News and Views [ December 2001 ]

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Monday, 31 December, 2001: Libya slammed the US human rights group Freedom House Sunday for including it on its list of "least-free" countries. Libya was ranked seventh on Freedom House's list of "least-free" states, topped by Afghanistan, Burma and Cuba. The report published on December 24 in Washington contains "false accusations, at least concerning Libya," said Hasuna al-Shawish, a senior official at the foreign ministry in Tripoli. According to the human rights group, 121 out of the world's 192 countries were electoral democracies in 2001. However, only 11 of the 47 nations with an Islamic majority fell into that category. [AFP]
Monday, 31 December, 2001: Here is the list of the Libyan government after Saturday's naming of a new minister for economy and trade:
1. Prime Minister: Mubarak al-Shamekh
2. Deputy Prime Minister: Abdullah al-Badri
3. Deputy Prime Minister for Production: Baghdadi Mahmudi
4. Deputy Prime Minister for Services: Ammar Altaef
5. Minister of Justice and General Security: Mohammed Mosrati
6. Minister for African Unity: Ali Abdel-Salam Triki
7. Foreign Minister: Adel-Rahman Shalgam
8. Finance Minister: Ajili Brini
9. Minister of Economy and Trade: Shokri Mohammed Ghanem. [AFP]

Sunday, 30 December, 2001: Libya's General People's Congress (parliament) has named Shokri Ghanem as the new economy and foreign trade minister, the official Libyan news agency Jana reported. Ghanem replaces Abdessalam Ejuweir. A Congress member said Ghanem had worked in recent years as director of research of OPEC at its headquarters in Vienna. It was the only cabinet change decided by the Congress meeting which ended later on Friday. [Reuters]
Sunday, 30 December, 2001: Libya's parliament expressed concern over the escalating tension between India and Pakistan and appealed to the nuclear neighbors to "resolve their disputes in a friendly way and avoid war." The statement came Friday during the annual conference of the General People's Congress. The statement was made a day after Libyan leader Qadhafi telephoned leaders of India and Pakistan, offering to send an envoy to help ease the crisis. [AP]
Sunday, 30 December, 2001: A Boeing 737-400 of the Afriqiyah airline has an inaugural flight flown from Tripoli to Bamako and back. Afriqiyah, which aims to evolve into a pan-African airline, was recently set up in Libya. It has already started flights to Khartoum, N'djamena and Niamey. Its capital stands at 45 million Libyan dinars ($US70 million), of which 51 percent is held by the State of Libya and 49 percent is held by Libyan, African and foreign shareholders. [PANA]
Saturday, 29 December, 2001: The Libyan daily, Al-Shams on Thursday claimed that "enemy forces" were bent on transforming "the love existing between Muslims and Christians into antagonism." Without naming the so-called enemy forces, the paper urges Muslims and Christians to safeguard that love. In an editorial, it warns Christians and Muslims that it is not in their interest "to fold their arms and remain silent when certain people try to rekindle the flame of animosity and spread resentment and antagonism between Christians and Muslims." [PANA]
Saturday, 29 December, 2001: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has urged India and Pakistan to avoid a military confrontation, the Libyan JANA agency reported Friday. He said he was very worried about the situation, especially as both India and Pakistan possess nuclear arms. In a speech delivered in Syrte, Qadhafi accused unnamed "imperial forces" of being behind the tension between the two nations. He also announced that he would send an envoy, Salem ben Amer, to India and Pakistan. [AFP]
Saturday, 29 December, 2001: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi will fund completion of a mosque in the Ugandan capital left unfinished by former despot Idi Amin when his brutal regime was toppled in 1979, Muslim leaders in Kampala said Friday. The construction of the three-storey mosque is estimated to cost 20 million dollars, Edrisa Kasenene, the secretary general of the Uganda Moslem Supreme Council, told AFP. [AFP]
Friday, 28 December, 2001: The emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad al-Thani, met with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi in the coastal city of Syrte Thursday to discuss a range of issues, the official JANA news agency reported. The two men discussed bilateral relations, as well as Arab and Islamic issues and the Palestinian problem, JANA said. [AFP]
Friday, 28 December, 2001: A delegation representing the family of Imam Musa Sadr met with Iranian leaders earlier in the week to discuss the mysterious disappearance of the Shiite cleric and two other companions during a 1978 visit to Libya. The delegation has met with Iranís supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and President Mohammad Khatami. [The Daily Star]
Friday, 28 December, 2001: Saudi Arabia's oil minister expects the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut production by 1.5 million barrels a day beginning January 1. Ali Naimi told reporters in Cairo Thursday that the cut was likely to last six months. Besides Naimi, the ministers from Libya, UAE, Iran and Iraq on Thursday also predicted the oil production cut. [AP]
Friday, 28 December, 2001: The government of Burkina Faso and Libya's Arab African Financial Company have signed an agreement on construction of a hotel complex with a shopping centre in Ouagadougou. The proposed 33 billion CFA francs (43 million dollars) El-Fateh complex will cover eight hectares. It will include an 11-storey five-star hotel and a shopping centre. Nord-France International will undertake the project in cooperation with local companies. [PANA]
Friday, 28 December, 2001: Three men have been hanged in west Sudan's Darfur region for committing armed robbery and murder, al-Ayam newspaper reported Thursday. Western Sudan has suffered from an outbreak of banditry and highway robbery in recent years, often of vehicles coming to and from neighboring Libya, Chad, and the Central African Republic. [AFP]
Thursday, 27 December, 2001: The General People's Congress , the encounter of the people's cogresses, the people's committees, trade and professional unions, got underway today [Tuesday] at Ouagadougou hall complex in the city of Sirte to formulate the decisions and resolutions of the basic people's congresses in their ordinary annual session for the year 2001. [JANA]
Thursday, 27 December, 2001: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi hailed Wednesday the decision by Central African Republic (CAR) President Patasse to drop legal proceedings against ex-armed forces chief Francois Bozize, who had been wanted for a coup bid. This decision shows that "President Patasse wants to maintain national unity in the CAR." Qadhafi said. [AFP]

