News and Views [ April 2002 ]

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Tuesday, 30 April, 2002: The world market for Kansas [USA] wheat has shown signs of robust health despite recent violence in the Middle East. Sales to the embroiled region have remained steady. New wheat markets have gradually begun to emerge in Sudan and Libya. In the 2000-2001 marketing year (June 1-May 31), the United States exported 31,700 metric tons of hard red winter wheat to Libya, compared with none the year before. This year sales to Libya have soared to 68,500 metric tons to date, compared with 31,700 a year ago. [CJ-Online]
Monday, 29 April, 2002: Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak and Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on Sunday called for international pressure on Israel to withdraw from occupied Palestinian land. The Middle East News Agency quoted Egyptian Information Minister Safwat el-Sherif as saying the two leaders, who held talks in Tripoli, agreed the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories was dangerous. Mubarak returned home after the talks. [AFP]
Monday, 29 April, 2002: Uganda is among 20 African countries that will benefit from a $200,000 grant from Libya. This will be the second offer from Libya after the Libyans offered to host Uganda national soccer team ahead of their Africa Cup qualifier against Ghana. Federation of Uganda Football Associations Treasurer Patrick Isiagi said the grant would help Uganda run local development programmes. The Libyans, who are spearheading the campaign for FIFA President Sepp Blatter, will extend the same grant to 20 other countries. [The Nation]
Sunday, 28 April, 2002: Documents which could lead to the restoration of the share quote for Bula Resources have been sent to the Stock Exchange in London. The Financial Services Authority, appeared concerned about the volatility in Bula shares arising out of the uncertainty surrounding Bula's 1.4m conditional placing of shares with companies linked to the Qadhafi family in Libya. Uuntil Bula says the money has been paid over, there remained a question mark over its ability to fund any oil development in Libya. [Sunday Independent]
Sunday, 28 April, 2002: Four players were sent-off and the referee attacked as Al-Mahala of Egypt booked a place in the quarter-finals of the African Cup. Visiting Al-Ahly of Libya finished the match with eight men after Mahala went two goals up. Two Libyans were shown the red card for dangerous fouls and a third was sent off for attacking the referee. Al-Mahala's Osama Nabih was sent-off after the match degenerated into a scuffle between the two sides. [BBC]
Saturday, 27 April, 2002: Libya's ambassador to Zimbabwe has denied Libya is supplying oil to Zimbabwe in exchange for thousands of hectares of farm land owned by whites, the Herald reported on Friday. "No Libyan owns a single grain of land in Zimbabwe and I am surprised where these reports are coming from," Ambassador Mahmoud Azzabi told the Herald. The Standard newspaper reported last weekend that Zimbabwe had offered 10,000 hectare of farm land and several Harare flats to Libya in exchange for desperately needed fuel supplies. [SAPA]
Saturday, 27 April, 2002: Austria's far-right firebrand Joerg Haider has been elected president of an Austro-Libyan association promoting political, economic and cultural ties between the two countries. Haider, who has visited Libyan leader Qadhafi several times and is friends with Qadhafi's son Saif al-Islam, called in a speech for "the self-determination of Palestinians." "These people should enjoy the same rights as those which we are used to," said Haider, who led the far-right Freedom Party into a coalition government in 2000 before resigning as its head. [AFP]
Saturday, 27 April, 2002: South Africa have officially withdrawn their bid to host the 2006 African Nations Cup finals, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has said. The withdrawal leaves Algeria, Egypt, the Ivory Coast and Libya as the four candidates to host the 16-nation tournament, which will also serve as the qualifiers for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. [Reuters]
Saturday, 27 April, 2002: The U.N. Human Rights Commission ended its annual session Friday amid criticism that its reluctance to act on China, Chechnya, Iran and Zimbabwe showed it was protecting oppressors and not the oppressed. Commission membership rotates, with this year's rotation including many countries accused of violations, such as China, Cuba, Congo, Libya, Nigeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. [AP]
Friday, 26 April, 2002: A survey, conducted in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States which raised fears of increased repression of the world's media, found that out of 186 countries surveyed in 2001, 75 are considered free , while 50 countries are rated partly free. Sixty-one of the countries surveyed are rated not free and are marked by state control or other obstacles to a free Press. These include Angola, Algeria, Iran, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Swaziland, Zambia, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. [Financial Gazette]
