News and Views [ May 2002 ]

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Friday, 31 May, 2002: Libya's United Nations mission said Thursday "the Libyan state has no relationship" with an agreement under which Libya reportedly promised $2.7 billion in compensation to the families of Pan Am 103 victims. But a lawyer for the U.S. team that represents families said he has no doubt that the Libyan negotiators were authorized to settle the lawsuit the U.S. side presented on behalf of the families. In a three-paragraph statement, the Libyan U.N. mission said the responsibility of the Libyan state in the case ended years ago. [AP]
Friday, 31 May, 2002: A lawyer for families of Pan Am 103 victims shrugged off Libyan denials that a $2.7 billion compensation agreement had been reached, saying he has no doubt about Libya's commitment to the deal. "I am 100 percent satisfied that nothing has changed since Tuesday morning," said James Kreindler, a partner in the New York-based law firm that negotiated the case with the Libyans for 10 months. He spoke in an interview Thursday after Libya's mission at the UN said "the Libyan state has no relationship" with the agreement. Libyan Foreign Minister Abdelrahman Shalgam (photo) and JANA, the Libyan press agency, made similar comments Wednesday. [AP]
Friday, 31 May, 2002: Ten Mediterranean foreign ministers from Europe and Africa called Thursday for increased cooperation against terrorism. After talks in the Libyan capital, the ministers issued a joint statement praising already existing consultations among their countries' interior ministers and stressing the "importance of this cooperation after the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States". The talks brought together ministers from Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Malta with their counterparts in Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia. [AFP]
Friday, 31 May, 2002: LG Construction Co, one of South Korea's top builders, said on Thursday it had won a $280 million order to build and refurbish refineries in Libya. Azzawiya Oil Refining Co., a unit of Libya's National Oil Corporation, placed the order on a turn-key basis, an LG spokesman said. LG said earlier its total orders jumped 74 percent on the year to $572.6 million in the first quarter on higher demand for housing construction at home. [Reuters]
Friday, 31 May, 2002: Victoria Cummock, whose husband was one of 270 people killed in the Lockerbie bombing, said Libya's reported offer to settle a lawsuit filed against it was an outrage. "For us to accept $10 million when there's a mass murder that took place and no admission of guilt is given, you're saying you can kill as many Americans as you want and we'll look the other way," Cummock said. Many relatives of those killed in the bombing were similarly enraged when they heard of the offer, while emotions in others ranged from skepticism to grudging acceptance. [AP]
Friday, 31 May, 2002: Former South African President Nelson Mandela, in a telephone conversation with Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, Wednesday evening reiterated his commitment in the Lockerbie case and his determination to pursue consultations with all the parties concerned. [PANA]
Thursday, 30 May, 2002: Libya on Wednesday denied it had offered $2.7 billion to compensate the families of those killed in the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing, but U.S.-based lawyers who announced the deal said they believed agreement can still be reached. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told reporters that "We are waiting to see what the actual Libyan offer is. It's not yet formally put on the table and we'll examine it when we see all of its elements". [Reuters]
Thursday, 30 May, 2002: Libya may accept responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing when discussions over the atrocity resume, a US lawyer says. Speaking on CNN's Crossfire show in the US, Lee Kreindler, one of the lawyers who announced the $2.7 billion offer, said he expected the wording of such a concession would be drawn up when officials from Britain, the US and Libya met in London on June 6. The meeting is part of discussions which have taken place since Libyan intelligence agent Abdelbaset al-Megrahi (photo) was convicted of masterminding the Lockerbie bombing. [This Is London]
Thursday, 30 May, 2002: Asked about the Libyan denial that they offered to pay $2.7 billion in compensation to the families of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing, Lee Kreindler, one of the lawyers who announced the settlement offer, said he still had confidence in the offer. "I can't explain it ... There were very real and important meetings. "I think what has happened, the nature of the people we have been meeting with ... there is no doubt in my mind they were authorized by the Libyan government ," he said. [Reuters]
Thursday, 30 May, 2002: Reports that Libya has offered to pay $2.7 billion in compensation to the families of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing were welcomed by the British government. "If this is a genuine offer it represents a sign that Libya wishes to respond to the requirements of the UN resolutions," a foreign office spokesman told AFP. Compensating the victims is one of several requirements -- including acceptance of responsibility for the bombing and renunciation of terrorism -- Libya has to satisfy before UN sanctions against it can be lifted. [AFP]
Thursday, 30 May, 2002: Libya's preliminary $2.7 billion offer to families of 270 people killed in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 is not the "be-all and end-all" to lifting sanctions against Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's country, the Bush administration said Wednesday. Cautioning that no official offer is on the table, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said: "It certainly is a step in the right direction, but I don't think it resolves the entire issue, resolves all the outstanding issues that have to be dealt with with respect to Libya and Pan Am 103." [AP]
Thursday, 30 May, 2002: The British government and British relatives of those killed in the Lockerbie bombing reacted cautiously to Libya's offer of compensation for victims of the 1988 airliner attack. "There are so many 'ifs' and 'buts' about it. It doesn't change anything for us," David Ben-Aryeah, confidential adviser to British victims, said. Britain's Foreign Office was also guarded. "We shall study the details of the Libyan offer and seek the views of the Lockerbie families, their lawyers and the United States," said a spokesman. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 29 May, 2002: Libya has offered $2.7 billion to compensate families of the victims of Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, but U.S. and U.N. sanctions against Libya must be lifted before it hands the money over, a law firm representing families said on Tuesday. In a letter sent to Lockerbie victims' families, the law firm said Libya would automatically release the money -- $10 million for each of the 270 families -- in batches from an escrow account as three conditions were met. It said that 40 percent of the money would be released when the U.N. sanctions against Libya are lifted, another 40 percent would be released after U.S. commercial sanctions are removed and the remaining 20 percent would be handed over when Libya is taken off the U.S. list of states sponsoring terrorism. [Reuters]

