News and Views [ February 2002 ]

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Thursday, 28 February, 2002: The United States is willing to talk with Libya once Libya complies with U.N. Security Council demands stemming from the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103, an official said Wednesday. On Friday, the State Department's top official for the Middle East, William Burns, will assure the Pan Am 103 families at a department meeting they will be consulted as the administration weighs options for future dealings with Libya. Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi is considered by some to have pursued a more moderate course in recent years after earning a place for his country on the U.S. State Department's terrorism list. [AP]
Thursday, 28 February, 2002: Libya on Wednesday denied a Canadian intelligence report suggesting it was determined to acquire nuclear weapons as quickly as possible, along with Iraq and Iran. "Libya does not have any such secret programme," a Libyan foreign affairs official, Hassuna al-Shawesh, told AFP. "If the existence of such a report is confirmed, Libya will lodge an official complaint with the concerned authorities," al-Shawesh said. [AFP]
Thursday, 28 February, 2002: Austrian far-right strongman Joerg Haider claims descent from Arabic immigrants and is considering converting to Islam, Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's son claimed. "He's Arabic, he's of Arabic origin. His family came from Andalucia 400 years ago or more, and then they converted to Christianity. They're Arabs. He told me the story," Seif al-Islam, the Libyan cultural envoy told journalists in Paris. Seif al-Islam, who is in Paris at the head of a 70-strong Libyan cultural delegation, also said that he was working for the release of the Kuwaiti prisoners, but did not link his mission directly with that of Haider. [AFP]
Thursday, 28 February, 2002: Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co. won an order to build a US$200 million gas processing plant in Libya, the company said Thursday. The contract calls for building the gas processing plant in Wafa, around 680 km south of Tripoli. The work is part of an ongoing project to process crude oil and associated gas pumped from 38 wells in the Wafa oil field and transport them to the port of Mellita via a pipeline. Construction on the gas processing plant will start in March and be complete in two years and three months. [Asia Pulse]

Wednesday, 27 February, 2002: Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has discussed with Dede Rasheraka, President of Madagascar necessary steps to restore stability in Madagascar. Qadhafi expressed his conviction that resorting to peaceful means and avoiding violence are the best solutions to eliminate the current crisis. Last Friday Madagascar declared the state of emergency because of the continued demonstrations after the governor of the capital Tananarev declared himself as the head of state. [Arabic News]
Wednesday, 27 February, 2002: Chad on Tuesday adopted a law granting amnesty to the Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad (MDJT). Chad's government signed a peace agreement with the MDJT on January 7. Under the accord, signed under Libyan auspices in Tripoli, President Deby agreed to bring the rebels into a future government. [AFP]
Wednesday, 27 February, 2002: Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of Britain, declares her country's support for the war on terror Monday in Milwaukee, USA. She offered Britain's support for the U.S. war on terror and warned that the fight cannot be won halfheartedly. Iran, Iraq and North Korea as an "axis of evil"? "The phrase seems fair enough to me!" she said, noting that the Sudan, Libya and Syria were also particularly troublesome. [Journal Sentinel]
Tuesday, 26 February, 2002: Seif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, son of Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, arrived in Paris on Monday aboard an Airbus A300-600, marking the resumption of flights between Tripoli and Paris that has been suspended for 10 years. Without any official post in Libya, Seif al-Islam acts as president of the International Qadhafi Fund. He will inaugurate an exposition of Libya's contemporary artists in Paris, said the French Foreign Ministry. No meeting is arranged between French leaders and Seif al-Islam, but he is expected to meet with UNESCO Secretary-General Koichiro Matsuura and give a speech on Franco-Libyan relations. [Xinhua]
Tuesday, 26 February, 2002: Accused last year of attempting to spy for an unidentified country, retired U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Brian Patrick Regan now faces expanded charges of trying to give secrets to Iraq, China and Libya. U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee summoned defense lawyers and prosecutors Monday to work out a trial schedule. Regan, 40, served in the U.S. Air Force from August 1980 through August 2000. [AP]
Tuesday, 26 February, 2002: Eighteen men trying to reach Libya for work have died of thirst and hunger after their truck broke down in the northwestern desert of Sudan, the official Sudan News Agency reported Saturday. Another 81 work-seekers were rescued Wednesday after a camel rider came across the stranded group and brought help from a nearby oasis. The truck is thought to have broken down within 100 kilometers (63 miles) of the Libyan border. [AP]

