Libya:
News and Views [ June 2002 ]


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Sunday, 30 June, 2002: A US appeals court has ruled Libya and other nations considered state sponsors of terrorism have no immunity from lawsuits brought by US nationals. Friday's decision upheld the 1999 Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which asserts US jurisdiction over human rights violations of US nationals by state sponsors of terrorism. The decision came in the case of two men who sued Libya, claiming they were tortured and held hostage in March 1980. The judges, however, also said Michael Price and Roger Frey's lawsuit failed to show they were tortured or taken hostage during their 105 days of imprisonment in Libya. [AFP]
Sunday, 30 June, 2002: Guinea-Bissau judicial authorities on Friday interrogated and detained former prime minister Faustino Imbali, along with several top government officials on suspicion of embezzling more than 2 million U.S. dollars in aid funds. Guinea-Bissau's President Kumba Iala publicly charged Imbali last month with having embezzled 2.3 million U.S. dollars given by Nigeria and Libya for Bissau's armed forces last year. [Xinhua]
Sunday, 30 June, 2002: Sudan has formally opened a 41-km road built by Libya and linking Sudan's capital Khartoum with the neighbouring locality of Ailafoun to the east. [PANA]

Saturday, 29 June, 2002: In a last-minute addition to the agenda at this week's OPEC meeting, Algeria confronted ministers with a potentially explosive request for a bigger share of the group's production target. A successful outcome for Algeria would encourage Libya and Nigeria, who are under pressure from international oil companies to pump more from new finds, to insist that they too are entitled to a bigger quota. "It's not fair for some... some want a better redistribution of quotas," a senior Libyan delegate told Dow Jones Newswires. [Dow Jones]
Saturday, 29 June, 2002: The authors of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) are none other than a new breed of democratic and elected leaders who want to break away from Africa's endemic circle of poverty, civil strife and oppression caused by Africa's governments. Nations such as Zimbabwe and Libya, the latter would not qualify because its ruler is an unelected military strongman who shot his way to power, should realise that their options are increasingly diminishing as the rest of Africa races towards a better economic and political dispensation which addresses the true wishes of the continent's peoples. [Financial Gazette]
Saturday, 29 June, 2002: President Parvez Musharaf of Pakistan met yesterday with Dr. Salem Ben Amer, [the envoy of Libyan Leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi], who is currently touring Asia in continuation of the mission which the Libyan Leader asked him to carry out with the aim of solving the dispute between India and Pakistan by peaceful means. [JANA]
Friday, 28 June, 2002: Leaders of the world's seven richest countries and Russia, meeting this week in Canada, will consider a proposal to send $64 billion in aid and investment to help Africa. South African President Thabo Mbeki, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, who dreamed up NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa's Developmen,) have been invited to speak at the summit. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika also will participate. The five leaders also have to sell the plan to their own neighbors. Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has referred to NEPAD as the brainchild of "former colonizers and racists" and an attempt to recolonize Africa. But most African nations don't have Libya's oil wealth and can't afford to turn down aid. [USA Today]
Friday, 28 June, 2002: In Khartoum, Sudan, Representatives of 57 Muslim nations pledged support for Palestinians in a resolution Thursday. The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) ministers stated support for a Saudi peace plan and also accused Israel's army of committing "war crimes, crimes against humanity and massacres." The ministers also called on the United Nations Security Council to lift sanctions against Libya. [AP]
Friday, 28 June, 2002: Tata Tea, India's largest tea producer, on Thursday posted a loss of $3.3 million for January-March due to low prices and dwindling exports. "Last year, we lost Libya completely due to supply of inferior and sub-standard quality teas," the chairman of the Assam Tea Planters' Association, O.P. Chokhani, told a meeting of planters last month. [Reuters]