Tuesday, 28 May, 2002: Libya is set to export several more naphtha cargoes, most of them to Europe, for at least two months while the country's 330,000 tonnes per year petrochemical cracker remains down. "The Libyan cracker will start up in mid-July or second half July," an ethylene trader said, referring to the Ras Lanuf plant that has been down since March 19. The entire oil-to-petchems complex, owned by Libyan state-owned National Oil company, was shut after a fire in an ethylene storage tank on March 19. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 28 May, 2002: The annual meeting of a Euro-North African forum to be held this week in Tripoli will discuss the fallout of the September 11 terror attacks and economic issues, a Libyan official said Sunday. "Terrorism, the fallout of September 11 in the region, and security in the western Mediterranean" should be the focus of talks at the foreign ministers' meeting, foreign ministry spokesman Hassuna al-Shawesh told AFP. [AFP]
Tuesday, 28 May, 2002: Libya’s Qadhafi group is considering investing 50 percent in a $100 million palm oil project in Mindanao, the Philippines, Agriculture Secretary Montemayor said yesterday. He said Libyan investors are currently negotiating with local partners for the establishment of an initial 35,000 hectares of palm oil in Mindanao. The Palm Oil Development Company has proposed a capital outlay of $100 million, 50 percent of which will come from Libyan investors, 20 percent by Malaysians and 30 percent by Filipinos. [The Manila Times]
Tuesday, 28 May, 2002: Diplomatic missions in Tanzania have been urged to adhere to the country's laws to avoid unnecessary complaints raised by the local staff. The complainants cited mistreatment, low pay and harassment. Some of the missions that have been accused of mistreating their Tanzanian staff were Syria, Libya, Sudan, Algeria and Iran. [The East African]

Monday, 27 May, 2002: A Libyan-Arab Corporation for Petroleum Investments delegation is to arrive in Cairo to negotiate the purchase of part or all of the National Bank of Egypt's (ENBI) 39 percent stake in the Middle East Oil Refinery (MIDOR). MIDOR's capital totals US$1.20 billion, of which 40 percent is held by the Egyptian General Authority for Petroleum (EGAP) and 20 percent by EGAP subsidiaries; PetroJet and ENBI. The remaining one percent is owned by the Suez Canal Bank. The Egyptian daily, Al-'Alam al-Youm, reported that if the Libyan side was to acquire NBE's full 39 percent stake, the deal would be worth US$400 million. [Arab Finance]

Sunday, 26 May, 2002: The United States broadened its anti-terror watchlist on Tuesday to include eight more groups. Among new additions to the U.S. annual report on terrorism were groups the report said sought to impose Islamic regimes, including one in Libya that claimed responsibility for an assassination attempt in 1996 against Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi of Libya. Al-Jama'a al-Islamiyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya, whose members have mostly fled to Middle Eastern and European states, sees Qadhafi's government as un-Islamic and has ties to the al-Qaeda group led by Osama bin Laden, accused of masterminding the September 11 attacks. [Reuters]

Saturday, 25 May, 2002: Libya on Thursday rejected the report issued by the US State Department concerning terrorism, stressing that the report "lacks any sort of credibility and came as a result of the Zionist pressures." Libya's foreign relations ministry spokesman Hassouna al-Shawish (photo) said that Libya "rejects this (US) method that aims at blackmailing and imposing hegemony." [Arabic News]
Saturday, 25 May, 2002: Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem arrived in Rabat Friday to formally hand King Mohammed VI of Morocco an invitation to next month's summit of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU). The heads of state of AMU members - Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania - are due to attend the summit, set for June 21 in Algiers. [AFP]
Saturday, 25 May, 2002: Libya's Secretary for Health and Social Security Mustafa abu Shaala arrives in Cyprus Monday, accompanied by a three-member delegation, for an official visit, at the invitation of Cyprus' Minister of Labour and Social Insurance Andreas Moushouttas. [CNA]
Saturday, 25 May, 2002: At least 13 people were killed Friday and several wounded in clashes outside the Mogadishu home of Somalia's interior minister. Reconcilation and Restoration Council member Musa Yalahow claimed that Libya, Egypt, Djibouti and Yemen had urged the Transitional Government to attack strongholds of other factions to expand its areas of control. [AFP]
Saturday, 25 May, 2002: The Korean government will closely monitor 2,965 foreign residents from countries included on a U.S. list of terrorism-sponsoring states, such as Iran and Iraq, during the upcoming World Cup games. "The government and the Millennium Democratic Party agreed on the need to put foreign residents from the so-called states sponsoring terrorism under special observation," said Rep. Cho Sung-joon. Other nations included on the U.S. blacklist are Syria, Cuba, Sudan, Libya and North Korea. [The Korea Herald]