Wednesday, 26 December, 2001: Diplomatic sources in Doha said the ruler of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Al Thani will start a tour that will cover Russia, Turkey and Libya. The sources said that Sheikh Hamad's talks with officials in these countries will deal with besides means of supporting bilateral relations, issues relating to the implications of September 11 attacks in the United States, the situation in Afghanistan and the international campaign against terrorism. [Arabic News]
Wednesday, 26 December, 2001: Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has received a message from Chinese president Jiang Zemin expressing Beijing's interest to enhance relations with Tripoli at all levels. A member of the permanent committee of the Chinese Communist Party's political bureau, Shian Shing, delivered the message during a working visit in Libya . [PANA]

Tuesday, 25 December, 2001: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on Sunday met with Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passi, who was in the country to attend the verdict in the trial of six Bulgarians accused of killing Libyan children by infecting them with HIV. The talks centred on "bilateral relations and ways of developing them," the Libyan official news agency JANA said without giving any details or discussing the postponement of the verdict until Feb. 17. [AFP]
Tuesday, 25 December, 2001: The head of Libya's oil Company, Abdelhafidh al-Zelithi met at the weekend in Tunis with the Tunisian Industry Minister Monsef Ben Abdellah. Sources said both sides agreed to intensify their joint ventures, particularly in the supply of Libyan gas to the Tunisian market through the construction of a pipeline, and a joint hydro-carbons project. [PANA]
Tuesday, 25 December, 2001: Libya's Minister for African Unity Ali al-Traiki said Monday that mediators were close to resolving tensions between Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR). Speaking after meeting with Gabon's President Omar Bongo, Triki said: "We are headed towards a negotiated solution." Al-Traiki's visit to Gabon came amid heightened tensions between Chad and the CAR, where Tripoli deployed some 200 troops in the wake of a failed coup. [AFP]
Tuesday, 25 December, 2001: Head of State of Libya Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi met Sunday with Wei Jianxing, member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee. During the meeting, the two exchanged views on bilateral relations and international issues of common concern. "The Libyan people are proud to have China as their friend and expect China to play an even greater role in international affairs," said Qadhafi. [Xinhua]
Tuesday, 25 December, 2001: The Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad (MDJT) appealed Monday evening to Libya, which is mediating between it and N'djamena, to "undertake all the measures needed to settle their dispute". MDJT is an armed movement led by Youssef Togoimi, a former Defence minister, who has been fighting the government since 1998. [PANA]
Tuesday, 25 December, 2001: A Libyan economic delegation, including investors in electrical appliances and maintenance products, is visiting Morocco. Members of the delegation will hold talks with their Moroccan counterparts. The talks would be on implementing recommendations made at the last meeting of the Moroccan-Libyan commission for industry and trade. [PANA]

