confirmed that Libya intends to seek the right to use nuclear energy. He also indicated the need to rid the Middle East of nuclear weapons. [TVM]

Sunday, 25 September, 2005: Three Libyan doctors were dispatched to medical clinics in Sierra Leone in an effort to rebuild the country's devastated health care system. The Libyan pharmacist, pediatrician and surgeon join doctors from both Nigeria and Cuba already in Sierra Leone under a south-south cooperation initiative to boost medical care in the world's poorest countries. Another seven Libyan doctors are expected in Sierra Leone in coming weeks. [AFP]
Sunday, 25 September, 2005: Emirates, one of the world's fastest growing airlines, re-affirmed its commitment to Libya, with the announcement of an increase in services later this year. From 1st October, Emirates will de-link Tripoli from its current Dubai-Malta-Tripoli-Dubai routing and instead operate dedicated, non-stop flights to Tripoli using a Boeing 777-200 and, from 30th October the airline will add two extra flights per week. Operating every Monday and Wednesday, the additional flights will boost Emirates'services to Tripoli to five flights per week. [AME]
Sunday, 25 September, 2005: Visiting Ugandan President Museveni held talks late Thursday with Libyan leader Qadhafi on bilateral and African Union (AU) issues. The two discussed the recent Sirte summit decision on Libya's proposals for the creation of Pan-African Foreign Affairs, External Trade and Communications ministries. Tripoli also suggested an end to Customs barriers among AU members, the unification of telecommunication and land, sea and air communication, and the launch of an African satellite as part of the United States of Africa idea. [Angop]
Sunday, 25 September, 2005: When Hurricane Katrina smashed into the Gulf Coast, Americans and people from around the world were quick to offer help. And although some Muslim-dominated nations have been at odds with the U.S. in recent years, those nations were among the most generous donors. Kuwait provided $500 million in oil and cash; Saudi Arabia donated $255 million; and Qatar and Libya each donated $100 million. The U.S. Muslim Hurricane Relief Task Force donated $10 million. Total Katrina aid from Muslims and Muslim-dominated nations exceeded $1 billion. A disaster such as Katrina tends to erase political antipathies. [Tucson Citizen]
Sunday, 25 September, 2005: Libyan Foreign Minister Abdul Rahman Shalgem, has said "targeting Syria under any allegation will have catastrophic consequences on the region," asserting the importance of dialogue to solve all suspending issues. In a statement to Kuwaiti al-Ra'y al-Aam newspaper published Thursday, Shalgem added "Since we are talking about peace, dialogue and understanding, we should implement it and use it everywhere." [Arabic News]

Saturday, 24 September, 2005: Libyan Justice Minister, Omar Al Hasnawi, received at his office Thursday Religious Counsellor at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Ali al-Hashimi. During the meeting, which was held in the presence of UAE Ambassador, Abdullah al-Hamadi, Al Hasnawi praised the unique ties between the UAE and Libya. He also praised the UAE for achieving comprehensive development in all areas. He pointed out that he would strive to see the UAE and Libya sign agreement on judicial cooperation and exchange of expertise. [WAM]
Saturday, 24 September, 2005: Africa is attracting increasing attention among oil producers, amid rising oil prices, instability in the Arab world, and production slowdowns in the hurricane-hit Gulf of Mexico. Countries such as the Sudan, Angola, Chad and Libya have re-emerged after long years of war or political isolation and are now offering access to extensive reserves, repeatedly hitting the headlines with new finds. Besides the countries neighbouring the Mediterranean, Africa's "Oil-Dorado" encompasses the Gulf of Guinea, with reserves estimated at up to 60-billion barrels of crude oil (one barrel equals 159 litres). [IOL]

Friday, 23 September, 2005: The online newspaper Telegraph reported that senior Maltese officials are sceptical about the work being done by Libya to control departures of illegal immigrants. The Telegraph quoted a Maltese official as saying, "I don't think the Libyans are particularly perturbed that people are leaving their country. Whether there are government people involved, I don't know. I hope not." It was also reported that some people in Libya are making a lot of money by organising illegal trips from Libya to Mediterranean countries. A Congolese asylum seeker was quoted as saying that civilians are not the persons who do the trafficking since it is too expensive to organise, "it's the military who do the trafficking." [MaltaMdeia]
Friday, 23 September, 2005: Libyan Foreign Ministry Officials have firmly denied the information about coming meetings between Libyan Leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, as reported by Arabian news network "Mohit". Libyan Foreign Minister Abdulrahman Shalgam has stated that Libya does not keep any contact with Israel and the preparation for such a meeting is unthinkable. [FIA]