Friday, 24 May, 2002: Four Libyans convicted of armed robbery received 10 year prison sentences Thursday and will have their right hands and left legs amputated, Libya's state-run news agency, JANA, reported. A court found the four guilty of robbing a Chinese oil exploration company on April 30. The four men attacked the company's headquarters during the night, stole an unspecified amount of money and drove away. Police and security forces chased the culprits and arrested one. During questioning, police learned the identities of the other three and arrested them, Libyan television reported. [AP]
Friday, 24 May, 2002: Libyan Secretary for foreign relations Abdelrahman Shalgam on Tuesday in Tripoli discussed with the chairman of the Italian Senate foreign relations committee, Diorello Vera and members of the accompanying delegation means of strengthening Libyan- Italian relations in all fields. The two sides also reviewed issues debated at the meeting of the "five + five countries" summit overlooking the Mediterranean as well as regional and international issues. [Arabic News]
Friday, 24 May, 2002: Meetings of the 3rd session of the joint Libyan- Guinean committee on economic and social cooperation started on Wednesday in Tripoli. The Libyan side was headed by the secretary for African unity Ali al-Tureiki, while the Guinean side was headed by Hawakmar, the minister of foreign affairs who arrived in Libya on Tuesday evening. [Arabic News]
Friday, 24 May, 2002: A concert was staged in the Arab world institute in Paris last night, in expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people. The concert was sponsored by the [Libyan]Aisha charitable society. The concert included a number of musical performances by Arab artists, expressing solidarity and support for the Palestinians. [JANA]
Thursday, 23 May, 2002: Libya has kicked off its first economic plan to attract foreign investors and capital, aiming to reactivate and diversify a now oil-dependent economy, official economic sources said on Sunday. The sources told United Press International that some $35 billion has been allocated to a plan that would stretch into 2005. Libya plans to finance infrastructure projects while leaving the door open for the private sector and foreigners to invest in other sectors, such as oil, electricity, industry and tourism. [UPI]
Thursday, 23 May, 2002: Queen Rania of Jordan Wednesday kicked off a two-day meeting of 180 businesswomen from 17 Arab countries and Britain. Arab women have administrative skills and technological know-how that should help them attain top positions, said Rania in an address to the sixth annual Conference of Arab Business Women. Women attending the meeting are calling for major changes in society and the business world. The largest national delegation this year came from Kuwait and Libya. [UPI]
Thursday, 23 May, 2002: All building materials for the national mosque at Old Kampala, Uganda will be imported from Libya. A reliable source at Old Kampala said construction would start next month. The Libyans are to bring in all the construction material from cement, tiles to carpets. The Muslim Supreme Council general secretary Hajji Edris Kasenene said the mosque should be completed by June 2004. [New Vision]
Wednesday, 22 May, 2002: Libya and Sudan, two of the seven countries on a U.S. list of designated "state sponsors of terrorism", came closest to meeting Washington's demands for cooperation after the September 11 attacks on the U.S., the State Department said in a report released on Tuesday. "Sudan and Libya seem closest to understanding what they must do to get out of the terrorism business and each has taken measures pointing it in the right direction," it added. It said Libya appeared to have curtailed its support for "international terrorism" but may have maintained residual contacts with a few groups. The U.S. says Libya has not yet complied fully with U.N. resolutions related to the Lockerbie bombing. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 22 May, 2002: A meeting between the families of British victims killed in the Lockerbie bombing and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has been described as positive. Relatives met Straw to demand an independent inquiry into the tragedy. Labour MP, Russell Brown, was at the meeting and said outside the Foreign Office: "They thought it was a fairly positive meeting in terms of people being able to express issues." Relatives say that despite the conviction of former Libyan intelligence agent Abdelbaset al-Megrahi [photo], many important questions remain unanswered. [Daily Record]
Wednesday, 22 May, 2002: Canada is preparing for the spillover effects of chemical, biological or nuclear terrorist attacks on the U.S., although such attacks are not inevitable, says Foreign Minister Bill Graham. Graham was reacting to testimony by Donald Rumsfeld, the U.S. defence secretary, who told a senate committee in Washington on Tuesday that terrorists "inevitably will get their hands on (weapons of mass destruction) and will not hesitate to use them." Rumsfeld based his prediction on support for terrorism by Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya and North Korea, all of whom he said have chemical, biological or nuclear weapons programs. [CP]

Tuesday, 21 May, 2002: Relatives of the Lockerbie victims will today meet Jack Straw to demand a full public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the worst terrorist atrocity on British soil. He will brief them on developments since the Lockerbie trial appeal, in particular on the talks between the government, the US and Libya. Mr Straw will also update the relatives on compensation and on whether Libya will accept responsibility for the atrocity. [The Herald]
Tuesday, 21 May, 2002: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria will remain on the US list of "state sponsors of terrorism" in a report to be released next week by the US State Department. The inclusion of the seven countries in the report indicates that changes to the list this year are unlikely. However, the report notes in particular that the government of Sudan has taken some steps to cooperate with the US in counter-terrorism efforts. [AFP]
Tuesday, 21 May, 2002: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak yesterday received Edward Walker, the head of the US Middle East Institute, who said following the meeting that he discussed with the President the situation in the Middle East in general and in the Palestinian territories in particular. He said that the Libyan issue was discussed, telling President Mubarak that the United States was hopeful for settling US Libyan disagreements. [Arabic News]
Tuesday, 21 May, 2002: Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, Monday congratulated Sierra Leone's President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah on his sweeping victory at Sierra Leone's 14 May presidential elections, official sources said in Tripoli. [PANA]
Tuesday, 21 May, 2002: A bomb placed under the driver's seat of a car exploded Monday, killing Jihad Jibril, a senior military chief of a group the U.S. lists as terrorist. He was the son of radical Palestinian leader Ahmed Jibril. Jihad Jibril had taken military courses in Libya. [AP]

Monday, 20 May, 2002: A Times investigation has uncovered evidence that companies tied to Victor Bout helped the Taliban build an air fleet that secretly delivered weapons, equipment and recruits during the late 1990s. The 35-year-old Russian also operates the world's largest private weapons transport network. Bout's businesses have been blamed for arming civil wars throughout Africa, despite international embargoes. In Libya, Bout developed a working relationship with Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. A Bout firm serviced and chartered aircraft for Libya for several years, U.S. officials said. [Los Angeles Times]
Monday, 20 May, 2002: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni met Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on Sunday in the Libyan port city of Sirte, said a press release issued by the Ugandan State House. Museveni arrived in Sirte on Saturday for a two-day working visit to Libya. Before arriving in Libya, Museveni had visited the United States and Britain. [Xinhua]