Monday, 24 December, 2001: According to Al-Hayat newspaper, the Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation announced five new projects in Libya. The corporation requested various Arab investment associations to participate in financing the projects, which have an investment cost of $506.5 million. The projects include a poly-propylene thread manufacturing factory, a gypsum-manufacturing factory and three cement manufacturing factories. [Financial Times]
Monday, 24 December, 2001: Wei Jianxing, member of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, met Saturday in Sirte with Zinati al-Zinati, speaker of the General People's Congress of Libya. Wei said that the CPC and the Chinese government pay special attention to further reinforcing friendship and cooperation with African countries. For his part, al-Zinati said China has, for many years, supported the righteous fight of African countries and other developing countries in protecting national independence and sovereignty. [People's Daily]
Sunday, 23 December, 2001: A Libyan court postponed its verdict Saturday in the case of six Bulgarians and a Palestinian, all doctors and nurses, accused of injecting 393 children with HIV-contaminated blood. It was the second time in four months the judges had postponed their verdict. The chairman of the panel of judges said the postponement was necessary "to review the files of evidence further." The verdict would now be given on Feb. 17, he said. Nine Libyans are also on trial in the case, charged with negligence. The long-running trial began in February 1999. [AP]
Sunday, 23 December, 2001: On the sidelines of the emergency meeting of the Arab foreign ministers held in Cairo on Thursday, Libya's minister for African relations Ali al-Traiki said: "As for the American threats to expand strikes after Afghanistan and to target certain Arab states under the pretext of fighting terrorism, the Arab position is clear. We do condemn terrorism and stand firmly with the international community and call for convening an international conference to define terrorism and to embark on an international act to fight it." [Arabic News]
Sunday, 23 December, 2001: Sayed Kamal Shah, Member, Federal Executive Council, Pakistan Peoples Party, has said that the United States should not carry out its campaign against terrorism only on the military front rather it should look into the reasons why a number of Islamic states have supported it in its war against terrorism. He said there was a time when Pakistan, Iran, Libya, Iraq, Somalia and Sudan were in favour of the U.S. but due to its wrong foreign policies and its support to the terrorists these countries had become the enemies of the U.S. [FP]
Saturday, 22 December, 2001: Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, the Libyan leader, has notified diplomats in the Netherlands that he is ready to sign an international treaty banning chemical weapons. Qadhafi's decision followed private consultations with intermediaries for the West. Among them were Nelson Mandela and Prince Bandar ibn Sultan, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. Jose Bustani, the Brazilian diplomat charged with implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention, said Wednesday from his headquarters at The Hague that he had received a private commitment from Libya that it would sign the accord in the coming weeks. [Herald Tribune]
Saturday, 22 December, 2001: Chad's northern rebel Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad (MDJT) has ended a congress in Libya, where it was assured of Colonel Qadhafi's backing, the daily Le Progres reported on Friday. Some Chadian officials confirmed that the rebel congress was known to have taken place in Libya and expressed concern about it. President Idriss Deby's government has issued no official comment. The paper said that the MDJT, gathered at Sebha in Libya, had reaffirmed the leadership of former defence minister Youssouf Togoimi and named a new second vice-president, Chad's former ambassador to Libya Adoum Togoi. [SAPA]
Friday, 21 December, 2001: Libya has applied to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), trade officials said Thursday. The application was lodged earlier this month and should be brought up for inclusion on the agenda of the WTO general council early next year. The application looks certain to meet strong opposition from the United States, which maintains trade sanctions against the regime of Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, accusing it of involvement in international terrorism. [AP]
Friday, 21 December, 2001: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has threatened to cut fuel supplies to Zimbabwe over what Tripoli says is failure by the Harare authorities to honour an agreement hammered by the two countries. Sources said Tripoli threatened to stop fuel supplies to Harare after some Zimbabwean politicians questioned the move by President Mugabe to offer Tripoli a stake in several state-run firms in exchange for fuel. Mugabe offered the Libyans shareholding in local firms such as the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe. [Financial Gaztte]
Friday, 21 December, 2001: A Libyan court was expected to announce its verdict on Saturday in a trial of six Bulgarians and a Palestinian charged with deliberately infecting hundreds of Libyan children with the HIV virus. The six Bulgarians, in prison for nearly three years, may be sentenced to death if convicted in the first trial of its kind in Libya involving foreigners. All the defendants pleaded not guilty, as did nine Libyans who face similar charges. [Reuters]
Friday, 21 December, 2001: Arab states will underline their rejection of any 'Israeli-imposed' peace settlement, at a Cairo meeting of foreign ministers. "The meeting will look for a clear Arab stand, affirming a refusal to comply with Israel's attempts to impose a peace as it wills," Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa told reporters. "In the face of Israeli obstinacy, it is time that the Arabs took a strong position," said Ali al-Traiki, Libya's African affairs minister, on his arrival in Cairo. "The (US-led) coalition against terrorism also means justice for the Palestinian people," he added. [Oman Daily Observer]
Friday, 21 December, 2001: Libya's Secretary for African unity Ali al-Traiki has discussed in telephone calls with the foreign ministers of Tunisia, Morocco and Jordan on Tuesday evening developments of conditions in the Arab region and "the war of extermination against the Palestinian people by the Israeli occupation forces." During these contacts, the Arab ministers stressed the need of collective Arab moves to withstand these developments and "support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in confrontation of the Zionist terrorism." [Arabic News]
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Thursday, 20 December, 2001: Libyan-European trader Tamoil has won a contract to supply Tunisia with 600,000 tonnes of gas oil and 160,000 tonnes of jet fuel in 2002, a company source said on Tuesday. Tamoil will supply an average of two or three 18,000-24,000 tonne cargoes a month of 0.8 parts per million gas oil, to state Tunisian refiner STIA between December and January 2002, the source said, but declined to give price details. [Reuters]
Thursday, 20 December, 2001: The president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, is in Libya for talks with Colonel Qadhafi on possible further aid to help ease Zimbabwe's crippling fuel shortages. The Zimbabwean Energy Minister said that under a deal agreed earlier this year, Libya was supplying 70% of Zimbabwe's fuel requirements. Traditional suppliers such as Kuwait have cut off oil because of Zimbabwe's acute shortage of the hard currency needed to pay for it. [BBC]
Thursday, 20 December, 2001: Italian coach Scolio is expected next Wednesday in Tripoli to take charge of the Libyan national football team, sports officials said in Tripoli Wednesday. Scolio coached the Tunisian national team during the 2002 World Cup qualifying matches, which enabled Tunisians to win their ticket for next year's tournament in Japan and South Korea. But Tunisian football federation dismissed him following the qualifiers . [PANA]
Thursday, 20 December, 2001: A Libyan exile may be considered to end the impasse over detained Muslim leader Nur Misuari, whom Malaysia wants to return to the Philippines. "That was one of the many options that was considered," said Arroyo's National Security Adviser Roilo Golez. "It was thought that Libya may be willing to become his host." However, Golez told DZRH radio, "there is no confirmed offer (from Libya)." Misuari, a former separatist guerrilla leader in the Philippines, fled to Malaysia last month. [AFP]
Thursday, 20 December, 2001: Nearly four months after a Caribbean delegation travelled to Libya on an aid-seeking trip, a British government official has questioned the wisdom of the visit and expressed doubt that the promised economic aid will materialize. John White, Britain's ambassador to Barbados said: "Who the governments of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States talk to is up to them. But we noted the fact that they talked and they have come back with great promises and, as far as I know, promises that remain unfulfilled." [IPS]
Thursday, 20 December, 2001: The European Union wishes that Algeria will join "the very important" initiative of Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, and Jordan to set up a free trade zone (FTZ), European Commission spokesman said Wednesday. The four countries signed last May in Agadir, Morocco, a declaration setting up the FTZ. The free trade zone will be extended to six other Arab countries, namely Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. [Arabic News]
Thursday, 20 December, 2001: Seeking to thwart potential terrorists, the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation to crack down on aliens who overstay their visas or counterfeit them. The measure would require the State Department within two years to issue tamper-resistant "biometric" visas that are readable by machines. The measure would also bar nationals of countries that Washington has on its list of "state sponsors" of terrorism, such as Libya and Iraq, unless it has been determined that the aliens do not post a threat. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 19 December, 2001: Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passy is due in Libya on Wednesday to discuss the trial of six Bulgarians who have been accused of deliberately infecting nearly 400 children with the HIV virus. Mr Passy is expected to meet his Libyan counterpart Abdelrahman Shalgam ahead of a court ruling due on Saturday. A Palestinian doctor and nine Libyans have also been charged in the case. All have pleaded not guilty. Mr Passy is also expected to hold a meeting with Seif al-Islam, the son of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and chairman of the Qadhafi Foundation, who has agreed to be an observer at the trial. [BBC]
Wednesday, 19 December, 2001: Zimbabwean President Mugabe left for Libya Tuesday for trade talks which officials said would centre on oil imports. In August, Libya and Zimbabwe signed a one year 360 million US dollar fuel import deal, under which Zimbabwe was to obtain Libyan oil and pay for it in local currency and a variety of agricultural goods. Mugabe is leading a large delegation of government officials and businessmen, mainly from the energy sector. [PANA]
Wednesday, 19 December, 2001: Islamic states lag behind the rest of the world when it comes to freedom, with a non-Islamic country three times more likely to be democratic, a report on worldwide human rights showed Tuesday. The Washington-based Freedom House in its annual report, found 75 percent of non-Islamic nations were electoral democracies, compared with 23 percent of Islamic states. This year, the group tagged 18 Islamic countries "partly free" and 28 "not free." The latter group included Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan [Reuters]