Thursday, 27 June, 2002: Yousef Togoimi, the founder of the Democratic Movement for Justice in Chad (MDJT) which has been fighting the Chad government, has returned to Chad after spending weeks in Libya. Libya brokered a peace agreement last January between the Chad government and MDJT but Togoimi had rejected it, putting him at odds with his rival for the rebel movement leadership Adoium Togoi. Peace negotiations have been suspended because of the internal MDJT squabbling. Togoimi and several aides have been in Libya since early May. [AFP]
Wednesday, 26 June, 2002: Two senior Egyptian officials left Cairo for Libya on Tuesday to convey a message from President Mubarak to Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, the official MENA news agency reported. Information Minister Safwat el-Sharif and Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher headed for Libya with the message, MENA said. The visit by the two Egyptian officials to Libya came after U.S. President George Bush on Monday unveiled a road map on the Mideast peace in a speech. Earlier on Tuesday, Egypt voiced support for Bush speech. [Xinhua]
Wednesday, 26 June, 2002: Speaking at London's Royal Institute for International Affairs, Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's son, Seif al-Islam, dropped a hint that Libya will, in the end, succumb to Western demands for compensation to the victims of the Lockerbie bombing. "We are a very small country compared to the U.S. "If you met Mike Tyson around the corner and he asks you for money, you cannot say no," Seif al-Islam al-Qadhafi said. [The Washington Post]
Wednesday, 26 June, 2002: [Sixty one Libyan nationals] were among approximately 87,000 persons who have been notified that they may apply for an immigrant visa under a special law that makes permanent resident visas available annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. The U.S. State Department announced that 87,000 applicants whose names were selected in the Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery (DV-2003) have been notified "and may now make an application for an immigrant visa." [AllAfrica.com]
Wednesday, 26 June, 2002: Britain, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and Libya have pledged food donations to Zambia in the latest response to an appeal by Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa for urgent relief. Britain said it would donate 10 million pounds while Libya would donate 6,000 tonnes of maize, Mwanawasa said on Tuesday, a day after returning from an official tour of Libya. The OAU said that it would donate $200,000 to Zambia. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 26 June, 2002: [In the United States,] five-term Rep. Earl Hilliard was ousted in a Democratic runoff Tuesday after a nasty campaign against Artur Davis, a well-funded challenger who swamped their poor Alabama district with commercials questioning Hilliard's stance on the Middle East. Davis raised more money than Hilliard, much of it from Jewish donors in New York, and aired TV commercials raising questions about Hilliard's ethics and Mideast ties. Hilliard, who visited Libya in 1997, was backed by Arab donors and members of the Black Caucus. [AP]

Tuesday, 25 June, 2002: In the run-up to the summit of leading industrialized nations plus Russia -- the so called G8 -- in Canada this week, South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki has been involved in a frantic last round of diplomacy aimed at building support for the ambitious New Partnership for African Development. Mbeki, who needs to claim to the G8 that he has Africa behind him, faces a major problem with Qadhafi who in recent years has used Libya's oil wealth to buy himself an influential position right across the African continent. To make the plan, known as NEPAD, palatable to the developed world Mbeki has had to build into it promises of democracy. Qadhafi, who has ruled for 33 years without allowing any elections, opposition or a free press, naturally dislikes such criteria and has voiced strong criticism of NEPAD, claiming the plan is a product of the West which he said, is still trying to colonize Africans. [UPI]
Monday, 24 June, 2002: Libya's leader Qadhafi claims he is telling Islamic separatists from the Philippines to Chechnya to give up the struggle and integrate with their neighbors. This new message is being carried by his son Seif al-Islam. Seif al-Islam told a meeting at London's Royal Institute for International Affairs that Muslims should learn from Jews. "Jews in America do not ask for a separate state. They have influence in a very influential superpower. The Jewish model in America is a good model for Muslims." Rather than trying to carve out a Palestinian state alongside Israel, Qadhafi showed a slide depicting his idea of a Jewish-Arab "Federal Republic of the Holy Land", comprising five regions and Jerusalem as a "city state". [Al-Bawaba]
Monday, 24 June, 2002: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi urged European Union leaders on Saturday to hold talks with their African counterparts on a strategy to stem illegal immigration. Qadhafi warned the EU only more development projects will help hold back a "black invasion of Europe" by illegal immigrants. "No state in N. Africa will volunteer to guard the gate of Europe free of charge, because the region itself is invaded by illegal migrants from sub-Sahara Africa and it has no control over this immigration," Qadhafi said in a letter to EU leaders meeting in Spain to lay down deadlines for a common asylum policy to fight illegal immigration. [Reuters]
Monday, 24 June, 2002: In 1986, U.S. President Ronald Reagan authorized a campaign of disinformation and destabilization to unseat Libyan strongman Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, which included CIA operations to aid and abet Libyan dissidents and exiles. Meanwhile, the Reagan administration artfully leaked stories about Qadhafi asserting that he was impotent, insane and a cross-dresser. Reagan ordered a bombing of Tripoli on April 14, 1986. The bombers were clearly targeting Qadhafi, but missed him. In the past 60 days, a remarkably similar campaign against Iraq's Saddam Hussein appears to be under way. Many Iraq experts don't see Saddam in the same light as Qadhafi. They believe that Saddam is immune to destabilization. [UPI]
Monday, 24 June, 2002: Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf Wednesday approved a law to register all religious schools, and stop them from receiving foreign aid and from training militant fighters. Many religious schools, or madrasas, operating in Pakistan receive funds from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Libya and Iran. An estimated 20,000 children were recruited by religious schools to fight in Afghanistan in the last several years, a U.N. report on children's rights said. [UPI]
Sunday, 23 June, 2002: Libya accepts the principle of compensating the relatives of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing, the son of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi said in London Friday. However, it continues to regard the man convicted of the attack as innocent, Seif al-Islam al-Qadhafi (photo) said. On Wednesday, however, Libyan foreign affairs secretary Suleiman Al-Shahoumi rejected the idea Libya had offered compensation. "Compensation was not on the agenda of our negotiations and never was," Shahoumi said during a trip to Britain where he was heading a Libyan delegation. [AFP]
Saturday, 22 June, 2002: In a press conference held in the House of Parliament in London, Libya's secretary for foreign affairs [Suleiman al-Shahoumi] said that Libya is keen to adhere to international agreements, including the nuclear non proliferation treaty, the treaty banning the production and stockpiling of biological weapons and the treaty banning nuclear and chemical weapons. The secretary also said that Libya was one of the first victims of terrorism and has constantly and repeatedly declared its denunciation of terrorism in all its forms. [JANA]
Saturday, 22 June, 2002: Italian soccer club Juventus has asked Al-Saadi al-Qadhafi (photo), son of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, to join the club's board of directors. In a letter to Qadhafi made public Friday, Umberto Agnelli, honorary president of Juventus, said there were plans to turn the club to an "entertainment company, diversifying the stream of revenues and fully exploiting the enormous potential of its brand." Libya's main foreign investment arm, the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company, or LAFICO, has a 7.5 stake in Juventus. [AP]
Saturday, 22 June, 2002: Sanctions against petroleum dealings with Iran and Libya are unlikely to be used any time soon. Alan Larson, the U.S. undersecretary of economic affairs, told a congressional panel Thursday that the Bush administration will probably not enforce the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) any harder than did Clinton's administration. The ILSA authorizes the president to penalize foreign companies making new investments of more than $40 million in Libya's petroleum sector and more than $20 million in Iran's petroleum sector. [Dow Jones]
Saturday, 22 June, 2002: Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo arrived Friday in Sirte, 450-km east of the Libyan capital Tripoli, for a visit whose length has not been specified. [PANA]