Human Rights Solidarity: The People's Court

Monday, 25 February, 2002: Robert Pierre, a former official at the CIA and one of those participated in the investigations in the Lockerbie incident said that he has clear evidences that Libya was not behind the Lockerbie incident despite the fact that a Libyan national, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi was convicted by a Scottish court as being involved in this case. In an interview with the British paper Sunday Heralds, Pierre said that the CIA has clear evidences on the actual executers and those who downed the American plane over Lockerbie. [Arabic News]
Monday, 25 February, 2002: Algerian President Abdulaziz Boutaflika left Tripoli on Sunday following a two-day official visit to Libya. During his visit, the Algerian President held talks with Libyan ruler Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on means of strengthening bilateral cooperation as well as a number of Arab, African and regional issues of mutual interest. [Al-Bawaba]

Sunday, 24 February, 2002: In a move that will please domestic businesses struggling amid a deep recession but could rub the United States the wrong way, Japan is working behind the scenes to take a significant policy step toward closer economic ties with Libya. Government sources said Thursday that Japan will unfreeze its application of a state-run trade and investment insurance scheme for domestic firms doing business with the North African country as early as this spring. Japan's plan to resubmit its application for Libyan trade insurance comes amid growing calls from domestic industries for closer ties with the North African country. [Japan Times]
Sunday, 24 February, 2002: Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is believed to have mortgaged most of his countryís most valuable assets to Colonel Qadhafi, the Libyan leader, in exchange for hundreds of millions of pounds in loans to keep Zimbabwe from complete collapse. Desperate to cling to power in next monthís elections, Mugabe is said to have handed over state-owned farms, hotels and oil refineries in a secret deal with Colonel Qadhafi. As part of the exchange, the Libyan dictator is funding Mugabeís security forces. The partnership began last year when Colonel Qadhafi gave Zimbabwe a loan of about £70 million. [The Times]
Sunday, 24 February, 2002: Libya has pledged $1 million in grant money to help countries in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States promote a plan to create a regional economic union. The grant, announced in St. Lucia on Friday, is the second major aid package offered by Libya to the Caribbean organization. The organization's acting director, General George Goodwin, said the $1 million grant would go toward educating the islands' populations about the benefits and conditions of an economic union. In September, Libya gave $21.5 million in loans, grants and debt relief packages that were criticized by some islands' opposition parties. [AP]
Saturday, 23 February, 2002: Amnesty International called Thursday for Tripoli to lift death sentences handed down to two leaders of the banned Muslim Brotherhood in Libya. "These sentences resulting from an unfair trial are a travesty of justice. We call on the Libyan authorities to withdraw the death sentences against Abdullah Ezzedin and Salem Abu Hanak," the rights group said. Amnesty urged Tripoli "to review the trial with regard to all defendants with the aim of releasing all those punished solely for the exercise of their non-violent conscientiously held belief. " Amnesty said the trial opened behind closed doors in March 2001 and "failed to conform with international standards for fair trial, including the right of a defendant to choose a lawyer." [AFP]
Saturday, 23 February, 2002: U.S. President Bush failed during his trip this week to persuade China to halt sales of missile technology, an issue of rising importance as the United States fights its war on terrorism. Bush was unable to win China's agreement on halting the sale of missile and nuclear technology to Iran, Pakistan, North Korea and other nations. The United States says China, reneging on a pledge in November 2000, helped Pakistan last year with missile expertise and provided equipment or technology to North Korea, Iran and Libya. [AP]

Friday, 22 February, 2002: Libya's secretary of justice and public security says a Libyan court has convicted 86 out of 152 defendants charged with belonging to an outlawed Islamic political group, two were sentenced to death, 73 to life in prison and 11 to 10 years. Mohamed al-Mosrati says the trial was "fair" and those convicted of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood have the right of appeal. Secretary al-Mosrati says membership in the group proves "there was an intention of conspiring against the people's authority", a reference to the Libyan government. Human rights watchdog Amnesty International says it is concerned about the death sentences, saying the defendants are "possible prisoners of conscience". [Ananova]