Thursday, 22 September, 2005: Libya still holds its stand that Bulgaria should negotiate with the families of the HIV-infected children, as it became evident during the UN Summit in New York. Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivaylo Kalfin met there with Libyan Foreign Minister Abdel-Rahman Shalgam, who explained that given the independence of the judicial system this was the best course of action. Shalgam pointed out that according to Islamic laws the dispute could be settled if the families of the infected children drop all charges. Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were sentenced to death in May 2004 on charges of intentionally causing an AIDS outbreak at a Benghazi children's hospital. [SNA]
Thursday, 22 September, 2005: Anadarko Petroleum Corp. will participate in the next Libyan oil and gas licensing round, due next month, Chief Executive James Hackett said Tuesday. The company is holding talks with the government to "participate in the development" of the Libyan oil and gas industry and leverage its experience in liquefied natural gas technologies. [Dow Jones]
Wednesday, 21 September, 2005: Once considered key to Middle East stability, Syria is facing growing marginalization as the U.S. maintains a policy of unrelenting pressure against the Baathist regime. American and Iraqi officials have stepped up their criticism of Syria in recent days in what some analysts believe is the beginning of an attempt by Washington to repeat the "Libya model" - total political and economic isolation to compel a U-turn in regime behavior. [CSMonitor]


Tuesday, 20 September, 2005: Libyan leader Mu'ammer al-Qadhafi (photo) is planning a trip to Israel. According to the pan-Arab website Moheet, Tripoli and Tel Aviv have reached an agreement on Qadhafi's visit to Israel following the difficulty faced by Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon in organising a trip to Tripoli. "The Palestinian information and communication centre reveals also that during the recent visit by an American delegation, Qadhafi expressed the desire to go to Israel to participate in person with the normalisation of ties between the Arab countries and the Jewish state," said the Moheet report. Before the visit, the Libyan leader is believed to have announced a series of meetings with the presidents and heads of state of governments in the region in order to get the approval from Arab countries for the visit. [AKI]
Tuesday, 20 September, 2005: A federal court in Washington, D.C. was asked today to rule that the Government of Libya and six of its intelligence agents, including the brother-in-law of long-time dictator Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, were guilty of carrying out the September 19, 1989 destruction of UTA Flight 772 as it flew over Niger toward Paris. The court filing disclosed for the first time detailed forensic evidence and testimony proving that high-ranking members of the Libyan government and intelligence services were directly responsible for planning and carrying out the placement of a suitcase bomb on the plane. After almost three years of court proceedings, the families of the seven Americans who were among the 170 persons killed on the UTA flight have asked the federal court to immediately rule, through "summary judgment" procedures, that Libya and its agents are responsible for the bombing. If accepted by the Court, a trial will not be held and the Court would then determine the amount of damages, which could amount to more than $2 billion USD for loss of life and destruction of the DC-10 jumbo jet. [PRNewswire]
Tuesday, 20 September, 2005: A weeklong sensitisation campaign on health and professional security is underway in Libya to highlight the importance of the sector in preserving human resources. Organised by the higher health and professional security department, in conjunction with the industrial research centre, centre of data and industrial documentation and the general office of the Libyan environment, the activities kicked off at the weekend in Tajoura, east of Tripoli. It is being sponsored by the general authority on the privatisation of Libyan companies and public economic units. Running from 17-22 September, a prime goal of the campaign is to prevent professional dangers, particularly industrial accidents, organisers said Sunday. [Angop]

Development In Libya: Squaring the Circle or Catch 22!  By : Ghoma

Monday, 19 September, 2005: If crude oil prices fall below $40 a barrel, OPEC would be forced to rein in production, Libya's Oil Minister Fathi bin Shatwan said Sunday. "When the price is going down below 40 dollars, then we have to cut," Shatwan said. Asked whether the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) needs to increase output, Shatwan said there was no excess demand in the market for crude. "We can add two million, three million [barrels a day] - nobody would buy it because the market is well supplied," Shatwan said. Shatwan spoke to reporters ahead of a formal decision on output policy by OPEC slated for Tuesday. [Dow Jones]
Monday, 19 September, 2005: Tours and cruises to Libya and Kenya are booming despite recent U.S. State Department advisories that warn Americans to "exercise caution" in Libya and to "carefully consider the risks of travel to Kenya at this time." [Los Angeles Times]
Monday, 19 September, 2005: Malta's AX Holdings is planning to develop a four-star city business hotel in Tripoli, Libya. This was announced by AX Group Chairman, Angelo Xuereb during a reception marking AX Holding's 30th anniversary. [DI-VI]