Friday, 21 June, 2002: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and visiting Eritrean President Issaias Afeworki held a meeting Wednesday in Tripoli. The meeting was attended by General Moustafa al-Kharoubi, the secretary for African unity, the secretary general of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) and the delegation accompanying Afeworke. [JANA]
Friday, 21 June, 2002: The owner of a Richardson computer company has pleaded guilty to violating a federal order that prohibited him from exporting goods, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Wednesday. Ihsan Elashyi, 42, pleaded guilty this week to four counts of a 39-count indictment returned in April, including charges of money laundering and wire fraud. Elashyi previously worked for Infocom Corp., which had tried to ship computers to Syria and Libya. [AP]

   

Thursday, 20 June, 2002: A Libyan delegation visiting Britain repeated their assertion that the Libyan intelligence agent, Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi, is innocent. The delegation, headed by foreign affairs secretary Suleiman Al-Shahoumi, said Al-Megrahi's defence team failed to "put forward the full facts of the case". The Scottish lawyers who conducted Al-Megrahi's defence have denied the accusations. Al-Shahoumi said "We are certain he is innocent. "Libya would not be paying compensation to the relatives of those who died in the atrocity". [BBC]
Thursday, 20 June, 2002: British Prime Minister Tony Blair has ruled out moving the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing from a Scottish prison. It follows demands by the former S. African President Mandela last week that Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi (photo), should be moved to a Muslim country. Mr Blair said he could see "no reason" to move al-Megrahi from the prison. He was tackled on the issue in the Commons by Tam Dalyell, who is publicly backing al-Megrahi's claims of innocence. [BBC]
Thursday, 20 June, 2002: Italian oilfield equipment-maker Saipem said it stood to earn 420 million euros ($401.9 million) from a contract to build and install a gas production platform off the shores of Libya. The contract, worth a total 620 million euros, was awarded to Saipem and its partner Hyundai of Korea. The project -- which would produce gas for shipment by a new gas pipeline to Italy -- was due to be completed in July 2005. [Reuters]
Thursday, 20 June, 2002: Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo is scheduled to visit Libya's capital city of Tripoli Friday, following a visit to the United States, in which he is expected to meet with President Bush, according to an official in his office. He is to return home on Saturday, the official added, according to AFP. [Al-Bawaba]