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Thursday, 21 February, 2002: Dressed in jeans and appearing confident, Colonel Qadhafi's son, Seif al-Islam (photo), gave short and precise answers to the journalists questioning him. It was a modern performance, in sharp contrast to the flowing robes and rambling language preferred by his father. Seif al-Islam insisted that his agenda is separate from that of the government. "I run a non-governmental organisation, I have my own agenda, I have my own mission, they have their own mission." he said. [BBC]
Thursday, 21 February, 2002: The Bush administration plans to keep U.S. sanctions on energy investment in Iran and Libya, keeping big U.S. oil companies out of some of the world's richest oil and gas reserves. President Bush will renew next month an executive order prohibiting U.S. Big Oil from investing in Iran's crude oil and natural gas sector, a White House official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. The administration will also keep similar sanctions against Libya this year despite a thaw in relations with the north African nation, said the official. [Reuters]
Thursday, 21 February, 2002: South Korea's Daewoo Engineering and Construction Company is likely to be awarded a $200 million refinery construction order by Libya, Yonhap News Agency reported Wednesday. A company spokesman said Daewoo Engineering is in negotiations at present but couldn't provide any details saying that "we don't have any information on the deal yet." According to Yonhap, the deal may be finalized this week. [Dow Jones]
Thursday, 21 February, 2002: Libya is planning to develop its natural gas industry through the exploitation of a field expected to produce 250 million cubic feet of gas a day, sources at the oil and gas prospecting company Al Waha said Tuesday. A consortium of three companies from Japan, France and Italy recently won a $1.2 billion contract to exploit oil and gas fields in Libya. It was the first major oil and gas investment project to be awarded to foreign companies. Foreign Minister Abdelrahman Shalgam has recently expressed disappointment with the volume of foreign investments. "Investments worth only $100 million in a country where production reaches between $12 billion and $14 billion are not sufficient," Shalgam has told UPI. [UPI]

Othman el-Barrani's "Eid Mubarak" Home Page

The home of "Libyan Relief Fund" :

Wednesday, 20 February, 2002: A businessman pleaded innocent Tuesday to illegally shipping computer goods to three Arab countries. Ihsan "Sammy" Elashyi, 41, entered the plea during an arraignment hearing on federal charges of making 12 shipments of computer goods to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan from Sept. 17 to Dec. 21. U.S. regulators said Elashyi was a consultant for InfoCom Corp. On Sept. 7, the Commerce Department suspended the export privileges of InfoCom for allegedly shipping equipment to Libya and Syria without authorization. [AP]

Amnesty International : Press Release

Tuesday, 19 February, 2002: Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, made a personal phone call of support to Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in his cell in Camp Zeist. Last Sunday morning, Mandela told Megrahi he was "indebted to" Colonel Qadhafi for the support he gave to him and the African National Congress during his imprisonment under the apartheid regime. Megrahi thanked Mandela for meeting his family during a visit to Libya after the verdict last year. Megrahi also told Mandela he was confident the judges "would observe his human rights and look at the facts and not just speculation and suspicions". [The Herald]
Tuesday, 19 February, 2002: Scotland's justice system has been called into question by all 53-member states of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) over the "legally indefensible" conviction of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, a Libyan national accused of the Lockerbie bombing. A report by the OAU's commission of jurists, who observed the original trial at Camp Zeist in Holland, said the "case against (Megrahi) cannot by any stretch of the imagination be said to have been proved and the entire conviction is based upon flawed premises". [The Herald]
Tuesday, 19 February, 2002: Libya's Minister for African Unity, Ali Triki, said in Egypt yesterday that Libya wants to revive an Egyptian-Libyan initiative to end the 18-year civil war in Sudan. Triki told reporters that he had discussed "reactivating the Egyptian-Libyan initiative to achieve unity in Sudan" with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Launched more than two years ago, the plan calls for the Sudanese government to hold a national conference of reconciliation with the southern rebels and the northern opposition. [AFP]
Human Rights Solidarity : Press Release

Monday, 18 February, 2002: Two leaders of the banned Libyan Muslim Brotherhood have been sentenced to death and dozens of others to heavy jail terms, two separate organisations said today. The Libyan Islamic Group (LIG) said the death sentences had been handed down yesterday to Abdallah Ezzedin (photo/left) and Salem Abu Hanak (photo/right), two academics teaching in Tripoli and Benghazi. Human Rights Solidarity (HRS), a group based in Geneva, also reported the death sentences and added that "dozens of life terms" had also been handed down. HRS said that those convicted were arrested in 1998 for belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood. Organised political activity is banned in Libya and considered by leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi as a treason of the revolution. [AFP]
Monday, 18 February, 2002: A court in Libya has said there is no evidence of a plot to undermine state security in the case of seven foreign medical workers accused of infecting children with HIV. The People's Court in Tripoli, which deals with matters of state security, has referred the case to an ordinary criminal court. The Palestinian doctor and six Bulgarian medical workers on trial have been in detention for three years. The decision makes their case less fraught, but they still face charges carrying the death sentence. [BBC]