Tuesday, 18 December, 2001: Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi of Libya and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat held a telephone discussion Sunday on latest developments in the Middle East, including the Israeli siege on Palestinian towns and villages. The two leaders reaffirmed their readiness to initiate concerted action to support the Palestinian resistance with a view to ending "Israeli terrorist operations." Qadhafi also exchanged views on the matter with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. In the exchange Mubarak briefed Qadhafi on discussions initiated by Cairo with the U.S. and the European Union aimed at solving the Palestinian issue. [PANA]
Tuesday, 18 December, 2001: Investors in the Irish oil company Bula Resources have been plunged into confusion after the Libyan backer of a £1 million share placing said the deal was not agreed. One Nine Investment International, a company controlled by the Qadhafi International Foundation for Charitable Societies, issued a statement to the London Stock Exchange on Friday, effectively denying that it had acquired 50 million shares in Bula. A spokesman for Bula said that One Nine's statement did not contradict Bula's original announcement because the placing was "conditional". She was unable to say what conditions needed to be satisfied. [The Times]
Tuesday, 18 December, 2001: The just ended Zimbabwean People's Conference in Victoria Falls has paid special tribute to Nigeria and Libya for their political, diplomatic and economic support as Zimbabwe pursues the land redistribution program. Libya defied attempts by the British and other European countries to stop the supply of fuel to Zimbabwe and influence supplies to hike fuel prices by supplying fuel to the country at a price lower than its international price. [Xinhua]
Calendars Vary in Qadhafi's Libya