Wednesday, 19 June, 2002: An Arab human rights group lashed out Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Tunisia on Monday for gutting legal rights and relying upon military tribunals and special courts to prosecute citizens. The annual report from the Arab Human Rights Organization denounced "the reduction in legal guarantees" since the September 11 attacks on the United States. The rights group termed as "very serious" the setting up of "extraordinary tribunals in certain countries", including Iraq, Libya and Syria. [Al-Bawaba]
Wednesday, 19 June, 2002: South African President Thabo Mbeki on Tuesday said that ending military coups should be a priority for Africa's search for growth and stability. In his annual accounting to parliament for his presidential budget, Mbeki urged international support for the African recovery programme, which proposes standards of good government that could exclude unelected administrations from the benefits of the initiative. Several African governments, including Libya, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, came to power in coups and could fall outside the scope of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad). [Reuters]
Wednesday, 19 June, 2002: Tunisian President Zine Al-Abidin Ben Ali Tuesday ended a two-day working and friendly visit to Libya after discussing ways to improve bilateral cooperation with Libyan leader, Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. [PANA]
Tuesday, 18 June, 2002: South African President Thabo Mbeki on Monday admitted competition in the leadership of the African Union (AU) due to be launched in Durban, South Africa, in July. While addressing the Renaissance South Africa Outreach Program Continental Experts Meeting held in Pretoria, Mbeki said the competition in AU leadership is not avoidable. Mbeki made the statement on a question posed by a participant concerning the competition between Mbeki and the Libyan leader Qadhafi for the leadership of the AU. [Xinhua]
Tuesday, 18 June, 2002: The South African presidency on Sunday said it would be premature to talk about an arms deal with Libya, as Pretoria and Tripoli were merely involved in "exploratory talks". On the reported arms deal negotiations, presidential spokesman Bheki Khumalo told SAPA: "It is still very early to say. It is purely exploratory talks." Any decision to sell arms would have to be approved by the National Conventional Arms Control Committee. [SAPA]
Tuesday, 18 June, 2002: A suggestion in weekend newspapers that Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi launched an extraordinary attack on the New Economic Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) during President Thabo Mbeki's recent visit by to Libya is devoid of all truth, says the department of foreign affairs. The department refuted any suggestions that Qadhafi characterised NEPAD as an instrument of colonisers and racists. "Qadhafi only cautioned against the Western countries usurping NEPAD for their own interests," it said. [SAPA]
Monday, 17 June, 2002: Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi's wife, Aisha (photo), said she was planning to move her family to Scotland from their home in Tripoli, Libya, to be near her husband. Mr. Al-Megrahi was convicted last year of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie. "Moving will be difficult. It is a different culture and a different language in Scotland. We will have no family here and no friends," she told the Scottish Mail on Sunday newspaper. "The children had nothing to do with Lockerbie but they are paying the price for a politically motivated decision," she said. [AP]
Monday, 17 June, 2002: A delegation of lawmakers from Libya Sunday visited the man jailed for the Lockerbie bombing. The seven-strong delegation made no comment after meeting Abdelbaset al-Megrahi at Glasgow's Barlinnie jail. The delegation, led by Suleiman Al-Shahoumi, the foreign affairs secretary, was due to meet Foreign Office ministers as well as lawmakers from all British political parties. The group will also attend sessions of parliament this week. [AP]
Monday, 17 June, 2002: Tunisian President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali will visit Libya from 17-18 June at the invitation of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, it has been announced. [PANA]
Monday, 17 June, 2002: South Africa's Sunday Times newspaper published a story saying that South African arms executives who accompanied President Thabo Mbeki on a visit to Libya last week discussed plans to supply Libya with aircraft and other military equipment. Libya was seeking to upgrade its old Mirage aircraft and wanted to acquire a new fleet of fighter jets and replace its military helicopters, the Sunday Times said. It quoted Max Sisulu, the deputy chief executive and chairman of South Africa's state-run defense firm Denel, as saying his talks with Libyan defense officials had been "extremely fruitful and valuable." [Reuters]