Sunday, 17 February, 2002: Libya's Secretary for African Unity Ali al-Traiki arrived in Cairo Saturday to deliver a message from Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. "The message deals with ways to promote bilateral relations and the latest developments in the region," Traiki told reporters. Al-Traiki will meet with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher to discuss an Egyptian-Libyan initiative on Sudan's reconciliation and the Arab summit due in Lebanon on March 27-28. [Xinhua]
Sunday, 17 February, 2002: Philippine officials on Friday rejected a reported offer by a son of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to negotiate the release of an American couple and a Filipino held hostage by Muslim extremists in the southern Philippines. "Any negotiations that are marked by under-the-table deals, like money and everything, I think we should not agree with. It will return to us in the form of bullets and firearms," military Chief of Staff Gen. Diomedio Villanueva said. Villanueva was reacting to published reports that Qadhafi's son, Seif el-Islam, offered to negotiate the release of the hostages if requested by the United States. [AP]
Saturday, 16 February, 2002: Libyan woman el-Hajja Zahra, right, and her daughter, Fatema wait at Tripoli airport Thursday, Feb. 14, 2002 for the arrival of Zahra's son Mohammed al-Hashmi, 40, who is one of the 44 Arabs to be brought from Islamabad, Pakistan back to Libya on a flight financed by a charity led by a son of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. The Arabs did not belong to any armed groups in Afghanistan, according to a spokesman for the charity. [AP]
Saturday, 16 February, 2002: Libyan Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Abdelrahman Shalgam (photo) arrived in Tehran Thursday at the head of a political and economic delegation for a three-day visit. Upon arrival at the Mehrabad International Airport, he said that the aim of his trip is to "study ways of strengthening and developing bilateral ties" between Tehran and Tripoli. Shalgam is scheduled to meet with several Iranian officials, including his counterpart Kamal Kharrazi. [IRNA]
Saturday, 16 February, 2002: Commercial flights between Paris and Tripoli will resume in two weeks after a break of ten years, according to a statement given by a spokesman for Paris airports' authority ADP. There will be an inaugural flight on Monday Feb 25 and after that Libyan Arab Airlines will run a weekly service between the two cities every Thursday. International sanctions were imposed against Libya in 1992 after it refused to cooperate in the investigation into the Lockerbie bomb attack over Scotland. [AFX]
Saturday, 16 February, 2002: A legal dispute is brewing over a breach of contract between a Zimbabwean construction company, Comolite Investments, and Libyan-owned Crief Investments. The High Court's deputy sheriff last week served Ali Salim, Crief's managing director who is also a diplomat, with summons to pay $1.2 million for work undertaken on his behalf by Comolite. The two companies agreed last month that Comolite would, within two weeks, renovate 10 apartments belonging to Crief. But the Libyan diplomat refused to pay for the renovations. When the Financial Gazette contacted Salim, he said he had signed a contract with Comolite without reading it, but added that he had recently made out a cheque to the company. [Financial Gazette]