Friday, 26 April, 2002: Libyan prime minister Mubarak al-Shamekh and Niger's prime minister have signed the minutes of meetings of the 8th session of the Libyan- Nigerian higher committee which was held on April 21 through 24. The minutes of meetings includes the confirmation of both Libya and Niger to continue strengthening and developing their joint cooperation in all economic, trade, scientific, security, consulate and investment fields. [Arabic News]
Friday, 26 April, 2002: The Libyan Football Association has offered to host Uganda's national team, the Cranes, in a training camp ahead of Uganda's Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. FUFA bosses Denis Obua, Haruna Mawanda and Godfrey Kwizera negotiated the deal during their three-day trip to Libya. Libya, which is spearheading FIFA president Sepp Blatter's re-election campaign in Africa, used the occasion to woo Uganda to their side. [New Vision]
Thursday, 25 April, 2002: CAF [Confideration Africaine de Football] has slammed a meeting in Libya in support of FIFA president Sepp Blatter. Claiming it was held to destabilise the Issa Hayatou's challenge, Caf says the meeting was a failure. Organisers said that representatives of 23 African federations were present at the meeting, which was hosted by the Libyan Football Federation (LFF) boss Saadi al-Qadhafi. The LFF's secretary-general Abdelraouf al-Sirri said: "There was a consensus among the participants that they would vote for Blatter." But Caf said only ten countries were represented, mostly by non-decision making administrators. [BBC]
Wednesday, 24 April, 2002: Uganda will vote for Sepp Blatter in this year's election of a new president for football's world governing body, FIFA. Local soccer governing body, Godfrey Kwizera and Haruna Mawanda left for Tripoli-Libya on Friday to join the local federation president Dennis Obua in asserting their support for FIFA incumbent president, Joseph Sepp Blatter. The Libyan football federation led the continent in declaring that they would rally behind Blatter against their own African soccer body boss, Issa Hayatou. [The Monitor]
Othman el-Barrani's Cyrene "Shahat" Page

Tuesday, 23 April, 2002: The lifting of sanctions imposed by the U.S. on Libya for its role in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988 is likely to face strong opposition from a number of officials in the administration of American President Bush. The anti-terrorism war of the U.S. has complicated efforts to reach a settlement on the bombing case, as several top American officials had insisted on making sure that Libya had ceased attempts to obtain and store biological and chemical weapons before the lifting of sanctions. The intentions of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi have continued to raise concerns in the U.S. [Wall Street Journal]
Tuesday, 23 April, 2002: The top UN human rights watchdog has approved a protocol calling for regular visits to places of detention in a bid to crackdown on the torture of prisoners. The protocol sets out "a system of regular visits by international bodies and independent nationals, to places where people have been deprived of their liberty to prevent torture and other kinds of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment". The resolution was adopted by 29 votes for, 10 against and 14 abstentions. The ten countries which voted against the measure were; China, Cuba, Japan, Libya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, S. Korea, Sudan and Syria. [AFP]
Monday, 22 April, 2002: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who was invited three times by Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi during his two-day visit to Libya, said he was "grilled" by the Libyan leader on how he had overcome so many odds to develop Malaysia to what it is today. The Prime Minister, who said that he was surprised over the unscheduled invitations, said Qadhafi had also wanted to meet him yesterday before his departure to Bahrain , but he had to decline. "I have met so many government leaders who face economic problems but no one had asked me how we manage our economy," he said when asked to describe his meetings with Qadhafi. [The Star]
Monday, 22 April, 2002: Libya is eager not only to buy made-in-Malaysia products but also to offer contracts to Malaysian companies, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said. Speaking at a rare press conference on board an aircraft, the Prime Minister said even Libyan Leader Qadhafi had informed him of his passion for Malaysian products. "Qadhafi said that in his bathroom, the cosmetics, soap and other products are all Malaysian made," he said. [Bernama]