Sunday, 18 September, 2005: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Libya on Saturday the U.S. was committed to closer relations with its former enemy, which promised to work hard to stamp out terrorism. Rice met Libyan Foreign Minister Abdelrahman Shalgam (photo) on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly where the two discussed expanding relations, human rights and cooperation on counter-terrorism issues, a joint statement said. "Rice reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to working to broaden and deepen the relationship between Libya and the U.S. as Libya implements its undertakings," said the statement, which was released by the U.S. State Department. Over recent months, the U.S. has been moving ever closer towards full diplomatic relations with Libya, but has said Tripoli needs to do more to improve its human rights record and fight terrorism. [Reuters]
Sunday, 18 September, 2005: In an interrogation televised Saturday [on Iraqi TV] ... a Libyan arrested for plotting to blow up his car in an attack on day laborers in northern Baghdad, gave a detailed account of his trip to Iraq through Syria. Musab Aqil al-Khayal, a 19-year-old with a black eye, told Iraqi authorities he was from Benghazi, Libya. "Big bombs were put in my car, and I was supposed to pull the pin out of the bomb,'' he said in the aired confession. He said his hand was broken when his colleague successfully blew up his own vehicle Wednesday, killing at least 112 people. He was arrested before he could detonate his car bomb, al-Khayal said. "I was duped," he said, referring to his militant handlers. "Those dogs fooled me." [AP]
Sunday, 18 September, 2005: Saudi Arabia will restore full relations with Libya, strained over alleged Libyan conspiracy to assassinate King Abdallah when he was crown prince. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal was quoted Saturday by the Saudi daily al-Hayat as saying "relations between the two countries were not cut off, but the ambassadors will soon return to their bases." King Abdallah granted pardon last July to five Libyans accused of planning to assassinate him. [UPI]
Sunday, 18 September, 2005: "There are no more Jews in Libya today, not even one. They are all gone," said the old man, a local municipality council employee who escorted me to the abandoned Jewish cemetery in Homs, a tiny Libyan town 130 kilometers from Tripoli. Homs was once home to a small yet ancient Jewish community, which for centuries buried its dead in this very cemetery. But for the last 38 years, there have been no Jewish visitors to this sad place, where only the whistling of winds and the barking of dogs break the silence ... It may be true that there is not a single Jew in Libya today - the last Jew, Rina Dabash, left Tripoli in Oct. 2003 - but there are plenty of Jewish holy places ... and if they are not taken care of soon, Libya will not only have no Jews, it will have none of its historic Jewish sites. [The Jerusalem Post]
Sunday, 18 September, 2005: The Secretary for Financial and Technical Control, has met in Beijing with the General Auditor, chairman of Financial Control in China, Lee Jinhau. The meeting discussed cooperation between the two countries and ways and means of its promotion especially in the field of financial and technical control. Mean time, a memorandum of understanding was signed in Beijing in the field of Financial and Technical Control, between Libya's Committee for Financial and Technical Control, and the Chinese Financial Control. [LJBC]
Sunday, 18 September, 2005: The Times of Malta gives prominence on its front page to the UK's pressing for early concrete action with Libya with regards to illegal migration. [DI-VI]