Sunday, 16 June, 2002: A meeting between the coordinator of the Libyan Committee for Human Rights (LCHR) and Violeti Geraldo, head of the European parliament's delegation which is currently visiting Libya, was held in Tripoli yesterday. The coordinator of the LCHR provided a detailed explanation to the European parliamentary delegation about the Great Green Charter for Human Rights, including the advancement of human rights and dignity. [JANA]
Sunday, 16 June, 2002: Libyan Leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi yesterday met with the European parliamentary delegation led by the chairman of the Euro-Maghreb inter-parliamentary relations team, Valiotte Geraldo. The meeting was attended by president Jospeh Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the foreign affairs secretary at the general peoples congress. [JANA]
Sunday, 16 June, 2002: Visiting Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila held talks late Friday in Tripoli with Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on the strengthening of relations between their two countries, as well as on African and international issues. [PANA]
Sunday, 16 June, 2002: Iraq alleged Thursday that the U.S. has a secret plan to use nuclear weapons against it and five other countries and asked the U.N. for protection. Foreign Minister Naji Sabri said in a letter to U.N. Secretary General that a secret Pentagon plan to use nuclear arms against Iraq, Iran, Syria, China, Libya, and N. Korea violated the U.N. charter. [UPI]
Sunday, 16 June, 2002: Nelson Mandela's visit to the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing has been criticised by a senior detective who helped the investigation. Jim Gilchrist attacked Mandela's calls for the Libyan bomber to be transferred to a prison in a Muslim country. He said that Mandela's involvement could help pave the way for a U-turn by the UK. "The US and the UK are saying a transfer is not possible but if it suits them to hand al-Megrahi over to a Muslim country, Mandela's standing in the world might ease the way to another U-turn," he said. [BBC]
Saturday, 15 June, 2002: A bus overturned in Benghazi, killing 13 people and injuring 10, Libya's official JANA news agency has reported. Thursday's accident happened because of the driver's "recklessness" and failure to abide by traffic laws, JANA said, quoting unnamed officials of the ministry in charge of police. JANA did not report whether the driver had survived. [AP]
Saturday, 15 June, 2002: South African President Thabo Mbeki ended a two-day visit to Libya on Friday with bilateral agreements and expressions of solidarity with Palestinians. Both sides expressed their "outrage at and condemnation of the escalating violence by Israel, which they characterized as a threat to global peace and security." The two sides called for Israel's withdrawal from all occupied territories and reiterated their support for the Palestinians' right to self-determination and a Palestinian state. [AP]
Saturday, 15 June, 2002: The Washington Post quoted high level sources in the American adminstration as saying that the American National Security Council would shortly lay down a new American military concept stipulating the launcing of the first strike on those states that possess weapons of mass destruction. The international affairs editor in [Libya's official news agency] JANA commented on the report saying: on that basis the so-called Israel should certainly become the first target of the new American military concept if America was serious in what it says ..and if it abandons the policy of double standards, especially as all the countries know that the so-called Israel refused, and is still refusing to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. [JANA]
Saturday, 15 June, 2002: Egypt and Sudan have respectively contributed 650,000 feddans (273,000 hectares) and 1.2 million feddans (504,000 hectares) of lands, and Libya devoted 100 million U.S. dollars to jointly set up the Arab Company for Agricultural Investments, with a view of realizing integration between the three countries. [Al-Ahram/Xinhua]
Saturday, 15 June, 2002: Unidentified attackers killed two Thai police officers in the latest of a series of attacks suspected of being carried out by Muslim militants in the southern provinces. Militant groups, such as the PULO, have advocated the separation of the provinces from Thailand. Security officials have accused militant groups of receiving aid from Libya and other Muslim states and of sending recruits for training in other countries, including Afghanistan. [UPI]

Friday, 14 June, 2002: The Libyan government trained men and women in 1989 in the act of killing and destruction and unleashed them on the country of Liberia. Therefore, against this background, using the Pan Am flight as a precedent and Libya's willingness to compensate families of its terrorist action in Lockerbie, Liberia has a right to take Libya to court. The Libyan government is paying $10 million for each of the 270 Lockerbie victims. At the same rate, Liberia could ask for $2 trillion , and to that amount must be added the cost of repairing destroyed infrastructure and other physical and psychological trauma caused by the war. [The Perspective]
Friday, 14 June, 2002: Visiting South African President Thabo Mbeki Wednesday inaugurated the offices of South Africa's Embassy in Tripoli at a ceremony witnessed by the Secretary of the Libyan General People's Committee (Minister) for African Unity, Ali al-Triki. [PANA]
Friday, 14 June, 2002: Libyan airline Afriqiyah Airways made a maiden Tripoli-Cotonou flight Wednesday, following an agreement between Benin and Libyan aviation authorities. [PANA]

   

Thursday, 13 June, 2002: South African President Mbeki arrived in Tripoli on Wednesday for talks with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, Libyan state media said. It did not say if Mbeki would try to appease Libya's anger at being left out of an ambitious recovery plan for Africa, spearheaded by S. Africa, Nigeria, Algeria and Senegal. Qadhafi was angered by some African ministers saying that the reason for that was that Libya was still isolated internationally. [Reuters]
Thursday, 13 June, 2002: Morocco's King Mohammed will not attend the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) summit scheduled for June 21 in Algiers, a government senior official said on Wednesday. The summit was expected to gather leaders of Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria and Tunisia for the first time since 1995. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 12 June, 2002: South Africa's deputy foreign affairs minister Aziz Pahad dismissed claims of tension between President Mbeki and his Libyan counterpart, Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, over the hosting of the first African Union (AU) summit in Durban next month. At a press briefing yesterday, Pahad said he had heard reports that Libya did not want S. Africa to host the AU summit, because it meant S. Africa would be selected as the first chair of the union. "I have been told that they (Libya) did not want us to host this summit, but I have never come across anything on paper or any discussion that convinced me that this was policy," he said. [Business Day]