Monday, 22 April, 2002: The Libyan government has arm-twisted Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe into surrendering an additional 10 000 hectares of prime farm land as part payment for fuel supplies from Libya, The Standard has established. In addition to the land, Mugabe has proposed giving the Libyans a block of flats in Harare. Mugabe is said to have made these concessions to his Libyan counterpart, Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, during his recent visit to Tripoli. Zimbabwe had already surrendered thousands of hectares of prime farmland to the Libyans and allowed them to buy shares in companies where government has a stake. [Zimbabwe Standard]

Sunday, 21 April, 2002: Lebanon said it will boycott the Euro-Mediterranean conference of foreign ministers in Spain, next week, because of Israel's participation. Syria Friday announced it will also boycott the conference for the same reason. The Euro-Mediterranean partnership consists of 15 states of the European Union and 12 countries of the southern and eastern Mediterranean: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Cyprus and Malta. The 13th, Libya, has observer status. [UPI]
Saturday, 20 April, 2002: The US Senate moved to bar visitors from countries formally declared sponsors of terrorism, and tighten control over foreign students coming to the US. The Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act, passed unanimously (97-0) in the Senate late Thursday, prohibits admission of people from Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan and N. Korea unless they are coming to the US as immigrants. [AFP]
Saturday, 20 April, 2002: U.S. prosecutors said on Friday they would seek the death penalty for Brian Regan, a former U.S. Air Force intelligence analyst charged with attempted spying for Libya, Iraq and China. Regan, who worked at the agency that runs the nation's spy satellites, has been accused of writing to Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein offering top-secret material in return for $13 million. [Reuters]

LLHR : Overview of the Human Rights Situation in Libya

Friday, 19 April, 2002: Libya officially asked France and Italy Thursday to urgently intervene to stop the Israeli offensive in the West Bank. The demand was handed to the French and Italian ambassadors in Tripoli after they were summoned by Libyan Minister for African Unity Ali Triki. Libya has initiated contacts with countries holding permament seats in the UN Security Council with the aim of bringing an end to the deadly Israeli military push in the West Bank. [AFP]
Friday, 19 April, 2002: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad arrived in Tripoli on Thursday, urging Muslims to unite to solve the Palestinian-Israeli crisis. "We are not happy for what is going on in Palestine and hope that all the Islamic countries unite to face this new crisis," Mahathir told reporters after arriving in Tripoli at the start of his two-day visit. Libya's official news agency, JANA, said Mahathir later met with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. [AP]
Friday, 19 April, 2002: The son of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi dropped his libel suit Thursday after a British newspaper apologized for what it said were inaccurate articles nearly seven years ago that called him an "untrustworthy maverick" with his own sinister "henchmen." Saif al-Qadhafi accepted the apology in the case which had recently gone to trial. Outside the High Court, a smiling Qadhafi said: "I came here to London to clear my name and correct these false things. I'm very happy now they have corrected the mistake. ... I'm going to call my father, and I think he will be happy." In the settlement, The Sunday Telegraph accepted that the articles were inaccurate and agreed to apologize to Qadhafi in court and in its next edition. [AP]
Thursday, 18 April, 2002: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has sent three architects from Tripoli to the Tooro palace in Uganda, whose renovation he promised to contribute to. Tooro's information minister Philip Winyi said renovation of the palace is estimated to cost US$10 million. Qadhafi and President Museveni promised to contribute to its renovation last year while attending celebrations marking the sixth coronation anniversary of Tooro's child king. [New Vision]
Thursday, 18 April, 2002: The son of Col. Qadhafi told London's High Court that he took offence at his father's being described as a dictator. Saif al-Islam (photo) said that he did not accept the word being used, and preferred the term "the leader". Mr Qadhafi was visibly taken aback when Geoffrey Robertson, QC, described his father as a dictator during the second day of his libel action against The Sunday Telegraph. Saif al-Islam confirmed that he was an associate of Jorg Haider, the far-Right Austrian politician, whom he had met several times, but he told his counsel that he was not anti-Semitic. "I have no problems with the Jewish, because myself I have Jewish friends," he said. [The Times]