Sunday, 19 May, 2002: Egyptian President Mubarak today receives Embarak el-Shamekh, Secretary of the General People's Committee in Libya and Prime Minister Dr. Atef Ebeid who will brief him on the results of the meetings of the joint Egyptian Libyan committee. Mubarak will also review the results of the visit paid by the Libyan delegation to Egypt. [Arabic News]
Sunday, 19 May, 2002: The British government has appointed only the second ever woman head of the country's national security service. Eliza Manningham-Buller will take over as chief of MI5 from current head Stephen Lander in early October. She was deeply involved in investigating the downing of PanAm flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi is serving life in Glasgow's Barlinnie jail for the bombing. [Reuters]
Sunday, 19 May, 2002: Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov met with ambassadors who have raised concerns about the growing problem of skinhead attacks on foreigners. One of the ambassadors, Sven Hirdman, said the diplomats welcomed Putin's actions but still accused law enforcement agencies of taking insufficient moves against the problem. Other ambassadors represented at the meeting were from Gabon, Cameroon, Libya, Ecuador and the Philippines. [AP]
Saturday, 18 May, 2002: A spokesman for the ministry for African unity, was quoted by Libya's official news agency as rejecting what he called reports by "tendentious Western media" that Libya had sent arms to Liberia. The spokesman accused the Western media of trying to "harm (Libya's) efforts to realize stability in the continent, and achieve the great African Union." [AP]
Saturday, 18 May, 2002: The Libyan Ministry for African Unity has appointed 82 Libyan doctors from among the candidates who applied to work in some African countries within the framework of the South-South cooperation programme, official sources said Friday. [PANA]
Saturday, 18 May, 2002: Al-Swaihli volleyball club from Misurata won the 2001/2002 Libyan volleyball championship Tuesday after beating al-Hilal in the final (3-2). [PANA]
Saturday, 18 May, 2002: The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has suspended Libya's al-Ahly football club for three years from all CAF clubs competitions for indiscipline. [PANA]
Saturday, 18 May, 2002: General Abubaker Younis yesterday attended a graduation ceremony in the military school. Prizes and certificates were awarded to the son of the [Libyan] leader, Khamees Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi who was the top graduate with excellent grades. [JANA]
Saturday, 18 May, 2002: The third major apparel producer of Brazil, Marisol has started exports of children apparel to Libya. The E. D. Group has made two orders which amount to US$800,000 and opens the doors of the Middle East to the company. [SABI]
Friday, 17 May, 2002: CAF President Issa Hayatou says he wants the term for FIFA Presidency to last for two years only to prevent what he calls "the abuse of power". Hayatou, who is challenging Sepp Blatter for the FIFA Presidency, made the statement in Tokyo, Japan. Federation of Cameroonian Football Assistant Secretary General told BBC Fast Track recently that it is a hypocrisy on the part of Libya which President talks about African unity, and then his son takes the liberty of convening a meeting to vote against an African. [The News]
Friday, 17 May, 2002: The Egyptian-Libyan Joint Committee will consider in its meeting today in Cairo under Prime Minister Atef Ebeid and his Libyan counterpart Embarak Al-Shamekh some issues that could push forward bilateral ties. The two-day meeting will also consider allocating 650,000 feddans in Wadi Halfa which will be reclaimed and planted by Libyan finance in addition to 100,000 feddans in Toshka. For the first time, the Committee will conclude accords on tourism and Islamic Da'wa besides an agreement on the administrative development. [Arabic News]
Friday, 17 May, 2002: Greek Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannis Magriotis is on a three day working visit to Tunisia and Libya within the framework of the contacts the Greek government has with the Arab countries for peace in the Middle East. Magriotis will meet with the Foreign Ministries of the two countries to examine issues like the Middle East, bilateral relations, Euro-Mediterranean cooperation and current international developments. [CThesis]
Thursday, 16 May, 2002: Libya's exports have kept an annual growth rate of 5 percent during recent years, helping the country financing its economic shift plans. Oil still constitutes 95 percent of the exports. Libya's oil export has risen to 1.3 million barrels per day with 84 percent going to Europe. The volume of oil export to Arab countries remains limited and unstable. [Xinhua]
Thursday, 16 May, 2002: The Czech Republic and Libya after a meeting of a mixed commission signed a protocol on cooperation in oil industry and power production, deputy industry and trade minister Jiri Maceska told CTK. The Czech firms attending the meeting included Skodaexport, Skoda Praha, Technoexport and Strojexport. At the end of the meeting the firms specified the areas in which they would like to take part in projects that are planned in Libya. [CTK]
Thursday, 16 May, 2002: Algiers will on June 21-22 host the first summit of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) group of five north African countries since 1994. The AMU was founded in 1989 but stopped functioning five years later, mainly because of a row between Algiers and Rabat over the Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara, where Algeria backs the Polisario independence movement. Algerian Foreign Minister Belkhadem on Tuesday held a meeting to prepare for the summit after consultations with his counterparts in Morocco, Libya, Tunisia and Mauritania. [AFP]
Thursday, 16 May, 2002: Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on Sunday received a message from Morocco's King Mohammed VI. The message was handed to Qadhafi by Moroccan minister of foreign affairs, Mohammed Benaissa. Benaissa also met Libyan secretary for African unity, Ali al-Triki, and Maghreb Union (MU) secretary general, Habib Boulares. The officials discussed preparations for the coming MU foreign ministers meeting. [Arabic News]
Thursday, 16 May, 2002: India's state-owned oil firms Indian Oil, Bharat and Hindustan will together import 28.5 million metric tons of crude oil in the ongoing 2002-03 fiscal year. About 9.7 million tons of crude will be imported from Saudi Arabia, 7.5 million tons from Kuwait, 3.5 million tons from the UAE, 1.5 million tons from Nigeria, 2 million tons from Malaysia, 2.3 million tons from Yemen and 1 million tons each from Libya and British Petroleum. [Dow Jones]
Thursday, 16 May, 2002: Liberia's President Charles Taylor helped pile up a lot of bodies -- a quarter-million, by rough count -- and racked up a lot of enemies over a decade-plus of fueling conflicts in Liberia and among its neighbors. The dead are buried, but the enemies have united, and their common goal is: Getting rid of Taylor. "If he doesn't leave, we'll force him to leave," a rebel spokesman, William Hanson, declared. Taylor launched that first war with a failed coup attempt in 1989 after training in the guerrilla camps of Libya's Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. [AP]
Wednesday, 15 May, 2002: Libyan sources said that the French- Libyan committee will hold a meeting in Tripoli under the chairmanship of the ministers of state for foreign affairs in the first step that perpetuates rescheduling of cooperation between the two governments since more than 10 years. The committee will study strengthening cooperation in various sectors, especially in the trade and investment fields, in light of France's efforts to improve its position among Libya's main partners after France's partnership with Libya declined to the fifth rank. [Arabic News]