Human Rights Solidarity: Human Rights Violations In Libya

Human Rights Solidarity: European Parliament Delegation To Visit Libya

Tuesday, 11 June, 2002: Nelson Mandela called for a new appeal yesterday for the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, after visiting him at Barlinnie prison in Glasgow, Scotland. Speaking after meeting Megrahi privately for more than an hour, Mandela said he wanted to meet George Bush and Tony Blair to discuss the case, and called for the Libyan to be transferred to a jail in a Muslim country like Morocco, Tunisia, or Egypt. At an extraordinary press conference inside Barlinnie, Mr Mandela described Megrahi's life sentence as "psychological persecution". Megrahi's wife Aisha (photo) and family are also in Glasgow and they will be visiting the prison later. [The Herald]
Tuesday, 11 June, 2002: Britain looks set to reject a suggestion by Nelson Mandela that the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing should be moved to a Muslim country. A spokesman for the Foreign Office said such a request went against what Libya had agreed before the trial of the two men accused of the bombing at a special Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands. He said: "Libya agreed to hand over the suspects to a third country and that if convicted by the Scottish court they would be imprisoned in Scotland. This situation has not changed." [This Is London]
Tuesday, 11 June, 2002: A South African delegation, including President Thabo Mbeki and Foreign Affairs Minister Dlamini-Zuma, is expected to attend a joint bilateral commission meeting in Tripoli, Libya, on Wednesday. Briefing journalists in Pretoria, foreign affairs deputy minister Aziz Pahad said the meeting would among others, discuss the launch of the African Union in Durban in July, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and international issues such as the World Summit on Sustainable Development and the Middle East conflict. [Buanews]
Tuesday, 11 June, 2002: Libya's leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has offered to help resolve the Western Sahara conflict but Morocco on Monday dismissed the move as "unrealistic". Libya's state news agency JANA reported that Qadhafi was engaged in what it termed "intensive efforts to reach a peaceful solution to the Western Sahara issue". "Qadhafi is trying to attract media attention on the eve of the Arab Maghreb Union summit in Algiers ...Forget about Qadhafi's unrealistic ideas," a senior Moroccan government official told Reuters. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 11 June, 2002: An Egyptian man was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison for attempting to carry out acts of espionage for Israel. Magdi Anwar Tawfiq repeated earlier claims made in court that he wanted to "communicate information about the Lockerbie attack and another plane explosion." "I want to show that the culprits are Palestinians and not Libyans," he told journalists from his cage. He said he had decided to contact the Israelis "because the Jewish lobby in the United States is the strongest and the most likely to pressure Washington to lead a detailed investigation, resulting in a lifting of pressure on Tripoli." [AFP]
Tuesday, 11 June, 2002: Turkey has appealed to Libya not to execute two Turkish nationals sentenced to death for murder, the state-run Anatolian news agency said on Monday. It said Turkish diplomats had appealed to Libya's ambassador in Ankara and to officials in Tripoli to call off the execution of Selim Aslan and Yunuz Ozkan, convicted of murdering a Libyan national. Turkish Justice Minister Hikmet Turk had also written to his Libyan counterpart. [Reuters]

Monday, 10 June, 2002: Nelson Mandela is to visit a Glasgow prison to meet Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing. The Scottish Executive and Strathclyde Police said arrangements were in place for the former South African president's arrival on Monday. Al-Megrahi (photo) was convicted last year of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie. Mr Mandela is keen to see the conditions under which the Libyan intelligence agent is being held at the jail. [BBC]
Monday, 10 June, 2002: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi met on Saturday with Louis Farrakhan, the leader of Nation of Islam in America. Farrakhan informed Qadhafi during the meeting that he is preparing to launch a campaign for peace in the Middle East. [JANA]
Sunday, 9 June, 2002: Libya, one of the main architects behind the African Union, is angry at being left out of an ambitious recovery plan for the continent, diplomats said on Saturday. South Africa has spearheaded the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) with Nigeria, Algeria and Senegal, in a group now known as "the powerful G4" (group of four). NEPAD is to become the economic policy of the African Union, which will be launched in South Africa in July. "Libya has let it be known that it is not happy at being excluded when it was a major force behind the creation of the AU," an African ambassador said, adding that explanations by some ministers that Libya was still largely isolated internationally had gone down badly with Qadhafi. [Reuters]
Sunday, 9 June, 2002: Media sources reported that the agenda of the 23rd meeting of Libya's general people's committee held on Thursday had no discussions on a draft resolution relating to Libya's relations with the Arab League. In its Friday's issue, the London based al-Sharq al-Awsat daily said that this is viewed as an official indication on Libya's intention to postpone debating this issue at the meantime in response to the request made by the secretary general of the Arab League Amr Moussa who in May paid a short visit to Libya during which he met with the Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. [Arabic News]


Saturday, 8 June, 2002: Families of Pan Am 103 victims said Friday they will not agree to a Libyan compensation offer until Libya meets U.N. Security Council demands. About 20 family members met with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William Burns and discussed a deal under which Libya would pay $2.7 billion in compensation to the families for the 1988 plane bombing. The compensation payments, amounting to $10 million per family, would be guided by a formula under which funds would be released progressively as U.N. and U.S. sanctions against Libya are lifted. Burns and British officials discussed the issue Thursday in London with Libyan diplomats. [AP]
Saturday, 8 June, 2002: With negotiations suspended between the government of Chad and rebels who have been fighting it, the Chad president turned to Libya for its good offices in finding solutions. Libya brokered a peace agreement last January between the Chad government and the rebels of the Democratic Movement for Justice in Chad (MDJT). In an interview with AFP, Chad's President Idriss Deby cast doubt on whether Libya was continuing to show goodwill as a mediator. The president said the Libyan government seemed to be playing on internal dissension within the MDJT. [AFP]