Thursday, 18 April, 2002: Foreign missions and consulates owning prime Manhattan [New York, USA] real estate owe the city more than $160 million in property taxes -- and stubbornly refuse to pay. Ten countries are among the city's top real estate tax deadbeats. Turkey is at the top of the list. Libya runs second, with a $40.1 million tab. Many of the countries contend they don't have to pay because of international laws that grant diplomatic immunity. [Daily News]
Wednesday, 17 April, 2002: The son of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi launched a libel action against a British newspaper on Tuesday over claims it made six years ago that he was linked to a multi-million dollar plot to flood Iran with fake currency. Opening the case in London's High Court, Seif el-Islam's lawyer James Price argued that a Sunday Telegraph article about the alleged scheme implied Seif was a "thoroughly dishonest, unscrupulous and untrustworthy maverick". The claims relate to an article which appeared in November 1995. Price said Seif would give evidence later in the hearing which would show the article was "completely untrue". [Reuters]
Tuesday, 16 April, 2002: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad left for Morocco Monday on the first leg of a week-long tour which will also take him to Libya and Bahrain. "The intention is to enhance bilateral relations and see what areas of economic cooperation can be strengthened," said Foreign Minister Hamid. Mahathir is also expected to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His trip to Libya is at the invitation of leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. [AFP]
Tuesday, 16 April, 2002: The Libyan embassy in the Zimbabwean capital Herare is desperate to plug leaks which have been releasing damaging information to The Standard. According to sources, a receptionist was fired last month after she was suspected of leaking out information about sexual allegations against Libyan ambassador, Mahmound Azzabi. Another employee, who is a Libyan, is also facing the chop after being asked by the ambassador to write a report explaining how the press got wind of the sex scandal. "The ambassador suspects that some of his employees at the embassy are providing information to the press. We are even afraid of receiving telephone calls and having visitors," said an embassy source. [Zimbabwe Standard]
Tuesday, 16 April, 2002: The country's director of the Tripoli-based World Islamic Call Society, Nuri Azzouz, has dismissed press reports that Libya has halted the completion of the national mosque at Old Kampala, Uganda. He told a news conference at his Kololo office, April 13 that those peddling the lies are out to confuse the public and cause unnecessary alarm. "We are surprised that people who wrote the story did not consult us at all," he said. [The Monitor]
Monday, 15 April, 2002: Chinese President Jiang Zemin ended a two-day visit to Libya Sunday with a number of bilateral cooperation agreements in economy, trade and the oil and railways sectors. "This visit is by all means a historic one, and the future will witness great development in relations between the two friend countries," Libyan Foreign Minister Abdel-Rahman Shalgam (photo) told AP. [AP]
Monday, 15 April, 2002: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi telephoned Venezuelan president Chavez to congratulate him on his "safe comeback," the Libyan JANA news agency reported. "Our happiness is doubled today as the victory of the will of the Venezuelan people comes at the same time we celebrate our victory over those who attacked us with hundreds of planes," Qadhafi said, referring to the anniversary of a 1986 U.S. airstrike on Libya. [AP]
Monday, 15 April, 2002: China and Libya urged Israel on Sunday to pull its troops out of Palestinian territory immediately, saying they were both concerned by escalating violence in the Middle East. "China and Libya express their deep concerns about the dangerous escalation witnessed by the Middle East region and call for the respect of U.N. resolutions urging for the immediate withdrawal of Zionist forces," the two governments said in a joint statement. [Reuters]
Monday, 15 April, 2002: Libya signed an agreement with Beijing opening its oil sector to Chinese firms during a visit to Tripoli by President Jiang Zemin, an official source said Sunday. The deal, initialed by Jiang and Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, offers "wide-ranging prospects" to Chinese firms in the fields of exploration, development and marketing in Libya's oil sector, the source said. Tripoli also agreed on a 40-million-dollar deal for a Chinese company to extend Libya's rail network near the border with Tunisia, the same source said. [AFP]