Wednesday, 15 May, 2002: A Moroccan business delegation, currently visiting Libya, met Libyan economic operators Sunday in Benghazi. The two sides probed means to foster bilateral cooperation in several realms. They also studied preparations for a Moroccan exhibition to be held next September. The delegation is made up of 11 investors from different sectors including textile, airports, environment, food, drug industry and farming machinery. [Arabic News]
Wednesday, 15 May, 2002: US President George Bush signed into law a plan to enhance border security and keep tabs on foreign visitors in a bid to prevent a repeat of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The measure prohibits citizens of nations Washington has designated as sponsors of terrorism from obtaining certain visas. That would prohibit admission of people from Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan and N. Korea unless they are coming to the US as immigrants. [AFP]
Tuesday, 14 May, 2002: The Pakistani government has entrusted the relatives of al-Qaeda members arrested in Pakistan to the Qadhafi Foundation of Saif al-Salam, son of Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. Six women and 14 children flew to Libya, accompanied by the foundation officials on Saturday night. The husbands of four of the women belong to Libya, while two are from Saudi Arabia. Following the Arabs' arrest, government functionaries contacted their respective embassies and made them aware of the women and children. The Saudi embassy refused to accept its people, while Libya agreed to take them all, reliable sources said. [PNS]
Tuesday, 14 May, 2002: Libya's main foreign investment arm has increased its stake in the Italian soccer team Juventus to 7.5 percent, from 5.3 percent, Italy's stock market regulator said Monday. The Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company (Lafico) considered the financial arm of Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's government, completed the deal last week, said the stock market regulator. Juventus, the Italian league champion, went public in December. A month later, the club announced it had sold a 5.3 percent stake to Lafico. The same Libyan company - which once owned 15 percent of Fiat SpA - also has a 2 percent stake in the Italian car maker. [AP]
Tuesday, 14 May, 2002: Seated beside Cuban President Fidel Castro, former US president Jimmy Carter strongly suggested US officials sought to undercut his landmark visit to Cuba with baseless charges Havana developed and exported biological arms. The former US president asked about any transfers to Iraq and Libya, which Cuban officials said have not taken place. Cuban officials denied some allegations in published reports in the United States that transfers had taken place to Libya and Iraq, and said there were no planned transfers there. [AFP]
Monday, 13 May, 2002: Secretary General of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, headed for Libya Sunday for a few hours to meet with President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi in order to update him on the latest developments in the region. Hisham Yousef, spokesman of the Secretary General, said Moussa would hold contacts with top Libyan officials over developments in the Palestinian occupied territories and political ideas in this regard. Qadhafi said last march that Libya would pull out of the Arab League as a result of what he termed the league's failure to solve the Palestinian cause. He had said that his ideas in this regard had not been carried out. [Al-Bawaba]
Monday, 13 May, 2002: South Africa is fighting for the chairmanship of the African Union (AU), to be launched in Durban in July, Sunday Times reported. The report said that diplomatic circles were this week abuzz with talk that the Libyan government had a hand in a recommendation by an "eminent persons group" to hold off the launch until next year. Senior officials said the Qadhafi's government had been "maneuvering" to be the first country to chair the AU. "The Libyans feel the AU is their brainchild. Therefore they want the launch in Sirte," said one. [Xinhua]
Monday, 13 May, 2002: U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, discussed in a video link with a Russian television talk show John Bolton's accusations last week that three more states, Libya, Syria and Cuba, were seeking weapons of mass destruction -- in addition to the "axis of evil" -- Iraq, Iran and North Korea -- cited by Bush earlier this year. Powell said Bolton had said "nothing new." Washington, Powell said, had no desire to attack anyone, but was right "to point out that these countries are involved in such activities." [Reuters]
Monday, 13 May, 2002: When a team of Libyan athletes was turned back last week after spending two days at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, Cabinet minister Sunkuli said the Libyans did not comply with immigration formalities. But it surely cannot be a mere coincidence that, only recently, some Libyan diplomats were also turned back at the airport. Or that the Government has denied the national soccer team clearance for an expenses-paid trip to Libya. The fact that the Government also denied the Libyan soccer team clearance to visit Nairobi late last year only adds to the confusion surrounding Kenya's relationship with Libya. [Nation]
Monday, 13 May, 2002: Madagascar's President Marc Ravalomanana asked Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to act as a mediator to solve the current crisis in his country, JANA the official agency reported. An envoy from Ravalomanana delivered a message to the Libyan leader asking him to mediate the current crisis between the elected president and the former president. For the last few years, Qadhafi has focused his foreign policy on developing relations with other African countries, and he has already served as a mediator in several conflicts. [AFP]
Monday, 13 May, 2002: Italian musician Janny Antonelli released his new song Children on a CD. The song was written and composed by him and dedicated to the Palestinian and Italian children in collaboration with al Sayyed al Hadi from Libya who participated in performance. The daily al Hayat quoted Antonili as saying, "it is very sad for me to see innocent children, like roses, at the age of my children and other people's children killed by the Israeli soldiers because they are innocent. Why is this inhuman brutality and savagery? We have been and are still rocked by the images of the innocent Palestinian children who are exterminated by the Israeli mad bullets and evil mines planted by the Israeli soldiers who have lost their human conscience." [Al-Bawaba]
Sunday, 12 May, 2002: The Libyan capital will host from 2 to 4 June an international conference on the management of common water tables in Africa. Organised by the Libyan water authority and UNESCO, the conference will be attended by African water specialists and several experts from international organisations. According to the organisers, the meeting will discuss issues related to the management of common water tables in Africa, through a series of research projects and studies at global level. They said the holding of the event in Libya shows the importance the dessert country attaches to water supply for its populations. [PANA]
Sunday, 12 May, 2002: Twelve African countries including eight represented at the ministerial level will gather in Cairo from May 10-12, 2002 to attend the African Telecommunications Union's Ministerial Oversight Committee (MOC). The meeting, which marks the fifth session of the Ministerial committee, is the first to be held in North Africa. The countries elected in 1998 to constitute the core of the MOC are Egypt, Libya, Gambia, Ghana, Niger, Sudan, Uganda, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and South Africa. [Al-Bawaba]

