News and Views [ January 2002 ]

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Thursday, 31 January, 2002: Discussions with Libya about improving relations with the U.S. have been constructive, but success depends on Tripoli accepting responsibility for the 1988 bombing of a U.S. airliner and compensating the victims' families, a senior U.S. official said Wednesday. William Burns said "There are no shortcuts. If the Libyans meet their obligations, the door will start to open for a variety of international interactions with Libya". [AFP]
Thursday, 31 January, 2002: Arab interior ministers vowed Wednesday to cooperate against global terrorism in the wake of the September 11 attacks in the United States, but said they will continue to support the Palestinians against "Israeli state terrorism." Eighteen of the 22 members of the Cairo-based Arab League, including the Palestinians, attended the conference. Djibouti, Somalia, Libya and the Comoros did not send representatives. [AFP]
Thursday, 31 January, 2002: U.S. President George Bush singled out Iran, Iraq and North Korea as "an axis of evil," warning the three nations that they could be targets of the US-led war on terrorism. "States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world," Bush said in his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. Iran, Iraq and North Korea are three of the seven countries designated state sponsors of terrorism by the US. The others are Cuba, Libya, Sudan and Syria. [AFX]
Thursday, 31 January, 2002: Uganda's Makerere University Registrar has sent ballot forms to the Senate so members can vote on the proposed honorary degree for Libyan leader, Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. Education minister, Dr. Kidhu Makubuya, recommended the award last year on President Museveni's orders. The oration says Qadhafi was born in 1942 and graduated in 1965 from the University of Libya "with high grades". [The Monitor]
Wednesday, 30 January, 2002: Libya will participate with a high level delegation in the Arab Women Day celebrations to be held in the first week of February in Abu Dhabi. A report submitted by the Libyan delegation participating in the celebrations said that the Libyan society is a Muslim society and so Islam determines relations and decides all rights and responsibilities and ways to deal with every individual, both male and female, in all aspects of life. "Islam consists of many ideal principles which seek to create a society that is free from social classes, a society in which the rights of all are safeguarded, including the rights of women", the report said. [WAM]
BBC: "Lockerbie: A Sour Pill for Libya" by Ashour al-Shamis

Tuesday, 29 January, 2002: More questions arose Monday about the credibility of a witness whose testimony was critical in convicting a Libyan in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. At an appeals hearing, attorney William Taylor said the identification of his client, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, was prejudiced because the witness, Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci, had seen his photograph in a magazine a few weeks before singling him out in a lineup. A Libyan defense lawyer said Monday that reports alleging Libya is negotiating compensation for victims' families were hurting al-Megrahi's appeal, which began last week. "I am concerned that the timing of these reports could prejudice my client's appeal," Ibrahim Legwel (photo) said in a statement. [AP]
Tuesday, 29 January, 2002: Uganda's President Museveni has described the bishops who recently questioned his dealings with Libyan President Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi as Pharisees, saying Qadhafi is a Good Samaritan who came to the aid of Ugandans. Speaking at the occasion of laying a completion stone of the National Mosque at Old Kampala Sunday, Museveni said that "the bishops don't know what they are talking about". Church of Uganda bishops Saturday questioned Uganda's membership to the Organisation of Islamic Conference and Museveni's ties with Qadhafi. "It is not proper for the government to subscribe to religious factions yet there is supposed to be the separation of religion from the state," they said. [The Monitor]
Tuesday, 29 January, 2002: The Saudi Arabian embassy in Kampala is withholding a US$100,000 cheque donated to the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) "for breach of contract." Yunusu Abbey reports that the Saudis are reportedly unhappy because the Mufti, Sheikh Shaban Mubajje, seemed to have turned down the offer to complete the Old Kampala Mosque. Mr. Saud al-Thobaiti, the Saudi envoy in Uganda, said since UMSC had handed over the mosque site to another party (Libya), he had to consult Riyadh. [New Vision]

Monday, 28 January, 2002: Libyan ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mahmound Yousef Azzabi, who is at the centre of an alleged sex scandal, has been summoned to Tripoli to explain charges revealed by The Standard newspaper last week. Azzabi will leave for Libya on Tuesday, but it has not yet been established whether he will return to Zimbabwe. His family are, however, not accompanying him home. Sources say Azzabi was asked to write a report to Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi in response to charges that he sexually abused Janet Mutasa, during her employment at the Libyan embassy in Zimbabwe from July 1999 to July 2001. [Zimbabwe Standard]
Monday, 28 January, 2002: The sex scandal involving the Libyan ambassador in Zimbabwe who allegedly sexually abused Janet Mutasa, a female staffer at the Libyan embassy, has deepened with revelations that President Mugabe's personal bodyguard tried to cover up the scandal when tasked to investigate the case. Mutasa told The Standard that Assistant Commissioner Winston Changara, who is also head of the Police Protection Unit, had tried to cover up the case by taking her on a tour of the resort town of Victoria Falls and Binga during which he told her to drop the charges against ambassador, Mahmound Yousef Azzabi. [Zimbabwe Standard]