Sunday, 14 April, 2002: Chinese President Jiang Zemin said on Saturday that Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi was an "intimate friend" at the beginning of a two-day official visit to Libya. Qadhafi shied from walking alongside Jiang on the red carpet as heads of state do. He instead pointed his finger to military chief Mustapaha al-Kharroubi (photo) to walk with the Chinese president. Analysts say Qadhafi wants to be seen as a leader who inspires his compatriots rather than merely as their ruler. [Reuters]

Saturday, 13 April, 2002: Diplomatic sources told The Daily News that Libyan President Qadhafi had threatened to cut fuel supplies to Zimbabwe following the government's failure to pay. President Mugabe had first indicated that he wanted to pay through a barter deal in exchange for beef. The Libyans turned this proposal down, saying they would only accept Zimbabwean beef if the European Union resumed beef imports from the country. [The Daily News]
Saturday, 13 April, 2002: The Korea Electric Power Data Network has been awarded a contract worth US$1.13 million to build computer systems in a Libyan university, from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). The project, part of the KOICA's international cooperative program, calls for the supplying and installing of US$1.13 million worth of computer and related facilities in the science college of the Alfateh University of Libya. [Asia Pulse]
Saturday, 13 April, 2002: The treaty creating the world's first permanent court to try war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide became international law Thursday when 10 nations deposited their ratifications of the Rome Protocol in a ceremony at U.N. headquarters in New York that was boycotted by the U.S. The U.S., however, is not alone in opposing the treaty. India, China, Iraq, N. Korea, Libya, and Cuba have declined to sign it. [One World]
Saturday, 13 April, 2002: Delegates from 160 countries at a U.N. conference on aging agreed unanimously Friday to commit their governments to promote the health and well-being of the elderly and help poor countries cope with rapidly aging populations. However, their 44-page report contained no specific means of financing or monitoring such commitments. Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Iran and a few other countries altered a paragraph on persons displaced by civil strife, arguing it could justify meddling in a country's internal affairs. [AP]

Friday, 12 April, 2002: South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. has won an order for 6,000 Verna compact cars for handicapped use in an international bid invited by the Libyan government, the local automaker said Thursday. The first shipment of 2,500 units to Libya was conducted in the day and the shipment of the remainder will be finished by the end of next month. [Asia Pulse]
Friday, 12 April, 2002: Leaders of Islamic groups throughout the Middle East region and elsewhere published a declaration accusing Arab governments of betraying the Palestinians and saying jihad, or holy war, "has become a religious duty of every Muslim." The declaration was signed by the leaders of Hizbullah, Hamas and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. Other signatories were leaders of Islamic groups in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Syria, Morocco, Iran, Malaysia, Yemen, Sri Lanka, Libya, Iraq, Turkey, Algeria, Tunisia, S. Africa and Mauritania. [AP]
Thursday, 11 April, 2002: Libya and Iran officially informed the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Secretary-General Ali Rodriguez Wednesday that they won't join Iraq in suspending oil exports, reported the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA). "I have been officially informed by Iran and Libya that they will not join the embargo," KUNA quoted Rodriguez telling reporters at OPEC's headquarters in Vienna. [Dow Jones]
Wednesday, 10 April, 2002: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad will visit Morocco, Libya and Bahrain next week to boost economic ties with the three countries, Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said on Tuesday. Hamid said Mahathir's trip to Morocco and Bahrain was to reciprocate visits by his counterparts while his visit to Libya was at the invitation of its leader, Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. Mahathir will be accompanied by some 100 Malaysian businessmen during the visit, scheduled for April 15 to 21. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 10 April, 2002: Libya is now providing 70 percent of Zimbabwe's oil imports valued at US$30 million as trade links between the two countries strengthen further. The arrangement emanated from a US$360 million facility signed between the two countries last year when Zimbabwe was facing an acute fuel shortage. Since then, fuel has been flowing smoothly to Zimbabwe after the deal was signed by the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe and Tamoil of Libya in August last year. Zimbabwe pays for the oil in local currency. [The Herald]