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Friday, 7 June, 2002: Libyan officials met with representatives of the U.S. and Britain Thursday to discuss Libya's compliance with U.N. resolutions on the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing, including a $2.7 billion compensation offer to the victims' families, the British Foreign Office said. Officials were able to hear details of the compensation offer directly from the Libyan government, but a Foreign Office spokesman declined to say what they had learned. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he called the meeting "constructive" and said he hoped they would continue. [AP]
Friday, 7 June, 2002: Experts are aiming to tap Africa's massive underground resources to tackle the continent's water crisis, the UN said on Wednesday. Geohydrologists from more than 20 countries have conducted the first ever continental survey of enormous underground water pools - known as aquifers - in Africa. The team of experts met in Tripoli, Libya, as part of a project by the UNESCO. The scientists will create the first ever global map and inventory of the aquifers. One huge aquifer - which could fill a pool the size of Germany several hundred metres deep - lies under the desert sands of Libya, Egypt, Chad and Sudan, the UNESCO said. [IRIN]
Friday, 7 June, 2002: As all-out war looms between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has indicated his support for a proposal from New Delhi asking for joint Indo-Pakistani patrols on the borders of the restful territory. [PANA]

Thursday, 6 June, 2002: A top U.S. diplomat will meet Libyan and British officials in London on Thursday to discuss Tripoli's efforts to end sanctions imposed for the Lockerbie plane bombing, a State Department spokesman said. But he had no word on Libya's reported $2.7 billion offer of compensation to families of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing in 1988. Assistant Secretary of State William Burns will represent the U.S. side at the London talks. [Reuters]
Thursday, 6 June, 2002: Seven U.S. senators urged the U.S. administration Wednesday to reject a deal under which Libya would pay $2.7 billion in compensation to families of Pan Am 103 victims if certain conditions are met. Sen. Edward Kennedy and six colleagues outlined their views in a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell. The letter was signed by Kennedy, Jesse Helms, Charles Schumer, Hillary Clinton, Jon Corzine, Robert Torricelli and Barbara Mikulski. [AP]
Thursday, 6 June, 2002: South African President Thabo Mbeki will embark on a two-day state visit to Libya on June 12 to further consolidate bilateral relations between the two countries. Foreign Affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said that Mbeki would be accompanied by his wife Zanele, Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Trade and Industry Minister Alec Erwin as well as the Presidency's Director-General Reverend Frank Chikane. [Xinhua]
Thursday, 6 June, 2002: Former South African President Nelson Mandela in a telephone call informed Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi that he will visit Britain next week to meet Abdelbaset el-Megrahi and make sure that he is in good health. Mandela also expressed his hope that el-Megrahi would be declared innocent as the whole world is now convinced that the verdict had been issued under political pressures and was not based on any legal criteria. [JANA]
Thursday, 6 June, 2002: The U.S. Justice Department proposed new anti-terrorism visa regulations Wednesday to subject tens of thousands of visitors to heavier scrutiny. Officials said the new measures requiring visitors to be fingerprinted and photographed at the border would mostly affect those from Muslim and Middle Eastern counties. U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft is seeking to expand a 1998 rule that requires visitors from Libya, Iraq, Sudan and Iran to register with the government and be fingerprinted and photographed. [AP]
Thursday, 6 June, 2002: Libya has kept the official selling price for its main crude oil grades unchanged in June, trading sources said on Wednesday. The key Es-Sider grade was steady at Dated Brent -80 cents. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 5 June, 2002: A Libyan businessman who helped close a $2.7 billion compensation deal with the families of Pan Am 103 victims said Tuesday that he was acting on behalf of the Libyan business sector that wants to see U.N. and U.S. sanctions lifted. "It was very clear that we represented the Libyan economic structures that will benefit from the lifting of the sanctions," said Mohammed Abdel-Jawad, who led the Libyan negotiating team. James Kreindler, a partner in the New York-based law firm that had been negotiating the case with the Libyans for 11 months, also said the Libyan team was acting on behalf of the legal and business sectors in Libya but that they were clearly authorized by the government to negotiate. [AP]
Wednesday, 5 June, 2002: Security officials at Singapore's international airport seized a submachine gun and five clips of ammunition from a bodyguard traveling with the son of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, police said yesterday. The seizure took place May 25 during routine security checks as Al-Saadi M. al-Qadhafi (photo) and his entourage were about to board a flight to Bangkok. Al-Saadi and his security detail were among a party of at least 15 Libyans on their way to Seoul to watch the World Cup soccer tournament. [The Washington Times]
Wednesday, 5 June, 2002: Nelson Mandela is expected to fly to Britain this week for a compassionate meeting with the Libyan agent serving a 20-year sentence in a Scottish prison for his part in the Lockerbie bombing. The former South African President is known to have sympathy for Abdelbaset al-Megrahi (photo), who was jailed for his part in the terrorist outrage which killed 270 people. Mr Mandela is keen to reciprocate the support he received from Libya during the 27 years he was a political prisoner of South Africa's apartheid regime. [The Independent]
Wednesday, 5 June, 2002: Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co. said Tuesday it has won a 200 million dollar order to build a gas plant in Libya. The South Korean firm said it would build the refinery in Wafa, south of Tripoli, for AGIP. The civil engineering firm has been fighting huge debts since it was spun off from the collapsed Daewoo group in October 2000. [AFP]