Sunday, 27 January, 2002: The ninth session of Iran-Libya joint economic commission kicked off in Tehran on Saturday. Iran's Housing Minister Ali Abdoulalizadeh called for expansion of economic cooperation between the two countries. Libyan Secretary for Justice Mohammad Mosrati who heads the Libyan delegation called for removal of problems causing delays in holding joint commission meetings, in order to pave the way for promotion of mutual cooperation. [IRNA]
Sunday, 27 January, 2002: The Russian company Tekhnopromexport (TPE) has signed a contract for the construction of a thermoelectric plant with a capacity of 650 megawatt in Libya, TPE's Director Boris Vishnevsky told Interfax. The value of the contract is approximately $600 million. "Work will begin as soon as Libya starts financing the project," he said. Vishnevsky said that the signing of this contract enables Russia to return to the Libyan market. [InterFax]
Sunday, 27 January, 2002: A Libyan delegation arrived in Uganda yesterday to represent Libya at today's National Resistance Movement 16th anniversary celebrations. A seven-man team led by Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Asharif, Secretary General of the World Islamic Call Society, was received at Entebbe Airport by regional cooperation state minister Col. Kahinda Otafiire and the Libyan ambassador to Uganda, Abdallah Buljedin. [New Vision]
Saturday, 26 January, 2002: Libya is negotiating a reparations deal with families of the Lockerbie victims in a move that could pave the way for the U.S. to lift economic sanctions. An attorney for families of the 270 people killed when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie in 1988, said the reparation talks begin in July. Lee Kriendler said the talks stalled after Sept. 11, but have resumed. "There have been some bumps in the road, but we are once again talking," he said. "We are moving again, although I don't know how close we are to a settlement." Kriendler refused to discuss the size of reparations under consideration. [New York Daily News]
Friday, 25 January, 2002: Libya confirmed on Thursday that it has been engaged in talks with the U.S. and hailed President Bush for dropping what it called the negative policies of his predecessors. "Both Libya and the U.S. have a common willing to rebuild their relations and help furthering peace security and peace in the world," said foreign ministry spokesman Hassouna Shawesh (photo). Shawesh said Libya and the U.S. have held talks and discussions at "several levels" to mend their relations. "It seems that the new U.S. administration has shed the past negative policies," he told Reuters. [Reuters]
Friday, 25 January, 2002: Lawyers for the Libyan former secret service agent convicted of the Lockerbie bombing on Thursday tore into the central findings of his trial for the landmark 1988 mid-air blast. Abdelbaset al-Megrahi (photo) sat impassive as his advocate told the second day of appeal hearings that trial judges had drawn the wrong conclusions from evidence riddled with "contradictions and inconsistencies". Three Scottish judges jailed Megrahi for life last January. Advocate William Taylor accused the original judges of "misdirecting themselves" to reach their verdict. [Reuters]
Friday, 25 January, 2002: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi talked Thursday with visiting Burundi President Pierre Buyoya about peace efforts in Burundi, the official Libyan agency JANA reported. Burundi has been in the grip of a civil war since 1993, pitting the country's rulers and army, dominated by the Tutsi minority against rebel movements of the majority Hutus. Separately, Central African President Ange-Felix Patasse is due in Libya on Friday. [AFP]
Thursday, 24 January, 2002: Five Scottish judges hearing the appeal of the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing were urged by his relatives yesterday to "look solely with the fear of God to the truth which you shall seek with greatest diligence". Holding banners of support for Abdelbaset Al Megrahi, members of his family also told the families of the 270 killed in the 1988 atrocity: "We sympathise with the families of the victims and feel their pain. We pray for justice to reveal the truth.". [The Herald]
Thursday, 24 January, 2002: The U.S. Bush administration Wednesday disputed reports that it is drawing close to striking a deal with Libya to take that country off the U.S.'s list of nations that support terrorism. USA Today reported Wednesday that the U.S. and Libya were close to a deal. Under the terms of the deal, the report said, Libya would accept responsibility for blowing up Pan Am flight 103 and pay $6 billion in compensation. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer did acknowledge that recent talks with Libyan officials had been "positive" but added, "the United States government is not negotiating an agreement." [Dow Jones]
Thursday, 24 January, 2002: The U.S. and Libya are close to a deal that could remove Libya from a U.S. list of terrorist sponsors and require the government of Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to pay as much as $6 billion in compensation for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, a senior U.S. official said Tuesday. Another senior official said Libya "understood the need" to accept responsibility for the bombing, which killed 270 people, including 189 Americans. The final decision about removing U.S. sanctions rests with President Bush, the official said. [USA Today]
Thursday, 24 January, 2002: Lawyers for the Lockerbie bomber in the second day of an appeal on Thursday will build on their argument that the Libyan's conviction for the 1988 mid-air blast was based on errors and misunderstandings. Al-Megrahi's appeal began on Wednesday with his counsel accusing the trial judges who convicted him last January of misunderstanding, misconstruing and misinterpreting evidence. They say the evidence shows a padlock was forced on a secure door near a Heathrow baggage area hours before the jumbo jet was blown up. [Reuters]
Thursday, 24 January, 2002: King Norodom Sihanouk has said he supports a plan by Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to establish a "Council of the World Wise Men". The committee would include South Africa's Mandela, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and former U.S. president Bill Clinton, according to a copy of Qadhafi's letter to King Sihanouk received by Reuters on Tuesday. "The committee's opinions can be consulted, and its efforts are obtainable for any problems and crisis, both regional and world," Qadhafi wrote. [Reuters]
Thursday, 24 January, 2002: The U.S. Bush administration gave an upbeat account Wednesday of recent discussions with Libya but said no changes in U.S. policy toward that country are contemplated until Libya complies with U.N. Security Council demands. A former senior U.S. official, who maintains contacts with both sides, said the administration is more eager to improve relations with Libya than it is letting on. He said the administration is aware that a more normal relationship would permit Libya to cooperate more fully in the U.S. anti-terrorism campaign, allow U.S. oil companies to resume operations in Libya after a 16-year absence and enable the United States to be less dependent on the volatile Persian Gulf for oil. [AP]
Thursday, 24 January, 2002: A Lebanese minister wound up a visit to Tripoli Tuesday without meeting Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to hand him an invitation to the Arab summit to be hosted by Beirut at the end of March. Libya's official news agency JANA reported the departure of Lebanon's Education Minister Abdel Rahim Mrad, although it said on his arrival Sunday that the minister was expected to meet the Libyan leader. "It's clear that Qadhafi refused to meet him," said a Western diplomatic source in Tripoli. [AFP]
Thursday, 24 January, 2002: A new online service has been established in South Africa (SA), guaranteeing users their own surnames as permanent domains. The service,, launched in SA last week and expects to roll-out internationally early this year. LY is the country code for Libya. [Africa News]
Wednesday, 23 January, 2002: Five senior Scottish judges will begin hearing the appeal on Wednesday of the man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. It is expected the appeal will last up to six weeks. Libyan national Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was found guilty of bombing Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie and killing 270 people, after a nine-month trial at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands. During the appeal, Megrahi's legal team will present legal arguments aimed at convincing the judges, headed by Scotland's most senior judge, Lord Cullen, that Megrahi was wrongly accused. It will either see al-Megrahi acquitted or transferred to a prison in Scotland to complete his sentence. [BBC]
Wednesday, 23 January, 2002: Relatives of the 270 people who died in the Lockerbie bombing stand to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation from Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi in a secret deal being finalised by senior officials from Libya, Britain and the US. The negotiations are going on as Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Libyan intelligence officer convicted last year of planting the bomb that destroyed the airliner, prepares for his appeal. Dr Jim Swire, who leads the group of 31 British families, said the relatives had been asked that they keep private the sums being discussed but that the total would come to "many, many millions". [The Independent]
Wednesday, 23 January, 2002: Official sources said Yemen would extradite around 101 Arabs and foreigners who had been arrested because of their illegal residence, in addition to carrying out acts against the national interests of Yemen. Most of them were students in some religious institutes and colleges, mainly Dar al-Hadith in Abeeda. They belong to different countries like Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya, Britain, France, Sudan, Somalia, and others. [Yemen Times]
Tuesday, 22 January, 2002: The appeal of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi has been plagued by bitter in-fighting because members of his defence team have not been paid for their services. The Scotsman has learned that Megrahi's Libyan backers owe tens of thousands of pounds to the lawyers and spin doctors hired to bolster his case. Two members of the defence team have already resigned from the organising committee and one has even served a writ on Megrahi's UK representative, claiming £30,000 in unpaid fees. Megrahi's appeal is being financed by a consortium of Libyan lawyers headed by Dr Ibrahim Legwell. [The Scotsman]
Tuesday, 22 January, 2002: Lebanese Education Minister Abdel Rahim Mrad is in Tripoli to hand Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi an invitation to March's Arab summit in Beirut, the official JANA agency reported. Tripoli had initially requested the summit be shifted to Cairo due to its long-standing dispute with Lebanon's Shiites over the 1978 disappearance of Amal founder Imam Sadr but finally agreed last week on Beirut as the venue. Qadhafi has already announced he will not attend the summit and would send a high-ranking delegation instead. [AFP]
Tuesday, 22 January, 2002: U.S. relatives of victims in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing will attend court hearings on an appeal by a convicted Libyan agent this week still haunted by their loss and security lapses they believe contributed to the Sept. 11 attacks. "Had we paid attention to the Pan Am 103 bombing, particularly with regard to airport security and steeling ourselves for this kind of terrorist act, we probably would have been able to handle the situation," said Kathleen Flynn, whose 21-year-old son John died on the Pan Am jumbo jet on Dec. 21, 1988. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 22 January, 2002: Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on Sunday received a message from the Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir dealing with bilateral relations and Arab and international issues of mutual concern. The message was handed by the personal envoy of the Sudanese President Awad Ahmad al-Jaz the minister of energy and minerals. [Arabic News]