Wednesday, 10 April, 2002: A sizeable portion of the four shipments of arms and explosives imported from Libya by the IRA in the mid-1980s has now been put permanently beyond use. The Libyan consignments comprise the vast bulk of the arsenal that has been earmarked for inspection and subsequent decommissioning by the IRA leadership since the issue became a viable part of the Northern peace talks. [The Independent]
Tuesday, 9 April, 2002: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on Monday announced an immediate month-long suspension of all Iraqi oil exports to protest against Israel's incursion into the West Bank. There was no immediate response to the Iraqi decision from Iran and Libya. Both have said they would back an embargo but only if the ban found support from all Arab producers. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 9 April, 2002: A Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation report last night quoted Col Qadhafi saying that it was an insult to Africa for Americans and Europeans to say the presidential elections in Zimbabwe were not free and fair. Col Qadhafi was speaking at a dinner he hosted for President Mugabe in Tripoli on Saturday. The two presidents also held a joint rally in the Libyan capital where they called for a peaceful solution to the Palestinian conflict. [The Herald]
Tuesday, 9 April, 2002: Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has said Zimbabwe will dump the West over economic and political advice and, instead, seek alternative help and aid from other groupings and countries, including Libya. On Friday, Mugabe said Zimbabwe would no longer bother about international organisations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, accusing them of further worsening the country's economic crisis. [The Daily News]
Monday, 8 April, 2002: Libya backs Iran's call for an oil embargo on countries supporting Israel, the ministry of African unity said Sunday in a statement. "Libya supports the Iranian project of imposing an oil embargo on countries supporting the Zionist entity provided Arab and Islamic crude producing countries give their consent," the statement said. Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei called Friday during Muslim prayers on the Organization of Petrol Exporting Countries (OPEC) to implement a "symbolic" one-month oil boycott against countries supporting Israel. However, such a move was rejected later the same day by OPEC. [AFP]

Sunday, 7 April, 2002: Rescue teams have recovered the bodies of nine sailors from a Libyan ship that sank in the Mediterranean and they are searching off the Algerian coast for 16 crew still missing. "We found five bodies this morning (Saturday) following the discovery of four bodies yesterday," a senior official at the Algerian coast guard said. The Ibn-Hawqal, carrying 7,700 tonnes of flour, was on its way to Tripoli in Libya from the Moroccan port of Casablanca when it sank in bad weather on Thursday. Nine sailors who were found alive have returned home to Libya, according to an official at the Libyan state-run Martime Transport Company. [Reuters]
Sunday, 7 April, 2002: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe arrived Saturday in Tripoli and met with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, state television reported. President Mugabe was accompanied by the first lady, Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge, and other senior officials. Mugabe has seized upon Qadhafi as one of his few remaining friends in the international community. Zimbabwe on Friday signed a 16.5 million US dollar deal to provide Libya with beef. [AFP]
Sunday, 7 April, 2002: Chinese President Jiang Zemin sets off on Monday on a delicate five-nation mission that includes Libya and Iran, both labelled by Washington as state sponsors of terrorism. Chinese foreign ministry officials said at a briefing on the trip that China considered Libya and Iran friendly nations. Jiang's trip to Libya will be the first state visit by a Chinese leader to the country. Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi visited China in 1982. [Reuters]
Sunday, 7 April, 2002: Arab foreign ministers denounced the Bush administration's handling of the Middle East conflict. In a communique issued Saturday, the Arab league "affirmed that the biased treatment given to Israel from some countries, particularly the U.S., made it (Israel) feel and act as a state above international law." There was no sign in the communique of tough measures endorsed earlier by hard-liners like Syria, Iraq and Libya, such as cutting oil sales, severing Arab diplomatic ties with Israel or scrapping a peace initiative endorsed last month at an Arab summit in Lebanon. [AP]