Saturday, 17 September, 2005: A humanitarian group led by Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-adhafi's son, Saif al-Islam, launched a Web site Thursday to report human rights violations in the country. The site gives all Libyans an opportunity to report past and present violations, the Qadhafi International Association of Humanitarian Organizations said. The Web site carries telephone numbers, regular mail and e-mail addresses through which people can report violations. 'No more silence ... No more abuse against women ... No more torture ... And no more arrest without judicial permission,' said the site. 'Our hands are reaching out for you in order to cooperate for a better and more secure future and for fair and just trials,' it added. [UPI]
Saturday, 17 September, 2005: The summit of world leaders has adopted a declaration outlining new steps to reform the UN and fight poverty. The 35-page outcome document approved by consensus late Friday is far less than what Secretary-General Kofi Annan and supporters of a stronger U.N. had hoped for, and a few countries found it objectionable for other reasons. Members also agreed to replace the discredited U.N. Human Rights Commission, which has in the past admitted such rights abusers as Libya, Sudan and Cuba among its members. [VOA]
Saturday, 17 September, 2005: The French lawyers of the six Bulgarian medics in Libya's HIV case sent an open letter to the United Nations general secretary Kofi Anan, the BBC reported. Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were sentenced to death in May 2004 on charges of intentionally causing an AIDS outbreak at a Benghazi children's hospital, sparkling cries of foul from Bulgaria and its allies the U.S. and the E.U. The open letter to the general secretary of the UN was sent by the int'l nongovernmental organisation "Lawyers without bonders". [SNA]
Saturday, 17 September, 2005: One of the sons of Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and touted as his potential successor as Libyan leader, Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi is arriving in Montreal at the end of the month to unveil an exhibit of his country's arts, including some of his creations. After showings in London and Paris, the extraordinary event arrives in Canada with the blessing of several corporate sponsors. While opposition politicians in Ottawa voiced concerns about Libya's record on human rights, the companies supporting the event argue they want to be part of a historical opening of a long-estranged nation. Saif al-Islam is expected in Montreal for the Sept. 26 unveiling of the exhibit, titled The Desert Is Not Silent. Last year, Saif al-Islam mused that Canada would "pay the price" if it did not apologize for its support of UN embargoes against Tripoli. Conservative foreign affairs critic Stockwell Day said he would expect the corporate sponsors of the show to remind "Qadhafi Jr." that freedoms such as artistic expression do not exist in Libya. "His country and his father have been an enemy of freedom itself and have been destructive of human rights, personal freedoms [and] democracy." [Globe & Mail]

Friday, 16 September, 2005: British authorities on Thursday detained seven foreigners for deportation on the grounds they pose a threat to national security, as the government pushed ahead with its plans for a sweeping new anti-terrorism law. The Home Office declined to say what had prompted Thursday's sweep. However, in recent months the government has been trying to reach agreements with several countries, including Libya and Algeria, guaranteeing that deportees would not be tortured or mistreated on their return. As a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, Britain is not allowed to deport people to countries where they may face abuse. [AP]
Friday, 16 September, 2005: An annular solar eclipse will be observed in Libya on October 3, the Libyan Centre for Space Sciences and Remote Sensing has reported. It will last for 4 minutes and 23rd seconds, the centre added. The second solar eclipse of 2005 will cross the Iberian Peninsula and stretches across the African continent. Europe, Western Asia, the Middle East, India and most of Africa will fall within the Moon's penumbral shadow. This year's eclipse would make October 4th, most probably, the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Six months later Libya will cast into darkness when a total eclipse would be visible in the skies. On 29 March 2006, a total eclipse will be visible from north and central Africa, Turkey and southern Russia, ending at sunset in western Mongolia. [LJBC]

Thursday, 15 September, 2005: Libya is ready to restore diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia that were severed after the kingdom accused Tripoli of a plot to assassinate King Abdullah, then crown prince of the oil-rich kingdom. "Libya has informed the Arab League that it is ready to order the return of its ambassador to Riyadh, to receive a Saudi ambassador in Tripoli and re-establish normal diplomatic relations between the two countries," Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hasuna Shawsh said, according to AFP. Last month, five Libyans were given an amnesty by the Saudi king after he became monarch on the death of his half-brother King Fahd. [Al-Bawaba]
Thursday, 15 September, 2005: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi recently complained to Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., that Libya hasn't gotten enough in return for giving up its weapons of mass destruction and halting its nuclear development program. That decision, announced in 2003, was taken to help end Libya's international isolation. The U.S. since has freed Libyan assets that had been frozen, renewed airline connections and revoked many sanctions. But in a private meeting, Lugar said Qadhafi told him that officials in North Korea and Iran have asked Qadhafi what he got for giving up Libya's arsenal. Qadhafi said he told them he has gotten nothing. "What sort of reward were you anticipating?" asked Lugar who recounted the exchange in a speech to foreign policy experts and journalists Tuesday at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Qadhafi said he would like sophisticated arms from the U.S. and Britain to protect Libya and nuclear technology to turn seawater into drinking water. [IndyStar]
Thursday, 15 September, 2005: Officials said the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair invited Libya to the first major Western arms exhibition since the easing of defense sanctions by the European Union in 2004. They said major British contractors have been briefing Libya's delegation at the Defence Systems & Equipment International, or DSei exhibition, which ends on Sept 16. "I believe that Britain, as a major importer and exporter, is well placed to understand the interests and concerns of other trading countries," British Secretary of State for Defence John Reid said. "We aim to champion the case for more open defense markets." [MENL]