Saturday, 11 May, 2002: When asked about his relations with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda told Washington Post editors and reporters that "We work with people when they are right and oppose them when they are wrong." Qadhafi's support of the struggle against apartheid was right, while any involvement in the 1988 bombing of an airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, would have been wrong, he said. Museveni asserted that Qadhafi had no links to al-Qaeda, pointing out that Osama bin Laden tried to have the Libyan leader killed in 1995. Afterward, Libyan intelligence official Musa Kusa reportedly offered information on the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William Burns, as part of efforts to improve Libya's image. [Washington Post]

Friday, 10 May, 2002: A weightlifting team from Libya was forced to return to Tripoli after being barred from entering Kenya. The 16 weightlifters and five officials were held at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for two days. The team was to take part in the Africa weightlifting championship that starts in Nairobi today. State Security Minister Julius Sunkuli told the Nation by telephone that the Libyan team flouted immigration rules which require them to have applied for visas from their country. [Nation]
Friday, 10 May, 2002: A bill that virtually bars visitors from state sponsors of terrorism and tightens control over foreign students has cleared the United States Congress. The bill prohibits admission of people from Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan and North Korea, which have been officially designated by the State Department as state sponsors of terrorism, unless they are coming to the United States as immigrants. [AFP]

Thursday, 9 May, 2002: The United States is holding three Libyans at its base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Libya's Qadhafi Foundation announced Wednesday. The foundation is headed by Seif al-Qadhafi (photo), a son of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qhadafi. A statement called for international observers to be sent to the prison camp to enquire about the prisoners. In particular, the observers should seek detailed information on their state of health and the charges against them, the foundation said. [AFP]
Thursday, 9 May, 2002: Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qaddafi discussed with the chairman of the European Commission Romano Prodi in a telephone call on Tuesday prospects of cooperation relations between the European Union and the African federation and means of strengthening and developing them. The two sides discussed cooperation issues relating to countries overlooking the Mediterranean as well as regional and international issues. [Arabic News]
Thursday, 9 May, 2002: Turkey has threatened to review its military ties with France over a Paris display that calls Turkey's top general - as well as the Iraqi and Libyan leaders - a "predator of press freedom." The group "Reporters Without Borders" set up the display on the floor of a Paris railway station, showing a map of the world superimposed with pictures of political and military leaders accused of blocking press freedom. Turkey's military chief, Gen. Kivrikoglu, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and Libya's Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi are among those pictured. [AP]
Thursday, 9 May, 2002: The London-based Arabic newspaper, Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that Tunisia and Libya have agreed to construct pipelines for transporting gas from Libya to resource-poor Tunisia. The pipelines will have a capacity of transporting two billion cubic meters per annum. The Tunisian-Libyan project is expected to cost approximately US $275 million. Transport of Libyan natural gas to Tunisia should start by 2006. [AFP]