Saturday, 6 April, 2002: A Libyan cargo ship on its way from the Moroccan port of Casablanca to Tripoli sank off the coast of Algeria in bad weather with 34 crew on board, the official JANA news agency reported Friday. It wasn't immediately clear if they were survivors when the ship, Ibn Hawqal, sank on Thursday. JANA said the ship was laden with flour. Rescue operations were underway with three vessels looking for survivors, JANA reported, quoting unnamed sources in Libya's national transportation company. Libya asked a number of countries, including Algeria, Tunisia, France, Italy, Spain and Greece to help in the rescue, JANA said. [AP]
Saturday, 6 April, 2002: Unconfirmed reports from Gambia's State House sources suggest that the Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi is to visit The Gambia. Reports had gone as far as suggesting that Qadhafi was supposed to have been in The Gambia since Wednesday and that his visit would be kept a low-key affair for unspecified reasons. According to Libyan embassy officials reports of the visit were based on unsubstantiated rumours. [The Independent]

Friday, 5 April, 2002: The Phillipines Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday expressed grave concern over a possible backlash against Filipinos working in Libya due to reports issued by the DOJ linking Libyan government to Abu Sayyaf and the Al-Qaeda terrorist operations. "These discussions (on alleged link of the Libyan government to terrorist groups) may affect the Filipinos who are now working in Libya," DOJ Secretary Hernando Perez said. The Department of Labor and Employment estimated that about 6,000 Filipinos are now working in Libya. [Sun Star]
Friday, 5 April, 2002: State prosecutors and banking regulators are investigating reports that millions of dollars paid by Libya to Muslim kidnappers in the southern Philippines have been funneled to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist network. Jovencito Zuno, a chief state prosecutor who met with U.S. FBI officials, told reporters that remittances from the Abu Sayyaf rebels to al-Qaeda apparently were being made on a "regular basis." [The Washington Times]
Friday, 5 April, 2002: Zimbabwe could soon resume beef exports to Libya after the Government filed a protocol yesterday for a 5,000-tonne beef quota. A Libyan delegation is in Zimbabwe for talks on resuming beef exports to Libya. There are also negotiations for the Libyan beef quota to be increased to 12,000 tonnes. Libya expressed a wish to import beef from Zimbabwe after a Libyan delegation last March was satisfied with the quality of Zimbabwe's beef. [The Herald]
Thursday, 4 April, 2002: Philippine's President Gloria Arroyo on Wednesday rebuffed her justice secretary for linking Libya to the abduction by Islamic militants of 21 mostly foreign tourists in Malaysia's Sipadan resort in 2000. "No Philippine government official was authorised to report such speculations," she said in a statement issued by her Press Secretary. The justice official's statements were based on reports from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) which is seeking close cooperation with Manila in the global drive against terrorism. [Bernama]
Thursday, 4 April, 2002: Arab leaders doubt a full-scale Middle East war is about to break out, but they still fear that one could erupt if Israel's battle with the Palestinians continues to spin out of control. Libya's Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has urged holding a sort of council of war - a meeting of an Arab League committee of defense ministers formed during the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948. But the call elicited little interest from others in the 22-member league. [AP]
Thursday, 4 April, 2002: Arab foreign ministers are due to meet in Cairo to draw up a response to Israel's massive offensive in the Palestinian territories, Palestinian minister Nabil Shaath told reporters after meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher. There are also growing moves for an extraordinary summit of Arab leaders. The meeting was proposed by Libya and Yemen, Qatar has said it was in favor, and Iraq has also left the door open. [Al-Bawaba]
Thursday, 4 April, 2002: Canada's SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. has received a contract worth C$475.2 million for the operation, maintenance, care and custody of the Sarir water pipe plant in Libya. In a press release, the company said this is the third water-related project it has received from the Great Man-Made River Authority. It said it will assume operation of the Sarir Plant and facilities in June and carry out the work over a period of 20 months. [Dow Jones]