Monday, 21 January, 2002: The Libyan ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mahmoud Yousef Azzabi, is facing allegations of several cases of sexual abuse from a former employee, Janet Mutasa. In a letter written by Mutasa to the police and to a government minister, she narrated how she had been duped by the ambassador into giving in to his sexual demands for two years. Janet was employed as a general hand at the Libyan embassy from July 1999 to July 2001. Ambassador Azzabi denied the allegations saying: "This is my first time hearing these accusations. I am a happily married man. The girl you are referring to was dismissed from the embassy for stealing plates and I never saw her again. "This is the work of my enemies who want to destroy my life and my family. When she was dismissed she never raised these allegations." [Zimbabwe Standard]
Monday, 21 January, 2002: The United States has requested judicial authorities in Canada to deport a Libyan citizen who U.S. federal investigators believe has ties to fugitive terrorist Osama bin Laden and helped fund the September 11 attacks on the U.S. According to U.S. authorities, Canadian Judge Anne McLaine in the federal court in Ottawa has 30 days to make a decision on the deportation request for the Libyan national, identified only as "Husayn." Husayn was detained in November at the request of U.S. officials but released on bail after Canadian authorities determined there was a lack of sufficient evidence showing his involvement in terrorist activities. The new deportation request was made on Jan. 15. [The Washington Times]
Sunday, 20 January, 2002: Canada's Secretary of State for Latin America and Africa David Kilgour said Saturday that his country and Libya had reached a "turning point" in relations during a historic visit which has included the opening of a new embassy. Kilgour told reporters in Tripoli that Ottawa and Tripoli now shared the "same vision" on issues such as African development and disarmament. His Libyan counterpart, Abdel-Rahman Shalgam, told reporters that Libya was hoping to take advantage of Canada's experience in the eneregy and trade sectors. [AFP]
Sunday, 20 January, 2002: Moroccan foreign minister, Mohamed Benaissa, on Friday said that the meeting of Maghreban foreign ministers in Algiers helped overcome psychological barriers between member states of the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA). Incepted in 1989 by Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania, UMA has so far been unable to take off as a full-fledged regional grouping, due to differences among its member states. [Arabic News]
Saturday, 19 January, 2002: The five judges who will hear the appeal by the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing were named yesterday. The bench is to be headed by Scotland’s senior judge, Lord Cullen, the Lord Justice-General. He will sit with Lords Kirkwood, Osborne, Macfadyen and Nimmo Smith. The appeal is due to start next Wednesday at the Scottish court in the Netherlands. A year ago, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, 49, was found guilty of murdering the 270 people who died when Pan-am Flight 103 was blown out of the sky above Lockerbie in December 1988. Lawyers for al-Megrahi will insist at the appeal that his conviction was a miscarriage of justice. [The Scotsman]
Saturday, 19 January, 2002: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi will not attend the Arab summit in Beirut, but Libya will be represented at the March meeting, Libya's official news agency JANA has reported. The decision reflects Qadhafi's initial opposition to the holding of the summit in Lebanon — where many Shiite Muslims blame him for the 1978 disappearance of their spiritual leader — and his subsequent approval of the meeting after talks with Arab League Secretary General Amr Musa on Wednesday. [AP]
Saturday, 19 January, 2002: Pirates are demanding $200,000 in ransom for the crew of a Ukrainian-Libyan ship they seized off Somalia's sea coast, officials said Friday. Eight Ukrainians, five Egyptians, and one Syrian man were en route from Kenya's port of Mombasa to the Yemeni port of Aden aboard the M.V. Princess Sarah when pirates took them captive Monday, the ICTV channel reported. The ship was sailing under a Libyan flag and belongs to a joint Libyan-Ukrainian venture, said Valeriy Rymach, Ukraine's top diplomat in Libya. [AP]
Al-Jazeera news satellite channel reports Saturday that the ship belongs to Lebanon.
Friday, 18 January, 2002: Recent talks between American, British, and Libyan officials do not mean the US is prepared to lift its economic sanctions against Libya, a US State Department spokesman said. Top diplomats from the US and the UK met with Libyan officials in London on Jan. 10. The spokesman said, "Our policy have never varied, regardless of the channel or the particular interlocutors: Libya must comply with its UN Security Council obligations and put its terrorist past behind it. There can be no shortcuts around these obligations." [OGJ]
Friday, 18 January, 2002: Canada opened its first embassy in Libya on Thursday, raising its flag in the presence of Libyan leader Qadhafi's son Al-Saadi at 7th-floor offices along Tripoli's Mediterranean coast. Charge d'affaires George Jacoby, a foreign affairs veteran with prior assignments in the US, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran, will head the new embassy. [AP]
Friday, 18 January, 2002: A meeting of the Libyan-Belarussian commission for economic, trade, scientific and technical cooperation is being held in Tripoli. The meeting is devoted to issues of development of relations between Libya and Belarussia. Belarussian Foreign Minister Mikhail Khvostov and his Libyan counterpart Abdel Rahman Shalgam take part in the meeting. During the meeting, the sides will also discuss urgent international problems. [Itar-Tass]
Friday, 18 January, 2002: Officials of the new Libyan airline, Afriqiyah Airways have opened the Tripoli-Niamey- Ouagadougou route, saying there will be a round trip flight between Tripoli and Ouagadougou every Tuesday. The airline is using a Boeing 737 with a 120-seating capacity and cargo capacity of 100 tonnes. Afriqiyah Airways, which operates flights to Dubai, Khartoum, Tunis and Cairo, is now opening prospects in West Africa. [PANA]