Libyan Youth Association: The 74th Anniversary of the Death of Omar al-Mukhtar

Wednesday, 14 September, 2005: A charity headed by the Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhdafi's son has called on the government to lift a 1970s ban on the registration of non-Arab names. It follows a visit by Seif al-Islam Qadhafi to the minority Amazigh communities in the west of the country. They voiced their frustration to him at not being able to register traditional names at local municipalities. The Amazigh, who are also known as Berbers, make up more than 10% of the population and consider themselves to be Libyans, but not Arabs. [BBC]

Tuesday, 13 September, 2005: Secretary General of the Arab Doctors Association, Dr. Abdulminem Abu Al-Futuh, said the general secretariat will hold a meeting Tuesday in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. Abu Al-Futuh told KUNA that the three-day meeting will discuss a number of important issues topped by the Arab medical laws, code of conduct, doctors unemployment in Palestine and the toxic waste buried in the Palestinian lands by Israeli forces. Vice secretary general of the association and the secretary general of the Libyan Doctors Society Dr. Ibrahim Ahmed Al-Sharif said the general vocational conference will be held on the sidelines of the meeting as well as announcing al-Qadhafi's international prize for medical services. [KUNA]
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ALFA: Improving Your Company's Image In Libyan Society

Monday, 12 September, 2005: Eleven people died on the coast of Sicily yesterday as they were being smuggled into Italy. It was the latest in a string of tragedies in an area by migrant traffickers for landing their human cargos. Seven men suspected of organising the operation were arrested, accused of manslaughter. The bodies of the dead were found on a beach and in shallow waters near the town of Gela, on the south of the island. Another 143 people were found ashore or on the boat that had carried them across the Mediterranean. Survivors said they were Eritreans and had set off three days earlier from the coast of Libya. [The Guardian]
Monday, 12 September, 2005: Dubai eGovernment has announced that representatives from the General Committee for Documentation and Telecommunications in Libya have visited Dubai to study various elements of the eGovernment. The committee was keen to gain first hand information about the experience of Arab countries who have adopted eGovernance. The Libyan delegation (photo) also met several companies working closely with Dubai eGovernment, including its customers and suppliers, in order to derive a complete picture of the eGovernment. [AMEinfo]
Monday, 12 September, 2005: The dangers of guns is the subject of two new movies. "Lord of War," directed by the New Zealander Andrew Niccol, opens Friday. "Dear Wendy," directed by the Dane Thomas Vinterberg, opens Sept. 23. ...He couldn't afford to destroy them [the weapons] because he had such a small budget, but he says, "In South Africa, we did cut some guns in half to stop them from getting into circulation ... We also got some tanks, and the guy said, 'I need them back by December because I'm selling them to Libya.'" [Daily News]

Sunday, 11 September, 2005: Against the backdrop of recent record high oil prices, Johannesburg is to host a major oil and gas congress in September when the World Petroleum Council (WPC) holds its congress in Africa for the first time in its 72-year history. The Sandton Convention Centre will play host to about 4,000 delegates and 500 speakers between September 25 and 29, with some 70% of the delegates coming from outside S. Africa. South Africa's PetroSA is the host company, while the National Oil Corporation of Libya, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Sonangol (Angola) and Sonatrach (Algeria) are the co-hosts. [SundayTimes/SA]
Sunday, 11 September, 2005: Swiss officials have arrested two more people in the case of engineer Urs Tinner accused of helping Libya's now abandoned effort to build a nuclear bomb, a spokesman said Saturday. Hansjuerg Mark Wiedmer, spokesman for the Federal Prosecutor's Office said the two people have been in investigative detention since Monday. Tinner, who was arrested last year in Germany, was extradited to Switzerland in May. German authorities said Tinner is suspected of being part of an international network of nuclear smugglers under ringleader Abdul Qadeer Khan, the creator of Pakistan's atomic weapons program. [Pravda]
Sunday, 11 September, 2005: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and the Algerian and Nigerien presidents Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Mamadou Tanja Friday discussed arrangements made by the 5th African Union (AU) summit held here 4-5 July on consolidating the march towards a United States of Africa. The three leaders met on the occasion of the 6th anniversary of the Declaration of Sirte made 9 September 1999 on the founding of the AU. [Angop]
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Saturday, 10 September, 2005: Some of the hottest tickets at the Venice film festival are not for the screening rooms but for the after-parties, such as the one thrown Thursday night by Libyan leader Qadhafi's sons. Saadi (photo/right) and Mutassim (photo/left) Qadhafi reportedly want Libya to be involved financially in the construction of a new palace to host the annual movie festival. Rapper 50 Cent entertained the 400 or so guests at the gala, which was promoting the Qadhafis' humanitarian project for children in Niger, organizers say. The Venice daily Il Gazzettino's Web site reported that the Qadhafi brothers were trying to seal a deal with Davide Croff, president of the Venice Biennale, which includes the film festival. A spokesman for the Biennale, Paolo Lughi, says there have been no talks with the Libyans over possible financial involvement in the cinema complex, which would overhaul the current site, which includes a former casino. A lawyer for Saadi, Giovanni Guaglianone, says he did not know anything about the reported business interest in the cinema project. [AFP]
Saturday, 10 September, 2005: The world's biggest energy companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp., BP Plc and Chevron Corp, are among the 62 corporations that may bid in Libya's second auction of oil drilling-rights next month. Libya's state-owned National Oil Corp. said 12 companies from the U.S. have asked for bidding packages. Nineteen from Europe, 16 from Asia, five from the former Soviet Union, four from Canada, four from Australia, one from South America and one from Africa also requested packages. Libya will auction permits on Oct. 2 to search for oil and gas in 26 areas, covering about 100,000 square kilometers, nearly the size of Cuba. [Bloomberg]
Chickenhawks...!  By : Ghoma