Monday, 17 December, 2001: A Libyan national taken into custody by police in Peshawar, Pakistan, has been missing under mysterious circumstances and his family members have been looking for him. The missing Libyan, Faraj Younes, has been married to a Pakistani female and is having three children from her. According to his documents he came to Pakistan in 1987. He claimed that his father was a colonel in Libya, but as he was having ideological differences with his government, he (Faraj) came to Pakistan. He was released from Central Prison in Peshawar after a local court allowed his bail petition on Oct 22. From the entrance of the prison he was picked by officials of East Cantt Police Station. Later on, he was handed over to a sensitive intelligence agency, following which his whereabouts are not known. Central Prison sources said a number of other Arab nationals detained in the prison went missing in the same fashion. [Dawn]
Monday, 17 December, 2001: The decline in world crude oil prices since September will cut OPEC's net oil export revenue to $197 billion this year, down 19% from a year ago, according to a U.S. government forecast. The Energy Information Administration forecasts OPEC oil income will fall a further 14% in 2002, to $169 billion. Libya's oil export revenue forecast: $11.0 billion (2001) -- $9.2 billion (2002) -- change of -16%. [Dow Jones]

Sunday, 16 December, 2001: Libya recently witnessed a political trial the likes of which it had never seen before. Forty-seven senior government officials were tried in an exercise that generated a great deal of interest among Western economists. These economists saw the trial as an important step towards economic openness and political reform in Libya. But experts do not feel enthusiastic unless the campaign is accompanied by widespread political reforms designed to create legislative, executive, and judicial institutions. Libya has not had such institutions for 32 years. The Jamahiriya system doesn't feature any conventional political structures that can define the necessary rules for governance and the allocation of political authorities. [The Daily Star]

Saturday, 15 December, 2001: The Qadhafi Foundation has secured the release of 177 Libyan prisoners. The foundation said in a statement late Thursday that the High Council for the Judiciary has favourably responded to its request. The statement said that following the foundation's efforts, several Libyan prisons were improving their methods and services. It reiterated its determination to pursue its objectives regarding people's right to life, freedom, justice and dignity. [PANA]
Saturday, 15 December, 2001: Irish oil company Bula Resources has denied any links with Colonel Qadhafi's Libyan government following the placing of shares in organisations with strong Libyan links. Last week, the Qadhafi Foundation took a 2% shareholding in Bula through a share placing. A statement from Bula today said: One Nine Investment, a company wholly owned by the Qadhafi Foundation in Libya, does not have any links to any government authorities. [Yahoo]

Friday, 14 December, 2001: Austrian oil group OMV AG said on Thursday it and its joint venture partners had made a substantial oil discovery in the Murzuk Basin in Libya. It said that flowrates of up to 2,286 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day had been reported during tests on the well. OMV said that preliminary evaluations indicated that over 250 million barrels of reserves had been found at block NC-186, which is some 800 km (497 miles) south of Tripoli. [Reuters]
Friday, 14 December, 2001: Shares in Bula Resources soared by almost 74% as the Dublin market digested news that the mining company had placed shares to raise cash to fund oil field exploration in Libya. One Nine Investment is one of the major investors in the placing. The company is wholly owned by The Qadhafi International Charitable Foundation. Bula's technical director William Lowry confirmed that the foundation included members of Qadhafi's family, but said he was not sure it was a registered charity as might be understood in Ireland. [Ireland Plus]
Othman el-Barrani's Moon Sighting Home Page:

Thursday, 13 December, 2001: U.S. Federal immigration authorities arrested nine people Wednesday as part of a crackdown on Middle Eastern students suspected of violating the terms of their visas by not being in school. None of those arrested is suspected of involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks. Agents sought to interview students born in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Yemen. Agents began the crackdown at 5 a.m., visiting more than a dozen homes. Nine men and women were arrested, including the brother of one student. [AP]
Thursday, 13 December, 2001: The global economy will eke out 1.4 percent growth in 2002 and U.S. real interest rates will stay negative in the first half of the year, a survey released on Thursday said. The annual "country by country" report from the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed more than 180 nations. The Middle East and north African region will see 2.4 percent growth, the survey said, with Iraq and Sudan leading the gains. Kuwait, Libya, Saudi Arabia and UAE will be harder hit by efforts to curb oil production. [Reuters]
Thursday, 13 December, 2001: Libya and the republic of Saint Marino have stressed their desire to establish bilateral diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level as soon as possible. The minutes of meetings signed by Muhammad Ali al-Mesrati the secretary for justice in Libya and the minister of justice in Saint Marino, declared on Tuesday in Tripoli, stressed strengthening cooperation between the two friendly countries in political and economic fields. [Arabic News]
Wednesday, 12 December, 2001: Dublin-based mining company Bula chairman Albert Reynolds has consolidated his links with Libyan leader Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, shaking hands on a deal that could make Bula's fortune. The Irish resources group announced that it is launching a share placement aimed at raising 1.38 million euros ($1.25 million), which would go toward developing its interests in Libya. The group said it is placing 77 million new shares, of which 50 million have been placed with Libyan group One Nine Investment International. One Nine is wholly owned by the Qadhafi Charitable Foundation, which is headed up by Qadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam. []
The Libyan League for Human Rights:
Letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Tuesday, 11 December, 2001: Libya is looking for trade opportunities with India in the field of information technology [IT] and railways in the near future. "Next month we are likely to see a breakthrough in these areas at government levels," Saif al-Islam, son of the Libyan ruler Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and "heir apparent", said Friday. Saif al-Islam, who is chairman of Qadhafi International Foundation of Charity Associations, said, "Our presence in India will be permanent and continuous feature and we shall carry out our activities throught Indian NGos". [Asia Pulse]
Tuesday, 11 December, 2001: Nigeria and Libya have earmarked N1.2 billion for the provision of healthcare delivery in underdeveloped countries of the G77, said the Director of South-South Healthcare programme. Dr. Amadu Ali said the package was part of the commitment towards assisting needy countries in the Southern hemisphere. He said Nigeria and Libya would contribute $5.1 million each, about 50 per cent of their commitment towards the scheme. [This Day]

Monday, 10 December, 2001: Libya looks set to become the final link in a vast railway network connecting the whole of North Africa. Speaking in the capital Tripoli, an unnamed Libyan official has told the local press that the country is proposing to build two tracks. The first will run along the Mediterranean coast, linking Libya's western border with Tunisia with its eastern border with Egypt. The second will run southwards linking Libya with Chad and Niger. [BBC]
Monday, 10 December, 2001: Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, Head of Qadhafi International Foundation (QIF) delivered a message from Qadhafi to President Musharraf and also conveyed Libya's support and understanding for Pakistan's courageous decision to join the international coalition in the fight against terrorism. Musharraf expressed appreciation for the efforts by QIF in mitigating the consequences of the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. [The News Int.]
Monday, 10 December, 2001: The U.S. on Friday forced the break-up of a germ warfare conference without new measures to toughen an international ban, angering its European allies. "They have fired a missile at the conference. We are deeply disappointed," one senior European diplomat said. At the review conference U.S. Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control Bolton said Iraq and North Korea had developed biological weapons and Iran had probably done so. Libya and Syria might be in a position to produce small quantities of such weaponry. [Reuters]