Thursday, 17 January, 2002: Libya has agreed on Beirut as the venue for the Arab summit to be held in March, Libyan Minister for African Unity Ali al-Traiki announced on Wednesday. "The issues over which Libya had reservations have been settled and, therefore, it has agreed to the summit being held at the scheduled date and venue," said al-Traiki in a joint declaration to the press with visiting Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa. Mussa, who met with Qadhafi, said the Libyan leader had "agreed on the summit being held in Beirut." [AFP]
Thursday, 17 January, 2002: A Canadain delegation arrived in Tripoli on Wednesday for a two-day visit during which it will open an embassy in the Libyan capital, an official source said. Led by Canadian secretary of state for Latin America and Africa David Kilgour, the delegation is expected to hold talks with Libyan officials on bilateral cooperation. According to Libyan sources, Canada has recently encouraged its business community to invest in the Libyan market. [AFP]
Thursday, 17 January, 2002: The French Foreign minister Hubert Vedrine will pay a visit to Libya in February to preside over his country's delegation to the meetings of the Libyan- French joint committee which will be held in Tripoli to discuss means of supporting cooperation between the two countries in all fields. An official source at the French embassy in Tripoli said that cultural relations between the two countries are also witnessing great progress, noting that a Libyan cultural season will be held in Paris and will last for six months. [Arabic News]
Thursday, 17 January, 2002: Visiting Arab League secretary general Amr Moussa on Wednesday had an audience with Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi in Tripoli, Libya's news agency, JANA, reported. The two leaders examined the latest developments in the Arab world, particularly the war of extermination and embargo imposed on Palestinians by Israeli army of occupation. The two leaders insisted that the Arab summit be held on the agreed date. [PANA]
Thursday, 17 January, 2002: Sierra Leonean President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah has invited the Libyan leader, Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, to witness Friday's incineration of weapons surrendered by armed factions in that country' decade-long civil war, the Tripoli daily Al-Shams reported Wednesday. More than 46,000 weapons, including assault riffles, ammunition and mortar bombs collected from Sierra Leonean combatants are to be destroyed. [PANA]
Thursday, 17 January, 2002: Visiting Burkina Faso's Prime Minister Yonli Paramango and the Libyan Prime Minister Embarek al-Shamekh on Monday evening held discussions on ways to enhance bilateral co-operation between their countries. Paramango and al-Shamekh also co-chaired the opening of the fifth session of the Joint Libyan-Burkina Faso commission. [PANA]
Thursday, 17 January, 2002: Energy ministers of top gas producers will meet in Algeria next month to exchange views and admit four new members to the recently created Gas Exporting Countries' Forum (GECF). The entry of Colombia, Venezuela, Egypt and Libya would raise GECF's ranks to 15. Members have said GECF's purpose is to ensure supply security through cooperation between exporters, but stressed the body does not intend to become the gas world's answer to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries [OPEC]. [Reuters]
WSJ: September 11 Helps Libya Try To Improve U.S. Relations