Friday, 9 September, 2005: The Czech government yesterday decided to officially lift the sanctions which was imposed on Libya in 1997. The U.S. was the first to impose sanctions on Libya because of its links to terrorists in the 1980s. The EU joined the embargo soon afterwards. The U.N. Security Council issued an official embargo on Qadhafi's regime in 1992. Czechoslovakia joined it in Dec. 1992 and as the country split in two then, the Czech Republic confirmed this stance in Jan. 1993 and included the embargo in its legislation in 1997. The U.N. and the EU suspended sanctions against Libya in 1999 and lifted them in 2003 and 2004, respectively. In Sept. 2004, the USA lifted the trade and transport embargo except for arms exports. [PDM]
Friday, 9 September, 2005: US Senator Richard Lugar, chair of US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, vowed to work for the release of the five Bulgarian nurses sentenced to death in Libya. Senator Lugar promised to appeal for solidarity with the cause of the nurses, Stanimir Ilchev, MP from Simeon II National Movement, said. A Bulgarian parliamentary delegation, headed by Parliamentary Spokesman Georgi Pirinski that is on a visit to the US talked to their American colleagues and focused on the fate of the nurses as well. [SNA]
Friday, 9 September, 2005: Libya sent to the Bulgaria a list of 40 most needed products that could be sent as humanitarian relief, the private bTV channel announced Wednesday. Deputy Foreign Minister Lyubomir Kyuchukov announced that Bulgaria is capable of sending 24 out of the 40 requested products. The requested products include mostly medical supplies and apparatus, but no financial aid. Kyuchukov informed that Foreign Ministry intended to gather the resources though a fund-raising campaign. The deadline for sending the relief is November 15. He also added that the Libyan government worked out the list immediately after Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov visited Libya in June 2005. [BNN]