Sunday, 9 December, 2001: Special envoy to Libyan president and president of Qadhafi Foundation for Charity Associations, Saif Al-Islam on Saturday demanded general amnesty for the innocent Arabs at present stuck up in Afghanistan. Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad, he demanded that Taliban leader Mulla Omar and Osama bin Laden be tried in the International Court of Justice. Answering to a question about asylum of Osama and Al-Qaeda leaders in any country including Libya, he said these people had been declared terrorists by the international community, so there was no question of any leniency being shown to them. [Dawn]
Sunday, 9 December, 2001: Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has called for a new educational system capable of responding to the current era of high technology and rapid flow of information. Qadhafi was addressing university rectors and heads of institutions of higher learning, who had gathered in Tripoli to prepare the second Libyan national conference slated for February 2002. The Libyan leader also stressed the need to replace outdated equipment with modern ones currently being used throughout the world. [PANA]
Sunday, 9 December, 2001: Libya will finance the construction of the Islamic Center of New Delhi and the rehabilitation of the prestigious Shahi Mosque in central New Delhi. The decisions were announced by Saif Al-Islam al-Qadhafi. Saif Al-Islam, who has just wound up a five-day visit to India, also announced that his foundation will finance other social and cultural projects, including the awarding of 300 scholarships to Indian students and the construction of a hospital in Deoband. During his stay in New Delhi, Saif Al-Islam conferred with foreign affairs minister, Jaswant Singh and Ms. Sonia Gandhi, President of the Congress Party. [Arabic News]

Saturday, 8 December, 2001: The Libyan leader, Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has exchanged views by telephone with Presidents Patasse of Central African Republic (CAR) and Koumba Yalla of Guinea-Bissau, officials in Tripoli disclosed Friday. They said Patasse informed Qadhafi on the African mini-summits held in Khartoum and Libreville on the crisis in the CAR. [PANA]

Friday, 7 December, 2001: Libya's airline, Afriqiyah, made a maiden flight to Niamey, Niger, this week, the government daily Le Sahel reported Thursday. The paper said the airline intends to link various member states of the Sahel and Sahara Community. Afriqiyah takes over the Libyan Arab Airlines that previously served Niger, and its shareholders have agreed to provide 40 percent of the capital intended to create Air Niger international, it added. [PANA]
Friday, 7 December, 2001: The latest suicide attacks against Israel spurred U.S. President Bush to speed up his crackdown on the Hamas and Hezbollah money trail - and some strategists now say he won't stop there. Now Army staff have drafted a global anti-terror strategy that points to Lebanon, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, the Philippines and Indonesia as potential Phase 2 stops in the war on terror, a source said yesterday. [New York Post]
Friday, 7 December, 2001: Chadian President Idriss Deby and Libyan leader, Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on Wednesday exchanged views by telephone on the mini-African summits convened recently to find a solution to the crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR). Libyan rushed troops to CAR to help President Patasse in the wake of an abortive putsch on 28 October. [PANA]
Friday, 7 December, 2001: As part of of its humanitarian role and its support for Muslims everywhere, the Qadhafi International Foundation for Charity Organisations has offered humanitarian assistance for Muslims in India in the form of medicines, blankets and clothes for the orphanage in the city of Murad Abad. The chairman of the foundation handed over the humanitarian assistance and had Ramadan breakfast with Muslims in Murad Abad. [JANA]
Friday, 7 December, 2001: The U.S. State Department said on Thursday it had put 39 groups, charities and companies on a newly created "terrorist exclusion list," giving authorities the power to deport members or deny them visas. The list includes groups and companies from Afghanistan , Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, N. Ireland, Pakistan, the Philippines, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Uganda and Yemen. [Reuters]
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Thursday, 6 December, 2001: In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Ronald Noble, a former U.S. law enforcement official and the first American to head Interpol, said the agency is underfunded and underutilized. Noble says that some in the United States and Europe say that when it comes to terrorism, they don't want to share information with countries like Libya, Iraq and Iran, all of whom are Interpol members. And he notes that Washington and European nations can benefit greatly from information from countries like Libya - which, he said, was the first country to request an Interpol "red" notice on bin Laden, years ago. [AP]
Thursday, 6 December, 2001: Opposition parties in the Central African Republic (CAR) have rejected a plan to send a regional peacekeeping force to the country, accusing Libya of devising the move to consolidate its military presence there. The opposition in the CAR says it is an operation mounted by Libya, which earlier this year sent its own troops to support President Patasse following a military coup attempt. [BBC]
Thursday, 6 December, 2001: U.S. President Bush held out the possibility yesterday that the war on terrorism could eventually lead U.S. military forces to targets beyond Afghanistan. While Bush administration officials have repeatedly said they are keeping all options open, Bush's remarks come as success in Afghanistan appears likely. Some defense officials advocate action against terrorists in Yemen, Sudan and Libya, though the governments of all three have taken steps to move away from support of terrorists. [LA Times]
Wednesday, 5 December, 2001: Rebel soldiers loyal to Central African Republic (CAR) former army chief clashed with government forces over the weekend, killing at least 12 people, military officials said Monday. News of the fighting came as regional leaders met in Sudan to press for peace in CAR. Libya sent troops to defend President Patasse during the May coup attempt, and again last month. Libyan forces remain at the president's residence in Bangui. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 4 December, 2001: Libya has categorically denied press reports that it was involved in uranium transactions. An international radio station, as well as a former official of the Mobutu regime said Tripoli was involved in uranium transactions. In a statement issued Sunday in Tripoli, the Libyan minister of African Unity described the allegations as "clumsy attempts by intelligence services to implicate Libya in order to serve the interests of anti-African forces." [PANA]
Tuesday, 4 December, 2001: Libya has postponed a tender to buy white sugar and rescheduled it for January 2002, traders said on Monday. "It looks like they will tender in January and look for shipment in January or February. They are running down their stocks at the moment, which is dangerous," one trader said. Traders said Libya was flexible with origins and could take Brazils, especially with a possible squeeze on EU sugar availability in the first quarter of 2002. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 4 December, 2001: A new airline company, Afriqiyah, was launched Sunday night in Libya with a Boeing 737-400 making a Tripoli-Khartoum-Tripoli flight with 75 passengers on board. The company's symbol, 9-9-99, alludes to the date on which the African Union was proclaimed in Syrt, 500 km east of Tripoli. The new airline so far has a share capital of 45 million Libyan dinars (about US$70 million), 51 percent of which is held by the Libyan State. [PANA]
Tuesday, 4 December, 2001: Afghanistan opposition forces claimed to have captured half of Kandahar airport after fierce fighting with Taliban troops. "We have now taken half of the airport," said Gul Lali, a key lieutenant to former Kandahar governor Gul Agha. Lali said that their forces had killed 11 foreign Taliban fighters. "These were 11 of bin Laden's men, from Egypt, Libya and Saudi Arabia," he said. [AFP]
Tuesday, 4 December, 2001: The heads of state and representatives of five African countries decided to create a regional peacekeeping force for the Central African Republic (CAR) during a summit in the Sudanese capital, officials said. The force will be made up of soldiers from the 16 nations in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), according to the resolution adopted by the CAR, Sudan, Chad, Libya and Zambia. [AFP]
Tuesday, 4 December, 2001: A Jordanian military court on Monday condemned five men to death, including the notorious Abu Nidal, for the 1994 assassination of a Jordanian diplomat. Four of the five convicted killers, including Abu Nidal, were sentenced in absentia. Those convicted in absentia, besides Abu Nidal, were: Uqab Al-Faqha who lives in Iraq; Jamal Darwish, also known as Rashed Attiyah, who lives in Libya; and Ihsan al-Rathwan who lives in the West Bank. [AP]