Wednesday, 16 January, 2002: A top U.S. official met with Libyan officials last week in London to urge them to take responsibility for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, and compensate the victims' families. William Burns, the assistant secretary of state for the Middle East, attended the meeting with Libyan and British officials, State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said Tuesday. Reeker said Tuesday that Libya will remain on the list of terrorist-sponsoring nations until it abides by a United Nations Security Council resolution to compensate Pan Am 103 victims' families and acknowledge responsibility for the attacks. [AP]
Wednesday, 16 January, 2002: The Libyan government has cut customs duty by 50 percent for most imported consumer goods to compensate for a 51 percent devaluation of the Libyan dinar early this month, customs officials said on Monday. "The authorities have issued an executive order early last week to lower customs dues by 50 percent for most imported goods following the depreciation of the local currency," an official said. The value of Libya's imports, including capital goods, was at $5.67 billion in 2001 and is expected to be at $6.18 billion in 2002. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 16 January, 2002: Libya's state-run National Company for Supply Commodities bought the country's white sugar import reuirements for the first half of 2002 during the last quarter of 2001, its general manager said on Tuesday. "We are looking to fill our needs for the second half of 2002 from markets in the African continent," Mohamed Fitouri Morgham told Reuters. Morgham did not give figures for the amounts of white sugar already purchased but he said Libya's needs for 2002 are at "around 200,000 tonnes". [Reuters]
Wednesday, 16 January, 2002: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi met Tuesday with the president of the interim Somali government, Abdulkassim Salat Hassan, to discuss the situation in Africa, the official JANA agency reported. The talks focused on the setting up of the African Union -- the body which is to replace the Organisation of African Unity after the July 2002 Pretoria summit -- and also broached bilateral relations, the agency said. [AFP]

Tuesday, 15 January, 2002: Malta's Bank of Valletta said on Monday it appointed John Pollacco as manager of its Libya representative office, which will be inaugurated in Tripoli on January 24. The bank said its Libya office would be its ninth overseas office together with the two in Canada, four in Australia, the office in Milan and one in Tunisia. [Reuters]
Monday, 14 January, 2002: Arab-League Secretary General Amr Mousa said Sunday a number of Arab countries have supported Libya's demand to hold the upcoming Arab summit in Cairo instead of Beirut. He said Arab leaders were quietly consulting each other to resolve this issue. Mousa told reporters in Beirut that there was a consensus on holding the summit in March but the Libyans have "officially proposed moving the summit from Beirut to Cairo." Mousa said "some Arab countries have approved the Libyan point of view" but he refused to name them. [UPI]
Monday, 14 January, 2002: According to the Libyan daily "Al-Zahf al-Akhdar", the Horn of Africa is at risk of a large scale Western campaign, plotted under the pretext of the presence in Somalia of elements of Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaida network. The paper says in its weekend edition that in spite of the "denial of the Somali legitimate government" and its commitment to show that Somalia does not harbour Al-Qaida members, "Western countries are getting ready to launch a military operation in the region through the deployment of German troops". [PANA]

Sunday, 13 January, 2002: The Arab League (AL) assistant secretary general for political affairs Muhammad Ismael has denied any contacts made by the AL chief Amr Moussa to transfer the place of the forthcoming Arab summit, in line with a Libyan request. Ismael said that such news are categorically incorrect and that the decision taken to convene the summit in Beirut was taken by the Arab summit and can be only changed by the summit itself. [Arabic News]
Sunday, 13 January, 2002: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni arrived late Saturday in Tripoli, where he held talks with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, official sources said. The talks focused on the situation in Africa, the setting up of the African Union - the body which is to replace the Organisation of African Unity - and the latest summit in Nairobi. [AFP]