Mohamed Ben Ghalboun : A Brief Summary Of My Contacts With US Officials

Thursday, 8 September, 2005: Libyan prime minister Shukri Ghanem said the government plans to sell a 60 per cent stake in the state-owned oil company Tamoil. The group has refineries in Italy (Cremona), Germany (Hamburg) and Switzerland (Collombey), in addition to distribution networks in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Spain, according to its website. In 2004, the company had sales of 7.801 bln eur in 2004 and 2,967 petrol stations. [AFX]
Thursday, 8 September, 2005: Libya is moving steadily but surely toward privatization as it placed the second-largest public company up for grab by the private sector Wednesday. Shares of the National Company for Feed and Mills were put on sale as part of Libya's plan to cut down its public sector while boosting the private one. The company, which operates 15 plants specialized in the production of animal feed as well as grinding wheat and producing pastas, has a capitalization of about $218.5 million. The second-biggest public firm to be put up for privatization after the Arab Cement Co, employs 1,664 workers who will be able to buy 10 percent of the shares while the remaining shares will be offered to the public. [UPI]
Thursday, 8 September, 2005: Grifco International announces it has received final "approved to form 'Global Oil Tools Libya' certification." GFCI now has final approval to export technology, conduct operations, and establish a manufacturing facility in Libya. In a statement by CEO Jim Dial, "Our approved to form package has been authenticated and sealed by the U.S. Department of State (Document 05028356-13). Concurrently, the finalized Global Oil Tools Libya has also been certified by Libya's Foreign Affairs Department in Washington, D.C." [Market Wire]
Thursday, 8 September, 2005: Libya supports the holding of the already postponed Arab Summit of Sharm Sheikh, to discuss various Arab issues, Libyan Foreign Minister, Abdulrahman Shalgam said on Wednesday. The Middle East News Agency (MENA), quoted Shalgam as saying upon his arrival to Egypt to take part in the meeting of the Arab Foreign Ministers, that the Arab meeting will discuss the holding of the Arab summit among a host of other issues. [BNA]
Thursday, 8 September, 2005: Accident victim, Phyllis Mautanga who successfully sued the Libyan and Malawi governments for K9.5 million as compensation following a car accident in 2000 that involved one of the vehicles in the convoy of Libyan Leader Qadhafi and Malawi's former president Muluzi is pleading with the two governments to urgently release the money. Mautanga, widow to former Malawi Army General, late Gibson Mautanga successfully sued the Libyan government for K6.5 million and the Malawi government for K3 million as compensation following the accident which happened in Ntcheu, Malawi. [The Chronicle Newspaper]
Wednesday, 7 September, 2005: Feeling of concern overwhelms several families in Libya over the possibility that the authorities will backtrack from its decision, it had promissed to take more than one time, concerning the release of political prisoners and prisoners of opinion. Several relatives and families of the Libyan political detainees expressed the feeling of surprise over the decision of the minister of justice which called for the release of criminal prisoners, including first rate criminals, at a time when several university teachers and engineers are still inside prisons. The wife of one man sentenced to life imprisonment in the issue of the Muslim Brothers said that her husband did not receive any message from the prison's administration indicating that he was released, besides they have no idea when they will be released. The wife is still expecting the release of her husband who had completed his 8th year in detention. [Arabic News]
Wednesday, 7 September, 2005: The European Commission moved forward in its efforts to help HIV sufferers in Libya and to assist the five Bulgarian nurses, jailed in the African country. Although EC said that actions undertaken are not connected to its efforts for the release of the five Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctors, experts say that it would certainly have an effect on the trial. EC and the Libyan authorities have agreed to immediately to implement urgent policy advice and technical support to the Libyan health authorities and upgrade the capacity of the Benghazi Centre for Infectious Diseases and Immunology to international standards. [SNA]
Wednesday, 7 September, 2005: ORBIS International, a nonprofit organization whose objective is to rid the world of unnecessary blindness, announced that the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital landed today in Tripoli, Libya to conduct an intensive two week sight-saving medical training program for the nation's eye care professionals. Invited by the Government of Libya and the Tripoli Eye Hospital, ORBIS is the first health NGO to work in Libya since international sanctions were imposed in 1992. Decades of poor relations with the West resulted in the lack of training in essential subspecialties for Libya's ophthalmic community. [CNW]

Tuesday, 6 September, 2005: A lucrative network of human traffickers is believed to be operating from Libya, providing boats and fuel for illegal immigrants to travel to Italy via Malta, an Italian newspaper reported yesterday. “We left from Libya, more exactly the port of Zliten. We had 13 30-litre cans of petrol on board,” a young Egyptian told the Repubblica newspaper, from a detention centre near Valetta's airport in Malta. The Maltese navy has seized about 60 almost identical boats, each 6m long, powered by a 40hp motor with a capacity for 25 people. [Gulf Times]

Monday, 5 September, 2005: As it struggles to combat Islamic terrorist networks, the Bush administration has quietly built an intelligence alliance with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, a onetime bitter enemy the U.S. had tried for years to isolate, topple or kill. Qadhafi has helped the U.S. pursue Al-Qaeda's network in North Africa by turning radicals over to neighboring pro-Western governments. He also has provided information to the CIA on Libyan nationals with alleged ties to international terrorists. In turn, the U.S. has handed over to Tripoli some anti-Qadafi Libyans captured in its campaign against terrorism. And Qadhafi's agents have been allowed into the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba to interrogate Libyans being held there. Libyan dissidents, who for years thought they could count on American support, have been deeply disappointed by the Bush administration. "Qadhafi was considered to be a dictator and terrorist, and Libya was a rogue regime," said Ashur Shamis (photo), a prominent London-based Libyan exile and longtime proponent of democratic reform. "Suddenly, everything has changed. "The Americans no longer want to see Qadhafi's regime destabilized," he said. "Opponents have written off the possibility of receiving tangible political support from the United States." [Los Angeles Times]
Monday, 5 September, 2005: A celebration was held Saturday in Tajoura, Libya, by laying down the foundation stone for the execution of a residential city as part of the establishment of 50,000 housing unites project which was adopted by the General People's Committee in its decree number 78 for the year 2005. Dr. Mohammed Abu-Agela, the General Director of the project told Jana reporter that this is one of the sites chosen to execute the 50, 000 housing units projects. This location covers an area of 755 hectares comprising 25,000 to 30,000 housing units. [LJBC]