Friday, 15 February, 2002: Evidence from six fresh witnesses fatally undermines the guilty verdict against the Libyan convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, his lawyer has told the last day of his appeal hearing. William Taylor urged a panel of five judges on Thursday to quash the life sentence passed on Libyan agent Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, arguing that new evidence about a break-in at London's Heathrow airport destroyed a key pillar of a shaky circumstantial case. The hearing has now been adjourned until the court's decision is announced. Presiding Judge Lord Cullen said judgement would not come before early March. Before adjourning, he discussed with the lawyers the possibility of a retrial if the trial verdict were overturned. [Reuters]
Friday, 15 February, 2002: A Libyan charity has sent home from Pakistan 45 wives and children of Arab fighters killed or missing in the Afghan war, a charity official said on Thursday. A flight organised by the Qadhafi International Foundation for Charity Associations left Islamabad on Wednesday for Tripoli, charity spokesman Mohamed Ismail told Reuters. "We have repatriated 45 women and children, mostly widows and orphans of Arab and Libyan fighters, who had either been killed or went missing while fighting in Afghanistan," Ismail said. Ismail said the women included a few Pakistanis and Afghans married to Arab or Libyan fighters. [Reuters]
Friday, 15 February, 2002: In a message delivered a few days before a Libyan court is expected to deliver a verdict in a murder trial against six Bulgarian medics, Bulgarian president Parvanov said Thursday he wants closer ties with Libya and Arab states. A Tripoli court is scheduled to deliver a verdict on Sunday in the case against the medics, who are accused of deliberately infecting hundreds of Libyan children with the virus that causes AIDS. In a message to Libya's leader Qadhafi, Parvanov said he hoped the six would be fairly tried. "Regardless of the outcome we shall do our best to make our relations with the Arab world more active," he said. [AP]
Friday, 15 February, 2002: A grand jury indicted a retired American Air Force master sergeant Thursday on new charges that he tried to spy for Iraq, Libya and China, and accused him of offering U.S. military secrets to Saddam Hussein for $13 million in Swiss currency. Brian Patrick Regan, 39, could face the death penalty on two charges in the four-count indictment. [AP]

Thursday, 14 February, 2002: Libya has sent a plane to Pakistan to repatriate 44 Arab fighters who have been detained in Afghanistan, Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, the son of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, told AFP on Wednesday. Saif al-Islam, who heads the charitable Qadhafi Foundation, said that the plane left Tuesday for Pakistan to repatriate "44 Afghan Arabs, mainly Libyans." "For humanitarian reasons, the foundation has negotiated their repatriation and paid sums of money to the Afghan groups which were holding them," Saif al-Islam said. [AFP]
Thursday, 14 February, 2002: Defence lawyers for convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi claimed yesterday that the suitcase bomb which blew up Pan Am flight 103 was smuggled on board the plane in London. Lawyers representing the Libyan told his appeal court at Kamp van Zeist that a security breach at Heathrow Airport was reported to police just hours before the plane left London for New York on 21 December, 1988. Yesterday, defence lawyers produced a former Heathrow security officer who claimed it was possible the security breach at the airport, hours before flight 103 took off, may have been linked to the case. Raymond Manley told the appeal judges he had spotted a broken padlock just after midnight on 21 December. [The Scotsman]
Thursday, 14 February, 2002: Ukraine and Libya will sign an agreement shortly on cooperation in the aircraft industry. The Ukrainian government on Wednesday authorised Minister of Industrial Policy Gureyev to sign it. Gureyev told Itar-Tass that the agreement creates a legal framework for cooperation between the two countries in the field of selling, repairing and joint production of civilian planes and training personnel. Libya has bought two An-124-100 planes from Ukraine. Its companies want to buy new An-140 and An-74TK-300 planes. [Itar-Tass]
Thursday, 14 February, 2002: The U.S. expects to wrap up a multibillion-dollar sale of Kidd-class destroyers to Taiwan by early next year, Pentagon officials said on Wednesday. China has warned the U.S. against advanced weapons transfers to Taiwan. In the past, Beijing has told U.S. officials it reserved the right to go on selling advanced systems, including missiles, to countries like Pakistan, Iran, Syria and Libya if the U.S. sends advanced systems to Taiwan. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 13 February, 2002: The U.S. State Department has given four companies permission to renegotiate oilfield contracts with Libya that have been frozen since the mid-eighties. Libya last year warned Marathon Oil, Amerada, Conoco and Occidental -- the 'Oasis' group -- that they could be stripped of their Libyan operating licenses unless they returned to the country. "The State Department has reaffirmed the past authority of the Oasis partners to discuss the terms under which we could return to Libyan properties," said a spokesman for Marathon Oil. The approval was issued on Jan. 22, he added. The companies would not be able to return to Libya until the U.S. dropped the sanctions, the Marathon spokesman added. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 13 February, 2002: Libya has proposed settling most of the Palestinian National Authority's (PNA) outstanding debts to private Jordanian hospitals, estimated at JD9 million, a Palestinian embassy official said on Monday. The proposal was made by the Qadhafi International Foundation, headed by Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's son Saif al-Islam (photo). The foundation has communicated to the PNA its willingness to help alleviate most of its debts, said the Palestinian embassy's charge d'affaires, Ata Khairy. However, a spokesman for the Libyan embassy told The Jordan Times that the embassy had no knowledge of the debt alleviation plan. [Jordan Times]
Wednesday, 13 February, 2002: Libyan forces in the Central African Republic's capital are facing growing opposition from local residents who say that they want the foreign soldiers to leave Bangui because the Libyans do not serve their interests. The troops were first deployed in Bangui to defend the country's president Felix Patasse, following a failed coup attempt last May. Libyan officials say until a peacekeeping mission is deployed in the Central African Republic their troops will remain. "We want to improve the security in the country," says a Libyan embassy official in Bangui. "If we leave, there would be a coup tonight." [BBC]
Wednesday, 13 February, 2002: The son of Libyan ruler Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi slipped into a Juventus tracksuit and joined the squad for a workout Tuesday. Al-Saadi al-Qadhafi was having lunch with Juventus chief executive Antonio Giraudo when he asked if he could join in a team practice. Shortly thereafter, the 28-year-old found himself kicking a ball around with a team he has admired for years. In January, the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company, considered the financial arm of Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's regime, announced that it had acquired a 5.3 percent stake, worth $20.5 million, in the Turin-based club, making it the No. 2 shareholder. [AP]
Wednesday, 13 February, 2002: Zimbabwe's President Mugabe has contracted a team of Libyan designers to decorate the inside of his lavish mansion for over $6 million, The Standard has established. The decorations are to include upholstery, painting, carpeting and design. The Libyan team comprises four people and is headed by a coordinator of activities. According to sources, when visiting Libya last year, Mugabe was greatly impressed by decorations he saw at one of the palaces of Libyan strong man Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. [Zimbabwe Standard]
Tuesday, 12 February, 2002: Libya has donated 16 ambulances to Jordan to help upgrade medical services for the southern tribal communities, the semiofficial Jordan Times reported on Monday. The ambulances were delivered to the Health Ministry on Sunday. The vehicles were gifts from Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to the bedouin tribes in southern Jordan, where he toured in March 2001 when he was in Jordan to attend the Arab league summit. [Xinhua]