Monday, 3 December, 2001: Five men including a former German intelligence agent are to be tried in Germany for illegal arms trading with Libya between 1991 and 1996, German weekly Focus reports in its Monday issue. The five, two Germans, two Austrians and a Pole, are accused of violating a UN embargo with Libya and breaking German export laws by supplying Tripoli with materials to manufacture medium range missiles. The trial is expected to begin in 2002. [AFP]
Monday, 3 December, 2001: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has blamed colonialism for the multiple crises that have plunged the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) into unrest. Qadhafi told a delegation of academics and civil society representatives of Congo's regions that "as Africans, we have huge difficulties to get the DRC out of this explosive situation," adding that "the U.S. masterminded this conspiracy and manipulated certain groups to carry it out." [PANA]

Sunday, 2 December, 2001: Water Board sources have confirmed that heavy rains fell over the northwest of Libya during the last two days. The sources told Jana that a visit conducted by the task force of the board to a number of dams including the Leptis Magna, Kaam and various other valleys confirmed that these valleys and dams erected there received large quantities of water. The Leptis valley dam gathered around 5 million cubic metres of water. [JANA]
Saturday, 1 December, 2001: The Libyan paper, Al-Shams, has suggested that Muslims around the world shun arms and prosecute a new form of Jihad. In an editorial Thursday, the Tripoli-based paper asserted that "it would be to no avail for Muslims around the world to take up arms," as this would "only confound the crisis." Al-Shams noted that at a time when "the others" had succeeded in cloning human embryos, "our Ulemas are still plunged in the puzzles of Halal and Haram (the lawful and the illegal) and keep wondering whether Zakat (charity) from genetically engineered seeds was proper." According to Al-Shams, whereas it is all too easy to pick up a weapon and declare a Jihad, today's war is one of sciences, technologies and knowledge. [PANA]
Saturday, 1 December, 2001: Libya has raised the official selling price of most of its crude oils for December lifting by 15 cents, trading sources said on Friday. Es-Sider grade rose 15 cents to Dated -10 cents and Amna was raised by 10 cents to Dated -90 cents. [Reuters]

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