Sunday, 4 September, 2005: Libya's return to the Africa Nations Cup finals gives the North African country the perfect platform to raise its international profile after years in the football wilderness. A goalless draw at home to Sudan on Friday was enough to ensure Libya's participation in next year's Nations Cup finals in Egypt. Libya's only previous appearance at the showpiece of African football was when they lost the tournament in 1982. [BBC]
Sunday, 4 September, 2005: Russia and Libya have a potential for broader bilateral cooperation, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamanin said on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Kamanin said he is “optimistic about prospects for political contacts” between Russia and Libya. The positions of Moscow and Tripoli “coincide or are close on such key issues as a multi-polar world, the fight against terrorism, peace in the Middle East and Africa”, he said. [Itar-Tass]

Saturday, 3 September, 2005: Libya freed 1,675 criminals from prison to celebrate the 36th anniversary of the 1969 coup that brought Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to power. Libya will release 130 Islamist prisoners in the coming days, said an official of the Qadhafi Foundation, which is led by Qadhafi's son, Seif Islam. Most of the Islamist prisoners belonged to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. He added the Islamists have pledged not to get involved in politics. [The Scotsman]
Saturday, 3 September, 2005: Libya was held Friday to a scoreless draw by visiting Sudanese in a 2006 World cup qualifier as neither team had any chance to go to Germany. The Libyans managed to launch waves of attacks, but their hope for a goal was damped by Sudanese goalkeeper Elmuez Abdalla who made several fine saves. Even before Friday's match, the two teams had been eliminated from the 2006 World Cup finals to be hosted by Germany. [Xinhuanet]
Saturday, 3 September, 2005: Libya has spent a total amount of about 51 billion Libyan Dinars (LD) on development projects from 1970 to the end of 2003, an official Libyan economic report has said.The report which was issued in a Ministry of Planning bulletin on economic development in the country said what was actually spent in the country's budgets over the past 40 years was LD40 billion, representing 79% of the total budget allocations, adding that average spending on development projects during the said period stood at about LD4 million per day. [Khaleej Times]

To Reform Or Not To Reform: The Question: What's The Form?  By : Ghoma

Friday, 2 September, 2005: Libya is committed to building cooperative relations with the U.S. based on mutual respect and equality, a senior Libyan official said Thursday. "We seek a peaceful relation with the U.S., a cooperative relation, an equal relation," Ahmed Ibrahim, assistant secretary of the People's Congress, told reporters. However, he described US military actions in Iraq as barbaric and compared the killings of innocent Iraqis to the Holocaust. [Xinhua]

The Committee for National Activities in the United States: Statement

The Sun: Libyan Opposition Leader's Family Pleads With Bush for His Release

Thursday, 1 September, 2005: [1 September, 1969] King Idris (photo) of Libya has been deposed in what appears to have been a bloodless coup. A group of military officers have seized power and declared the country a republic. But the king, who is in Turkey, has dismissed the coup as "unimportant". According to reports from the capital, Tripoli, troops and tanks converged on the city in the early hours of the morning. Within two hours they had taken key positions and the royal palace, military and security headquarters were surrounded by 0500. All communications with the outside world were cut and a curfew was imposed. In Libya the king's heir, Crown Prince Hassan, has announced his support for the new regime, which the military junta has renamed the Libyan Arab Republic. The coup appears to have been led by an Army officer called Colonel Saad ed-din Bushweirib. But it is not clear whether he has any political backing. [BBC]
Thursday, 1 September, 2005: Hundreds of thousands of Libyans converged on Tripoli on Wednesday to celebrate 36th anniversary of Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's (photo) seizure of power. Martyrs Square in central Tripoli was transformed into a spectacular street party with people pulsing to traditional music that thumped out of speakers, and fireworks, fountain and light displays cascading over the sea. The show of support appears to be a carefully choreographed riposte to an exiled opposition congress held two months ago in London, which vowed to embark on a peaceful campaign to topple the regime. A bespectacled al-Qadhafi, dressed in an untucked sleeveless military shirt and looking relaxed, appeared late in the evening to receive the adulation of the crowds from a balcony and accept gifts from supporters. He was handed a document entitled "the charter of fidelity", said by the organisers to have been signed "by the Libyan people", in which they "forge allegiance and swear fidelity to their guide". [Al-Jazeera]
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