Saturday, 12 January, 2002: A shadowy Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim group [The Sadr Brigades] warned Lebanon on Friday against inviting Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to an Arab summit, saying it would take unspecified action if his visit went ahead. Lebanese Shi'ites believe Libya kidnapped and killed Imam Musa al-Sadr in 1978. "We are giving notice that we will have a surprise for everyone if the criminal Qadhafi attends before the case of the vanished Imam Sadr is solved," said a statement from the Sadr brigades. The warning comes a day after Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri said Qadhafi was welcome at the March 27-28 Arab summit. [Reuters]
Saturday, 12 January, 2002: U.S. Federal agents have arrested a German pilot accused of offering to buy military cargo planes and aircraft engines for Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. Klaus Ernst Buhler of Dusseldorf, Germany, was taken into custody Wednesday, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court Thursday. Before his arrest, Buhler said his Libyan connections, including a best friend whom he described as a personal assistant to Qadhafi, offered to buy six Chinook engines and parts for $5.6 million. He said he also wanted two entire C-130 cargo planes and other parts in the future, though a price was not discussed. [AP]
Saturday, 12 January, 2002: Libya's devaluation last week of the dinar rate was a step towards unification of the country's foreign exchange system, Libya's Central Bank said on Tuesday in written answers to Reuters' queries. Libya confirmed that it had devalued the rate of the dinar by 51 percent to 1.3 dinars to the dollar, from 0.65 previously. The central bank said Libya wants to achieve five goals through the devaluation including unification of the foreign excahnge system, squeezing the black market and boosting the competitiveness of non-oil sectors. [Reuters]
Saturday, 12 January, 2002: An envoy arrived in Islamabad Friday to convey Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's concern about the rising tensions between nuclear-armed rivals Pakistan and India, Pakistan's foreign ministry officials said. Envoy Salem Ibrahim Ben-Amer would deliver the message for Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday. The message was expected to convey Qadhafi's concern at the build-up of troops on the borders between the nuclear-armed rivals and to urge for a deescalation of the tension, the officials said. [AFP]
Friday, 11 January, 2002: A Canadian government minister will pay a historic visit to Libya next week. David Kilgour, Canada's secretary of state for Latin America and Africa, will be in Tripoli from Jan 16-19 for the first visit to the country by a Canadian minister. Canada imposed sanctions on Libya from 1986, lifting them only in 1999, when Tripoli handed over two suspects for trial on charges of bombing a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland. Kilgour will officially open Canada's new embassy, established last June. [Reuters]
Friday, 11 January, 2002: The son of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi believes that his new business link-up with Italian first division club Juventus could help Libya qualify for the 2006 World Cup, Gazzetta dello Sport reports. Al-Saadi al-Qadhafi, who said he hoped to expand his interest in the Turin club to 20 percent, also revealed he was set to appoint former Genoa coach Franco Scoglio, who has experience in Tunisia, as coach to the Libyan national team. On Tuesday it was announced that the Lafico group of the Qadhafi family had reached an agreement to take a 5.31 percent stake in the club which was floated on the Italian stock market. [AFP]
Friday, 11 January, 2002: Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri said in Brussels Thursday that he hopes Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi will attend the Arab League summit, scheduled to take place in Beirut in March, despite a simmering row. "Lebanon hopes for the participation of all heads of state and notably our friend Qadhafi," he said in response to a question on the Libyan leader's boycott of the summit which Tripoli wants moved from Beirut to Cairo. [AFP]
Friday, 11 January, 2002: Belarussian Foreign Minister Mikhail Khvostov will head his country's official delegation in the first meeting of the Belarussian-Libyan joint commission on economic, trade, scientific and technical cooperation which will be held in Tripoli on January 15-19, Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Savinykh told a briefing on Thursday. [Itar-Tass]
Thursday, 10 January, 2002: The appeal of the Libyan secret agent [Abdel-Baset al-Megerhi (photo)] convicted of the Lockerbie bombing will be televised, Scottish authorities have said. The appeal hearing is due to kick off at a former U.S. military base [in Holland] on January 23. Pre-appeal hearings in October 2001 determined that the appeal will centre on new evidence from a former security guard at London's Heathrow airport whose statement to police in 1989 was not passed to prosecutors. [Reuters]
Thursday, 10 January, 2002: Libyans have started a great reafforestation campaign by taking advantage of the good rain season in Libya. The campaign was aimed at covering as much land as possible with fruit trees and other tree species in order to create impassable barriers and windbreaks to fight desertification. According to the Libyan farming services, 250,000 seedlings have been planted so far in Misrata, el-Mergeb, Tarhouna, Emsallata, Ejdabiya, Tripoli, Sebrata and Sorman out of a total of three millions of seedlings prepared for the season. [PANA]
Thursday, 10 January, 2002: The Japanese Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported on Wednesday that Nippon Koei had won a $10.54 million order from the Libyan government to design a man-made river for water supply. As Japan is considering resuming trade insurance for business with Libya, more investment from Japanese firms is likely, the report said. [Reuters]
Thursday, 10 January, 2002: Italian football club Juventus has a new shareholder, according to German press agency DPA, in the form of Libyan president Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. DPA said Qadhafi has become the clubs second biggest holder through his investment company, Lafico. Qadhafi has reportedly bought 6.4 million Juve shares, spending about £14 million on the Milan stock exchange. This means the Libyan leader now owns 5.31 per cent of the Italian side. [Yahoo]
Thursday, 10 January, 2002: Libya Wednesday sealed a contract with an Italian firm to construct a 21-story building in Khartoum, that includes a five-star 250-room hotel, recreational and business facilities. The contract was signed by Mohammed el-Howaij for the Libyan Company for External Investments and for the Italian company CMC by its director Foskeni. [PANA]
Thursday, 10 January, 2002: Palestinian President Yasser Arafat aides have denied he or his Palestinian Authority were involved in the arms shipment seized by Israeli commandos in the Red Sea last Thursday. The ship's Palestinian captain, Omar Akkawi, told reporters on Monday he was sent to Libya on behalf of the Palestinian Authority for what he described as communications programmes shortly after the start of the Palestinian uprising in September 2000. [Reuters]
Thursday, 10 January, 2002: Homesick Libyan Husain Shikshuka has left Kuala Lumpur (KL) after a month’s trial with the city team. KL manager Helmi said that they would continue their search for foreign players to help boost their challenge in the M-League. "He (Husain) was lonely for most of the time. It is difficult to sign up a player with such problems," said Helmi. [The Star]
Wednesday, 9 January, 2002: The Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company (LAFICO), a former partner of Italian carmaker Fiat, has bought a 5.31 percent stake in Italian soccer club Juventus which is controlled by the Fiat-owning Agnelli family. "Juventus Football Club believes the broadening of the shareholding base to include an important institutional investor like Lafico, confirms the interest in the club and its development projects in the entertainment sector," Juventus said in a statement on Tuesday. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 9 January, 2002: Jordanian authorities have arrested a fugitive convicted and sentenced to death in absentia for the 1994 assassination of a Jordanian diplomat in Beirut, judicial sources said on Monday. The sources said Jamal Darwish Fatayer was arrested four days ago at Queen Alia International Airport upon his arrival from Libya. He was immediately brought before Military Prosecutor Major Mahmoud Hiyasat for interrrogation. [Jordan Times]