Monday, 11 February, 2002: British Foreign Office Minister for Europe Peter Hain has said that Britain is a staunch ally of the United States but would not be its "patsy" on the world stage. In a speech to the Fabian Society, Hain said that Britain would stand firm if U.S. unilateralists opted for isolationism over cooperation in the "New World Order". "Being a steadfast ally of the USA doesn't mean being a patsy," the outspoken minister said in prepared remarks. "Otherwise how ... could Britain have been able to develop good relations with Iran, Syria and Cuba; reopen an embassy in Libya; and establish good relations with North Korea?," he said. [Reuters]
Sunday, 10 February, 2002: A Libyan daily lambasted US President George Bush on Saturday for claiming in his State of the Union address that Iran, Iraq and North Korea formed an "axis of evil." Under the headline "Axis of evil or axis of resistance," Al-Zahf Al-Akhdar said "the only common denominator among Iran, Iraq and North Korea is their resistance to US hegemony." Al-Zahf Al-Akhdar added that Bush's declaration was evidence that US policies were "stupid and blind," and warned Washington it would face "isolation on the international scene" and a "fit of anger from peoples who do not forgive their enemies." [AFP]
Sunday, 10 February, 2002: Uganda's Makeree University Muslim Students Association has attacked the Uganda Joint Christian Council for its recent demands that President Museveni curtails Uganda's relations with Libya. The Church of Uganda Bishops last month expressed concern over Museveni's flourishing relationship with the Libyan leader [Qadhafi]. The students in a statement on Wednesday said, "It is rather infuriating for the would-be exemplary clergy to begin inciting disharmony in a stable multi-religious society like Uganda." [New Vision]