Wednesday, 8 May, 2002: A high-ranking Libyan official dismissed as "stupid" US accusations that Tripoli was seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction. "Libya does not seek to acquire or produce weapons of mass destruction," foreign ministry spokesman Hassuna al-Shawesh (photo) told AFP. He said the accusations themselves were "terrorism" and warned that Washington would "lose international support due to these stupid positions, backed by the Jews." US Undersecretary of State John Bolton on Monday accused Libya of trying to obtain chemical and biological weapons. Shawesh charged that the US accusations were not aimed at "finding and destroying weapons of mass destruction ... because we don't hear anything about the Israelis' chemical and nuclear weapons." [AFP]
Tuesday, 7 May, 2002: The United States on Monday accused Libya, Syria and Cuba of pursuing weapons of mass destruction and warned it would take action to ensure they do not supply terrorists with such arms. In a speech entitled "Beyond the Axis of Evil," Undersecretary of State John Bolton said in addition to Iraq, Iran and North Korea there were other "rogue states" out to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Bolton told the Heritage Foundation that there was "no doubt that Libya continues its long-standing pursuit of nuclear weapons," as well as chemical weapons, biological weapons and ballistic missile capability. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 7 May, 2002: Former South African President Nelson Mandela will not visit the Libyan imprisoned for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, his spokesperson said on Monday. Denying a weekend report, Zelda la Grange said, however, that Mandela planned to start talks on raising the sanctions that were imposed on Libya in the wake of the Lockerbie tragedy. According to La Grange, Mandela hoped to speak to U.S. President George Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair as well as a Saudi Arabian government representative on the matter of raising the sanctions. However, this was proving difficult because of the tensions in the Middle East. [SAPA]
Tuesday, 7 May, 2002: Libyan Ambassador in Tehran Ali Maria conferred in Tehran on Monday with Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi on issues of mutual interests. At the meeting, Karroubi referred to the record of good relations between the two countries and said, "We hope to witness further expansion of mutual relations relying on the two sides high potential in various fields." The Libyan ambassador, for his part, referred to the level of Iran-Libya relations adding that the current situation in the region and the threats of US leaders against other countries have compelled them to collaborate and coordinate their actions. [IRNA]
Tuesday, 7 May, 2002: Egyptian Oil Minister Sameh Fahmy said Monday the ground work has been completed on a double pipeline project to carry oil from Libya to Egypt, and natural gas from Egypt to Libya. Fahmy told the official MENA news agency that Egyptian and Libyan experts will meet Tuesday to assess the progress on the 620-kilometer (385 miles) pipelines to link the Mediterranean ports of Tobruk, Libya and Alexandria, Egypt. The oil pipeline will carry 150,000 barrel per day of crude to be refined in Alexandria for local consumption and export to other countries, he said. Egypt and Libya in August 2001 set up a joint company for pipeline construction, with each contributing 100 million dollars to its capital. [AFP]
Monday, 6 May, 2002: The former South African President, Nelson Mandela, is reported to be considering a visit to the Libyan man imprisoned for the Lockerbie bombing in 1988. The Sunday Times, quoted supporters of the convicted bomber, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi (photo), as saying that they hope that a visit can be arranged next month. A spokeswoman for Mr Mandela said the visit may be delayed until next year because of the former president's ill health and busy schedule. [BBC]
Monday, 6 May, 2002: Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passi met Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on Sunday to discuss the trial of six Bulgarians accused of deliberately injecting Libyan children with HIV contaminated blood products. The five Bulgarian nurses and a doctor, as well as a Palestinian doctor, are accused of injecting 393 children with blood products tainted with the virus which causes AIDS. After the talks, Qadhafi expressed his confidence in the Libyan justice system, saying he felt the trial was "taking the right course". [AFP]
Monday, 6 May, 2002: Libyan Dinar (LYD): US Dollar = 1.32 LYD, Euro = 1.21 LYD, Pound Sterling = 1.93 LYD, Japanese Yen = 96.49 LYD, Swiss Franc = 0.83 LYD. [Reuters]

Sunday, 5 May, 2002: Families of a group of Libyan children allegedly infected with the AIDS virus by Bulgarian medics staged a protest Saturday during a visit by Bulgaria's foreign minister Passi. Passi's visit, to a hospital in Benghazi comes ahead of an expected meeting between the Bulgarian foreign minister and Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. Demonstrators carried banners proclaiming "Thank you for AIDS", "What crime did childhood commit to be destroyed?" and "Will I ever wear a wedding dress?" But angry parents were prevented from reaching the foreign minister by bodyguards. Before his visit to the hospital, Passi visited a cemetery where 37 child victims of AIDS are buried. [AFP] Photo: One of the Libyan children infected with the AIDS virus by Bulgarian medics.
Sunday, 5 May, 2002: A group of investors including the investment arm of the Libyan government have bought a stake of more than 50 percent of Italian fibre company Olcese. Company of Yarn Olcese SA (CYO) said in statement late on Friday that it had sold a 51.8 percent stake but did not disclose the deal's value. At Friday closing stock prices, the 31.16 million share sold would be worth just under 15 million euros. The Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company (Lafico) -- already a CYO shareholder and which has other investments in Italy including a stake in carmaker Fiat -- bought shares equivalent to 26.3 percent of Olcese's capital. [Reuters]