Wednesday, 3 April, 2002: The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has confirmed that the Libyan government is financially helping the Abu Sayyaf, the Philippines Department of Justice said yesterday. Some of the money eventually reaches Osama bin Laden, which proves Libya's undercover support to the suspected terrorist leader, Justice Undersecretary Jose Calida said. Calida, who headed the Filipino delegation to a FBI-sponsored anti-terrorist seminar, said the Tripoli government has had a hand in the spread of terrorism in the Philippines. "Naturally the Libyan government would deny this but if you will follow the money trail, like what we and the FBI did, it would lead you straight to them (Abu Sayyaf)," he said. [The Manilla Times]
Wednesday, 3 April, 2002: Uganda's Makerere University will not award an honorary doctorate degree (in Law) to Libyan leader, Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. University sources told The Monitor yesterday that the Libyan leader was not on the list for degree awards on Friday. Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni is expected to preside over the ceremony. Qadhafi's name was again excluded after the University Senate reportedly boycotted the voting exercise that would have ratified the award, a University official told The Monitor. [The Monitor]
Wednesday, 3 April, 2002: French oil giant TotalFinaElf and its partners have made the first oil discovery in Block NC 190 in Libya, the company said on Tuesday. The well tested at a rate of 605 barrels per day with oil of about 40 degrees API, TotalfinaElf said in a statement. Situated in the Murzuk basin about 800 km south of Tripoli, the well was drilled around 40 km from four existing discoveries on adjacent Block NC 186, which is held by the same consortium. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 2 April, 2002: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi led a mass march through Tripoli to show solidarity with Palestinians Monday and urged Arab states to allow volunteer fighters to cross borders and join the Palestinian uprising. "Arab leaders have to take to the streets and join protesters, open the borders to people who want to fight to free al-Qods (Jerusalem) and Abu Ammar (Yasser Arafat) and incite people to fight," Qadhafi told a rally in Tripoli. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 2 April, 2002: Arab foreign ministers are on standby to attend an emergency Arab League summit proposed by Libya to discuss Israeli attacks on the Palestinian Authority. "Many ministers have decided not to show up (to an Islamic conference in Malaysia) ... because they are on a standby and holding intense consultations on a request by Libya for an emergency Arab Summit," a member of the Palestinian delegation said. [Reuters]
Monday, 1 April, 2002: Demonstrations of anger continued today in most of the cities and villages of Libya in solidarity with the Palestinian people and the hero of their resistance, President Yasser Arafat and in support for him in confronting the siege, oppression, terror and atrocious crimes of the terrorist Zionist army organisation. In the cities of Sirte and Sabha the masses of the Basic Peoples Congresses demonstrated to denounce the atrocious crimes committed by the Zionist terrorist army organisation against the unarmed Palestinian people and their resistance hero, President Yasser Arafat. [JANA]
Monday, 1 April, 2002: Libya has embarked on a massive drive to recruit Zimbabwean teachers to teach English in Libya. The Standard is informed that a number of qualified teachers have left for Libya where they will be paid in United States dollars. The teachers will be required to teach English at nursery and primary school level with expenses being paid by the Libyan government which is also providing them with accommodation. "As part of the deal, the teachers are expected to convert to Islam and to study the Koran," said a reliable source. [Zimbabwe Standard]
Monday, 1 April, 2002: Dubai Crown Prince and UAE Defence Minister General Mohammed Al Maktoum last night received Secretary General of the Libyan Broadcasting Authority Mohammed Mansoor who conveyed to Sheikh Mohammed greetings of the Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and an invitation to visit Libya. Sheikh Mohammed and the Libyan official exchanged views on means of boosting cooperation between the two countries, especially between Dubai Media City and Libyan Media Production City. [Gulf News]
Monday, 1 April, 2002: Foreign diplomatic missions in Seoul, Korea were remiss in paying their parking fines last year. 87 foreign missions paid only 2.4 percent of the parking fines imposed on them. The French Embassy received the most parking tickets (372), followed by the embassies of Russia (371), Mongolia (223), Sudan (152), Libya (111), Algeria (100), Israel (94), Vietnam (88), the Ivory Coast (78), Nigeria (67), the U.S. (51), China (33) and Japan (26). [The Korea Herald]
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