Tuesday, 8 January, 2002: The pilots of a plane that crashed off the coast of Libya on Jan. 13, 2000, killing 22, were so busy talking to each other that they failed to notice a buildup of ice on their windshield and engines, an investigation concluded. The pilots also failed to check the weather conditions before takeoff, said the report, prepared by the Libyans and made public by the Swiss Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau on Monday. The Swiss plane crashed into the sea shortly before it was due to land at Marsa el-Brega. The flight, from Tripoli, was carrying 38 passengers and three crew. The Libyan pilots both survived but were seriously injured. [AP]
Tuesday, 8 January, 2002: The Libyan daily, Al-Shams describes as "ridiculous" the arrest of former Taliban Ambassador to Pakistan. It also questions the handing over of Al-Dhaif to the U.S. government. In its Sunday edition, the paper says Al-Dhaif carried out his duties openly before and during the US military campaign in Afghanistan. "If the U.S. was in search of Al-Dhaif, it did not need this war during which over 5,000 people died in Afghanistan," the paper said. [PANA]
Tuesday, 8 January, 2002: Arab League chief Amr Mussa on Sunday confirmed that an Arab summit scheduled for March will be held in Beirut, despite a request by Libya it be moved to Cairo amid tensions with local Shiites. "The summit will be held in Beirut," Mussa told Lebanon's foreign minister, Mahmoud Hammoud, during a telephone conversation. "Arab efforts are underway to clear the air and calm reservations that some people have raised," he said. [AFP]
Tuesday, 8 January, 2002: The government of Chad and the main rebel group, the Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad (MDJT), reached an accord Monday providing for an immediate ceasefire. The "reconciliation accord", agreed by Chadian Interior Minister Abderahman Moussa and MDJT leader Adam Togoi in the presence of Libya's African unity minister, Ali al-Triki, was signed after three days of talks in the Libyan capital Tripoli. [AFP]
Monday, 7 January, 2002: Libya has devalued the official rate of the dinar by 51 percent to 1.3 dinar to one U.S dollar, a Central Bank official said on Sunday. "The dinar was depreciated by 51 percent," the official said. Bank sources said the new official rate of 1.304203 Libyan dinar to one dollar was effective from January 1, from the previous rate of 0.645916 dinar per dollar. [AFP]
Monday, 7 January, 2002: Lebanese Culture Minister Ghassan Salame said that Tehran and Damascus are in favor of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi participating in the Arab Summit in Beirut. Salame told Radio Monte Carlo that some disputes exist between Qadhafi and the Shiite Muslims of Lebanon and that Iran and Syria are trying to settle the problems. [Tehran Times]
Monday, 7 January, 2002: Tripoli has filed an official request to move an upcoming Arab summit from Beirut to Cairo because of "security reasons", Libyan minister for African unity Ali al-Triki said Sunday. "The difficult situation facing the Arab world demands that an Arab summit be held in the presence of all, but circumstances are not favourable in Lebanon," he told Al-Jazeera television channel. He said that Libya had made the request to shift the summit because of Libyan leader Qadhafi's long-standing dispute with the Lebanese Shiite community. [AFP]
Monday, 7 January, 2002: The head of the Arab League accused a Shiite Muslim Lebanese group of jeapordizing an Arab summit in Lebanon in March with its objections to Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's attending it. The Amal movement opposes Qadhafi because it says he was behind Imam Sadr's disappearance in 1978. "These statements criticizing and threatening Qadhafi are negative, dangerous, and affect measures undertaken to bring the Arabs together," Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa told reporters. [AFP]

Sunday, 6 January, 2002: Libya on Saturday denounced a decision by US President Bush to extend US economic sanctions slapped on Libya in 1986. "Libya expresses its surprise and its rejection of the unilateral American decision which ignores the principle of international relations which consists of settling differences with dialogue," Hassuna al-Shawesh, a high-ranking foreign ministry official, told AFP. "Libya would have hoped for a more courageous decision which would have ended these sanctions to allow a normalisation of relations," he said. [AFP]
Sunday, 6 January, 2002: Fighting "terror by terror" was no solution to terrorism, the Libyan daily Al-Zahf Al-Akhdhar has observed. The paper, which is an organ of Libya's revolutionary committees, said in its Friday edition that the US "will never be able to become the policeman over waters and the sky". "The security of the US depends on security in the world," the paper observed. It denounces America's foreign policy, saying the world and its people firmly reject such policy that has an intention to "Americanise" the whole of mankind. [PANA]
Sunday, 6 January, 2002: The Washington Post reported that a high-ranking paramilitary trainer for terror suspect Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network was being held prisoner by US forces. The trainer, described as the most senior al-Qaeda member captured in the US-led campaign in Afghanistan, was identified as Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, a native of Libya. Pakistani forces caught and handed al-Libi to US forces "within the past day or two," according to the Post. [AFP]
Sunday, 6 January, 2002: The case of a Shi'ite imam who disappeared almost a quarter of a century ago is threatening to wreck the upcoming Arab summit in Beirut. Libya has asked Beirut not to host the summit, a Lebanese Foreign Ministry official told Reuters. The approach followed a call by Lebanon's Shi'ites, whose leader Moussa al-Sader and his two aides vanished during a visit to Libya in 1978, to bar Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi from the summit. [Reuters]
Sunday, 6 January, 2002: The vice-president of the Higher Shiite Council, Sheikh Abdel-Amir Qabalan, on Friday expressed displeasure over the possibility of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi coming to Beirut for the Arab summit in March. Qabalan said he was in favor of the meeting being held as scheduled provided that Qadhafi brought along Shiite religious leader Musa Sadr dead or alive, or did not come at all. Sadr has not been heard from since he was reported missing after arriving in Libya in 1978 and boarding a flight out of the country. [The Daily Star]
Saturday, 5 January, 2002: Libya made modest hikes in the price of its petroleum and household gas Friday, the first fuel increases in the oil-rich country in about 20 years. The price of both regular and super grades of petrol rose by 1 piaster a liter, or about 6 U.S. cents a gallon. Regular now costs 11.5 piasters a liter, or about 69 US cents a gallon, and super costs 15 piasters a liter, or about 90 US cents a gallon. The price of domestic gas increased by 5 piasters - or 7.5 US cents - a cylinder to reach 1.3 Libyan dinars ($1=LYD0.66325), or US$1.95, a cylinder. [AP]
Saturday, 5 January, 2002: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has appointed his eldest son to run the state corporation for post and telecommunications. Mohammed al-Qadhafi, 30, has been appointed head of the General Company for Posts and Telecommunications, company officials said Friday. The appointment was made by the National Popular Committee, as the Libyan cabinet is called. Libyan authorities like to say the country is run by a series of popular committees elected at various levels, but real power is known to rest with Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. [AP]
Saturday, 5 January, 2002: U.S. President Bush wrote the U.S. Congress Thursday that he was extending U.S. economic sanctions slapped on Libya some 25 years ago to January 7, 2003. "The crisis between the U.S. and Libya that led to the declaration on January 7, 1986, of a national emergency has not been resolved," Bush said. The U.N. suspended its own sanctions against Libya in 1999, after Tripoli gave up two suspects in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie. But Libya has not met its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions, including accepting responsibility for the actions of its officials and paying compensation, Bush added. [AFP]
Saturday, 5 January, 2002: Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on Thursday held discussions in Tripoli with Chad's home affairs minister Abdul-Rahman Mousa as part of efforts to restore peace and stability in the neighbouring country. These efforts have led to the ongoing reconciliation moves between the government and the armed rebel Movement for Democacy and Justice in Chad headed by President Idriss Deby's former defence minister Youssef Togoimi. Libya was requested to initiate reconciliation moves during meetings of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States in N'Djamena (February 2000) and in Khartoum (February 2001). [PANA]
Friday, 4 January, 2002: Yemen has deported three Libyan students of Islamic theology detained last month in an army raid against suspected followers of Osama bin Laden, a Yemeni newspaper reported Wednesday. The government's al-Wahda newspaper said a fourth Libyan student, held during the sweep on a suspected militants' hideout in the rugged hinterland east of the capital, Sanaa, was still being questioned. The four were among 49 students of Islamic studies from Indonesia, Somalia, Iraq, Egypt and Algeria who were held during the raid. [Reuters]
Friday, 4 January, 2002: The Qadhafi International Foundation for Charitable Associations said in Tripoli on Thursday that it has extended US$5.5 million in aid to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and a number of Palestinian establishments. The foundation said in a statement that it has already transferred 3 million dollars to the PNA to support the Palestinian intifada, or uprising against the Israeli occupation, Libya's local media reported on Thursday. The Libyan charity is also expected to pay part of the 11-million-dollar dues of Jordanian hospitals, where Palestinians injured in Israeli attacks received medical treatment, the statement added. [Xinhua]
Friday, 4 January, 2002: A high-level Chadian government delegation left for Tripoli on Thursday for Libyan-sponsored direct negotiations with northern rebels. The delegation, led by Interior Minister Abdelrahman Mousa, will meet with representatives of the Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad (MDJT). The MDJT announced on December 24 that it was ready to hold direct talks with the government at the urging of Libyan President Qadhafi. [AFP]
Friday, 4 January, 2002: Morocco's most prestigious football clubs -- Wydad and Raja de Casablanca -- will participate in the Saqr Al-Wahid tournament scheduled 22-24 February in Tripoli, Libya, to raise funds for some young would-be couples. [PANA]