Tuesday, 4 June, 2002: A Libyan court has repeated charges that six Bulgarian medical staff and a Palestinian provoked an AIDS epidemic through tainted blood products, the Bulgarian foreign ministry said on Monday. An examining court in Benghazi charged the medical staff with "provoking an AIDS epidemic through the use of contaminated products", after 393 Libyan children were found to have been infected. The announcement launched proceedings which could lead to a new trial, or a ruling that there is insufficient evidence for the case to proceed. [AFP]
Tuesday, 4 June, 2002: Government delegates and energy experts from the United States and 31 African countries met on Monday in Morocco to promote business and technology partnerships in the energy sector. U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham and energy ministers from such key oil producers as Algeria, Libya and Nigeria attended the two-day meeting organised by the U.S. Energy Department and the Moroccan Energy and Mining Ministry. The first two such U.S.-African meetings were held in Arizona in 1999 and in Durban, S. Africa in 2000. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 4 June, 2002: The Board of directors of Pak-Libya Holding Company Limited have approved financing of US$6.59 million for seven projects. A company statement said that the 62nd Board meeting held in Karachi last week was chaired by Nagmeddin Mokhtar and attended by Khalid Sharwani; Ramadan Haggagi and Dr. Ashfaque Khan . The company stated that Pak-Libya has sanctioned a total of US$10.28 million for 18 projects since January this year. The projects are in the textile, chemical, cement, fertilizer, financial and energy sectors. [Asia Pulse]
Tuesday, 4 June, 2002: Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore left Tripoli Monday for home after a two-day visit during which he held a series of talks with Libyan leader Qadhafi. [PANA]
Monday, 3 June, 2002: Call him what you will - maverick, hero, desert recluse, mercurial, state terrorist - Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi is a survivor. With a reported offer on the table of $10 million each to the families bereaved in the Lockerbie explosion, he is on the way to fulfilling the demands made on him by the United Nations, the United States and Britain. Colonel Qadhafi is about to be repackaged, cleaned up and ready for the outside world again. [BBC]
Monday, 3 June, 2002: A group of Sudanese migrants trying to reach Libya have died after losing their way in the desert, a government statement published on Sunday said. The statement said 45 people died as they were headed to the border with Libya. The statement warned other Sudanese against making the trip to Libya, saying they could suffer the same fate. [Reuters]
Sunday, 2 June, 2002: A Western body specialised in assessing political and economic risks around the world has classified the UAE as one of the countries having the lowest risks. The UAE was given 79.32 points in the Euromoney 100-point risk indicator. Other Arab countries which earned more than 50 points were Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt. Members obtaining between 10 and 30 points included Djibouti, Sudan, Mauritania, Libya and Somalia. [Gulf News]
Sunday, 2 June, 2002: A senior official of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on Saturday ruled out staging an Islamic summit on the Palestinian issue. "Contacts between Islamic leaders show there is no enthusiasm for holding the summit," the official told AFP. Qatar, current OIC chair, has come out in favour of holding a special summit on Israel's military offensive in the Palestinian territories, a call that was also supported by Libya and Yemen. [AFP]


Saturday, 1 June, 2002: Australia is on the brink of ending a 15-year suspension of diplomatic relations with Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's regime in Libya, amid mounting concern that the freeze is starting to hurt several major companies active in the region. Government sources have confirmed that a proposal to normalise relations has been presented to Libya in the past two weeks via the Australian Ambassador in Cairo, who is awaiting a response. "We don't want to be left behind or see Australia commercially disadvantaged," one senior official said. [Financial Review]
Saturday, 1 June, 2002: A team of Libyan beef experts arrived in Zimbabwe yesterday to work with a local company, Farirai Quality Foods, in implementing an agreement under which Zimbabwe will start exporting 5000 tonnes of beef worth $907,5 million for nine months. A Farirai Quality Foods official said that the team, comprising four meat inspectors and one Islamic religious leader, would work in Zimbabwe until the contract expired. [The Herald]
Saturday, 1 June, 2002: Football fans stormed the streets in the Libyan capital Tripoli Friday to celebrate Senegal's 1-0 victory over defending champions France at the 2002 World Cup opening match in Seoul, South Korea. [PANA]

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