Saturday, 9 February, 2002: Judges at the Lockerbie appeal hearing yesterday agreed to admit new testimony which the defence claims will undermine evidence that helped convict a Libyan of planting the bomb that destroyed Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie. The five judges presiding over the Scottish appeal court in the Netherlands, agreed to a defence request to allow Ray Manly, a former security guard at Heathrow Airport, to testify that he found evidence of a break-in at the baggage area a few hours before the ill-fated flight left for New York. [The Scotsman]
Saturday, 9 February, 2002: Turkey plans to sell waters of the Manavgat River in south Turkey to Libya, reported the Anatolia News Agency on Friday. This was announced at a joint press conference on Friday held by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and his Libyan counterpart Abdul-Rahman Shalgam following their talks. The two ministers signed a protocol pertaining to the establishment of permanent consultation mechanism between the two countries. [Xinhua]
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Friday, 8 February, 2002: Lockerbie appeal judges have grilled the prosecution today over how the suitcase bomb that killed 270 people managed to evade elaborate security procedures at Malta's Luqa airport. The question of whether the rigged suitcase was loaded in Malta was a key element in the trial of Libyan former secret agent Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, who is fighting to quash his conviction for bombing a Pan Am jumbo jet in 1988. Megrahi's lawyers, who launched their appeal on January 23, argue that the trial judges made serious errors and insist the bomb that exploded over Lockerbie could not have been loaded in Malta. [Reuters]
Friday, 8 February, 2002: Representatives from 78 nations gathered in Paris Thursday for a two-day conference on a France-initiated project of setting up an international code of conduct against proliferation of ballistic missiles. Besides the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, several countries with ballistic missile and space capabilities are also participating in the dialogue. India, Pakistan, Iran, Israel, Egypt, Libya, South Africa, Argentina and Brazil have sent delegations, reported the French daily Le Figaro on Thursday. [Xinhua]
Friday, 8 February, 2002: Uganda's Makerere University Senators have shied away from voting on the proposed honorary degree for Libyan leader, Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. University sources told The Monitor that most voters had not returned the ballot papers by Friday, forcing Academic Registrar Sebastian Ngobi to postpone the exercise. Qadhafi was supposed to have been honoured at the 40th graduation congregation on Oct. 12, 2001, but the award was shelved following the controversy that the proposal sparked. [The Monitor]
Thursday, 7 February, 2002: Lockerbie prosecutors have vigorously defended last year's guilty verdict against a Libyan bomber at an appeal hearing, rejecting defence claims that evidence was misinterpreted. "The (original) trial court properly assessed all the evidence," prosecutor Alan Turnbull told judges hearing an appeal by Abdel Basset al-Megrahi (photo). Megrahi's lawyers are fighting to quash his life sentence for murdering 270 people by blowing up a Pan Am jumbo jet over Lockerbie in 1988. [Reuters]
Thursday, 7 February, 2002: In his first testimony to the U.S. Congress since the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, the head of America's intelligence service (CIA) outlined a wide range of threats against the U.S. and said al-Qaida remains the most immediate. Beyond al-Qaida, George Tenet said, the U.S. faces threats from nations trying to develop nuclear, biological or chemical weapons that are hostile to America or support terrorism. North Korea continues to sell ballistic missiles to nations including Iran, Libya and Syria, Tenet said. [AP]
Thursday, 7 February, 2002: The Higher National Committee convened Tuesday to get to the bottom of Imam Sadrís disappearance during a 1978 visit to Libya, Lebanese Minister for the Displaced Marawan Hamade said. After the meeting, which was headed by the Higher Shiite Council President, Hamade said additional meetings would take place. [The Daily Star]
Thursday, 7 February, 2002: As Nigeria's Presidential Committee on Lagos Explosion continue to work hard to resettle the victims, more relief materials are still being donated for the families affected as the committee is expected to receive a large Libyan cargo plane of aids today. A press release sent to THIS DAY by the Libyan People's Office said that the donation is an effort to alleviate the suffering of the afflicted people in the Lagos explosion incident. [This Day]
Wednesday, 6 February, 2002: Yemen has deported four Britons and a Dutch man, the first of 115 religious students being sent home as part of Yemen's anti-terrorism campaign, a Yemeni Interior Ministry official said Tuesday. The deportations began last week after authorities questioned students in detention about links to radical Islamic groups. Yemeni authorities have said they are sharing information obtained from the detained students with the United States. The students, who come from France, Egypt, Algeria, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sudan, Libya and Somalia, had been studying at religious institutions throughout Yemen before their arrests. [AP]
Wednesday, 6 February, 2002: U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on Tuesday slammed Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, questioning his commitment to democracy and the war on terrorism and criticizing his visits to well-known US foes. Powell noted in particular critical comments Chavez made last year about civilian casualties in the US bombing campaign in Afghanistan and his travels to countries such as Cuba, Libya, Iran and Iraq. [AFP]