Thursday, 3 January, 2002: A Libyan envoy arrived Wednesday in New Delhi to try to avoid a military confrontation between India and Pakistan, an official at the Libyan foreign ministry said. "The mission of Libyan envoy Salem ben Amer is to try to avoid a deterioration of the situation in this Muslim region of the Indian Ocean," said the official on condition of anonimity. [AFP]
Thursday, 3 January, 2002: The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development has granted Libya a 25 million [Kuwaiti] dinar ($81.43 million) loan, the fund said Wednesday. The money will be used to upgrade the capacity of an electrical power station north of Benghazi, the Kuwait-based fund said in a statement. Annual interest for the loan was set at 4.5 percent. [AP]
Thursday, 3 January, 2002: U.S. President Bush on Wednesday allowed U.S. technology firms to sell high-speed computers to Russia, China, India and countries in the Middle East, easing a Cold War-era ban designed to halt the spread of nuclear arms. The U.S. will maintain its embargo on technology exports to North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Cuba, Sudan and Syria. [Reuters]

Wednesday, 2 January, 2002: Secret British official papers from 1971, released today in London, show that the Foreign Office thought that the Libyan leader, Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, had lost control of the Revolutionary Council in Tripoli in 1971 and was about to be overthrown. British diplomats reported that Qadhafi had twice been the target of assassination attempts, he had had a severe nervous breakdown, and even tried to kill himself. The files were released at the Public Record Office at Kew in south-west London. A 1971 Foreign Office file has reports from British diplomats that the colonel spent three weeks in a Cairo clinic, staffed by Belgian doctors, being treated for a complete breakdown, in February and March of that year. The Libyan people were told that he was in a remote area of Libya looking at farm projects. [BBC]
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Tuesday, 1 January, 2002: Contacts are underway to secure the participation in next year's Arab summit in Beirut of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, who is in a long-standing dispute with the Lebanese Shiite community, Arab League chief Amr Mussa said Monday. Lebanese Shiite leaders, notably powerful pro-Syrian parliament speaker Nabih Berri, accuse the Qadhafi regime of being behind the disappearance 22 years ago of their spiritual guide Imam Mussa Sadr during a trip to Libya. Tripoli accuses Berri of being behind Sadr's disappearance. [AFP]
Tuesday, 1 January, 2002: The Libyan premier league teams standings (week 10):
1. Al-Nasr (28 points) -- 2. Al-Ittihad (23) -- 3. Al-Hilal (19) -- 4. Al-Madina (18)
5. Al-Ahli (16) -- 6. Al-Tahaddi (16) -- 7. Rafik (16) -- 8. Al-Sawaed (14)
9. Al-Wifaq (12) -- 10. Al-Olympy (10) -- 11. Al-Tarsana (10) -- 12. Al-Morouj (10)
13. Al-Swaihli (8) -- 14. Al-Dhahra (8) -- 15. Al-Mahalla (5) -- 16. Al-Akhdhar (5). [PANA]

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