Othman el-Barrani's Apollonia "Sousa" Page

2002 Tibra Awards Results

Saturday, 4 May, 2002: British police said a team of officers had visited Libya as part of a probe into the fatal shooting of a British policewoman in 1984 which led to Britain cutting ties with al-Qadhafi's government. Yvonne Fletcher was shot dead outside the Libyan embassy during a demonstration by Libyan students (photo) opposed to Qadhafi. The gunfire appeared to have come from an embassy window. "The officers have now returned having had a useful discussion with the Libyan authorities with a view to advancing the investigation into the murder of Yvonne Fletcher," a police spokeswoman told Reuters. [Reuters]
Saturday, 4 May, 2002: Bulgaria's foreign minister was heading to Libya on Friday to visit hundreds of children infected with the AIDS virus in a scandal that Libyan authorities blame on six Bulgarian medics. A Libyan court recently dropped charges of conspiracy against the five Bulgarian nurses and a doctor who were accused of deliberately infecting 393 children with HIV during blood transfusions in the Benghazi hospital. On Sunday Pasi is scheduled to visit the infected children in the Benghazi hospital and present them with medicines and toys. [AP]
Friday, 3 May, 2002: Negotiators are close to an agreement on the amount of compensation Libya will offer families of the 270 people killed in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing, a lawyer involved in the talks said Thursday. "There's a good chance that there will be a substantial offer soon," New York lawyer James Kreindler, who is negotiating on behalf of the families with the Libyan government's lawyers, said in a telephone interview. A former Libyan intelligence agent was convicted in the bombing last year and his conviction was upheld on appeal in March. "There is no (compensation) settlement yet," Kreindler said. "I think there is a good chance that there will be in the very near future." [AP]
Friday, 3 May, 2002: The Libyan Government and Italian airline Blue Panorama have set up a new carrier, Afriqiyah Airways, to fly from Tripoli to West African capitals. Competition on West African routes is intensifying, with Uganda's AfricaOne making its first flights earlier this week. Brussels Airlines last week started flights to many of the Belgium flag carrier's former African destinations. The Libyan state owns 51% of Afriqiyah Airways, with the remainder held by Libyan and foreign shareholders. Blue Panorama will be supplying the planes and staff. [BBC]
Friday, 3 May, 2002: Nineteen Arab countries agreed to reactivate a decades-old economic blockade of Israel. Economic boycott of Israel was agreed to in 1951 but has remained largely inactive and ineffective. It has slackened particularly since the launch of the Middle East peace process in the early 1990s. The Arab nations decided at a three-day meeting in Damascus last week to revive the boycott. Representatives of Syria, Iraq, the Sudan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Algeria, Tunisia, Yemen, the UAE Emirates, Kuwait, Libya, Somalia, Comoros, Morocco, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Djibouti attended the meeting. [IPS]
Friday, 3 May, 2002: The Federation Of Uganda's Football Associations (FUFA) has denied allegations that their invitation to Tripoli by the Libyan soccer federation late last month had any connection with the FIFA elections. FUFA's Denis Obua, Godfrey Kwizera and Haruna Mawanda returned from Libya last Friday where they attended an African Football Conference. Mawanda said yesterday that the talk going around that FUFA had been bribed was wrong because they only got $190. "We were never bribed. We were not promised any money. They only gave us $190. I and Kwizera got $55 each. The president (Obua) got $80," Mawanda said. [The Monitor]

Thursday, 2 May, 2002: The Arab League ambassadors accredited to Uganda have said Israel should be isolated by all peace-loving nations. The envoys yesterday implored Uganda's Parliament to rally behind the Palestinians and protest against the continued occupation. Five ambassadors led by A. Bujeldain of Libya met with the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Ssekandi. They also met with members of the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs. [New Vision]
Thursday, 2 May, 2002: Libya has cut the official selling prices for its main crude oil grades in May by 10 cents, setting Es Sider at Dated Brent -80 cents, trading sources said. [Reuters]
Thursday, 2 May, 2002: Jordan dispatched its second field hospital to Nablus on Tuesday as part of relief efforts for Palestinians suffering from the consequences of Israeli occupation. Meanwhile, daily humanitarian aid sent since early April include a total of 70 trucks that have crossed the border transporting 2,800 tonnes of humanitarian aid, and 17 helicopters carrying 50 tonnes of mostly medical assistance. The assistance was sent to Jordan from Syria, Iran, Russia, Iraq, Libya and Cyprus and was forwarded to the West Bank. [The Jordan Times]
Wednesday, 1 May, 2002: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi is prepared to offer compensation to relatives of those killed in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in an apparent bid to end international sanctions against Libya, a US newsweekly reported. In the May 6 edition of Time, the magazine reported it had obtained a letter saying Qadhafi will make a "substantial formal offer" to compensate families of the 270 victims within a month. The letter, dated April 23, was written by New York attorney James Kreindler, who had been negotiating with senior Libyan leaders. Qadhafi is reportedly willing to pay up to 3.5 billion dollars, the magazine said. [AFP]
Wednesday, 1 May, 2002: Relatives of victims killed in the Lockerbie bombing and senior diplomatic sources have dismissed a report that Colonel Qadhafi is ready to offer up to £2.5 billion compensation within the next month. Time magazine claims to have obtained a letter to relatives of the victims from an American lawyer negotiating with Libyan officials. It apparently suggests that Colonel Qadhafi plans to make a deal. Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was one of 270 people killed when PanAm flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie in 1988, described the suggestion as "political posturing". A British diplomatic source said: "It is not speculation to say Libya is involved in negotiations regarding UN security council resolutions, which includes the issue of compensation. It is speculation to say that Libya is ready to offer compensation." [The Herald]
Wednesday, 1 May, 2002: Bulgaria's Foreign Minister travels to Libya this week where six Bulgarians are on trial on charges of infecting 393 children with the HIV virus. A Bulgarian foreign ministry press official said that Solomon Passy would leave for Libya on Friday. The Bulgarians -- five female nurses and a male doctor, detained in Tripoli in early 1999. "The trial is going to resume very soon," said Mohammed Ismail, a spokesman for the Qadhafi Foundation. Ismail said the Qadhafi Foundation was committed to its role as an observer on the case and added he was "very optimistic" about the fate of the Bulgarian medics. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 1 May, 2002: Ugandan referees at the FIFA rank will soon officiate in the Libyan League and vice versa, following a pact signed between the soccer bodies of the two nations. Libyan match officials would be called to handle matches involving the giants and all the expenses incurred by referees from both countries will be paid for by Libya. [The Monitor]
Wednesday, 1 May, 2002: At least two African soccer players face lengthy bans following attacks on referees during African club competitions in recent weeks. The fate of Emad Al Beskini of Libyan club Al Ahli and Abdallah Ragab, who plays for Egyptian club Al Masry, will be decided next week when the Confederation of African Football committee meets in Cairo. [Reuters]

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