Tuesday, 5 February, 2002: A deep split has emerged among U.S. officials over Libya policy, with some favoring normal relations and others preferring to keep the status quo, citing Libya's alleged efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Advocates of engagement believe that once Libya complies with U.N. Security Council requirements, the U.S. could derive security and economic benefits from a new relationship. The opposing view holds that Libya is trying to develop ballistic missiles. A senior official who is resisting change cites a newly released CIA assessment that says a suspension of U.N. sanctions in 1999 has enabled Libya to expand its effort to secure materials needed for its ballistic missile program. The report also says Libya is seeking chemical and biological weapons and has a growing nuclear research and development program. [AP]
Tuesday, 5 February, 2002: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi (photo) called on Africans to come to work in Libya and benefit from its resources. "We have huge projects which require African labour force," said Qadhafi, calling on Africans to "exploit the land" in Libya. Qadhafi has promoted himself as champion of the continent, masterminding the emergence of the African Union which is due to replace the Organisation of African Unity after a summit in Pretoria in July. Qadhafi said he hoped to see Africa become "a large economic bloc." His latest call for African labour is also another attempt to erase the scars of clashes in 2000 between Libyans and immigrant workers that left six dead and resulted in 33,000 Africans fleeing Libya. [AFP]
Monday, 4 February, 2002: Libyan Prime Minister Mubarak Al-Shamekh said on Friday that after years of international sanctions, Libya is preparing to liberalize its economy and have almost doubled the public spending in its 2002 budget, which amounts to some 4.357 billion dinars (3.352 billion U.S. dollars). [Xinhua]
Monday, 4 February, 2002: Pakistan will hold a single country trade exhibition in Tripoli in June this year. The fair is aimed at capturing Libyan market. The decision was taken during a meeting between the visiting chairman of The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) Tariq Ikram and Libyan Foreign Minister Abdurrahman Shalgam in Tripoli. [Dawn]
Monday, 4 February, 2002: Three people were feared dead and 44 seamen were airlifted to safety, while a cargo ship loaded with timber ran aground, as storms whipped up high seas and wrought havoc in and around Britain Isles. The Spanish-owned trawler comes from France. A Royal Navy helicopter also saved the 16-member crew of a Russian cargo ship heading for Libya from Sweden, which lost its engines off Whitsand Bay in Cornwall, southwest England. [AFP]
Sunday, 3 February, 2002: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi urged Africans to ignore borders created by colonial powers, saying in a televised speech that they should defy travel restrictions and move freely around the continent. "Africans should pay no respect to their borders and should be able to move freely," Qadhafi said in a speech broadcast live on Libyan and satellite television channels. "These borders were created by colonialism to split the African peoples," he said. [AP]
Saturday, 2 February, 2002: Fifteen of the world's largest gas producers, which represent three-quarters of global proven gas reserves, have started their meeting in Algiers Friday of the second Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). Libya, Egypt, Venezuela and Bolivia have this year joined the GECF, which was founded last year in Tehran by Brunei, Russia, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Turkmenistan, Algeria and Norway. [Dow Jones]
Saturday, 2 February, 2002: Uganda's bishops asked president Museveni to explain his strong ties with Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. Several bishops yesterday said they had no apologies to make for raising the issue and asking the relevant government bodies to explain. Museveni on Sunday criticised the bishops for questioning his ties with Qadhafi and demanding that Uganda leave the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC). [The Monitor]

Friday, 1 February, 2002: Twenty countries were barred Thursday from voting in the United Nations General Assembly this year because they have fallen too far behind in their dues. The General Assembly is the U.N. main deliberative body, composed of representatives of all 189 U.N. member-nations. Most of the countries too far in arrears to vote are in Africa, including Cape Verde, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Libya, Mauritania, Niger, Seychelles and Somalia. [Reuters]
Friday, 1 February, 2002: Italian oil and gas giant Eni said Thursday, that together with National Oil Corp. of Libya, it has awarded a EUR 1.2 billion contract to three engineering companies for the planning and construction of hydrocarbon treatment plants on the Libyan coast. Total investment is estimated at $4.6 billion, and will guarantee the production of about 98,000 barrels a day of liquid hydrocarbons and 10 billion cubic meters of gas each year, Eni said. Of that total, 2 billion cubic meters will be sold on the Libyan market, with the remaining 8 billion exported to Italy through a dedicated $1 billion transmission system. The system consists of a 32-inch 540 kilometer pipeline connecting the city of Mellitah on the Libyan coast to the Sicilian coast near the city of Gela, and a compression station of 170 megawatts. [Dow Jones]
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