News and Views [ December 2002 ]

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Tuesday, 31 December, 2002: Responding to recent reports questioning Ethiopia's capacity to host the coming African Union (AU) summit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that based on the experience Ethiopia had in organizing international meetings, preparations were already finalized. Diplomatic sources told Addis Tribune that if Libyan President Qadhafi was coming to attend the AU summit in February, he might bring an excessive number of bodyguards and officials. The Libyan leader had an entourage of 750 people and 60 cars when he went to Durban summit. And hundreds of cars and guards followed him at the AU summit in Togo. [Addis Tribune]

Monday, 30 December, 2002: Arab leaders looking for a way to avoid a US-Iraq war are considering the possibility of pressing Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to step down and go into exile. While newspapers have carried reports of offers made to Saddam to flee to Egypt or Libya, even Cuba or North Korea, no government has commented officially on the prospect. [AP]
Monday, 30 December, 2002: The first gathering of African women which concluded its meetings in Tripoli, Libya, called for investing available potentials in Africa in order to improve the standards of African women and to revitalize their role in various fields. [Arabic News]
Monday, 30 December, 2002: The reconstruction of the Ugandan Toro kingdom palace destroyed in 1979 is in the final touches. Kingdom premier Steven Nyabongo said on Saturday the contractor would be handing over the building on December 30. The reconstruction has been funded by Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi who undertook to rebuild the palace when he attended Toro's king coronation celebrations in July 2001 . [New Vision]
Sunday, 29 December, 2002: Libya's increasingly unpopular expeditionary force in the Central African Republic, deployed to rescue President Patasse from a May 2001 coup attempt, returned home Saturday evening. An AFP correspondent saw the landing of the military transport and heard a welcome home speech by African Unity Minister Ali al-Triki, but was unable to see how many troops had been flown back. Officials said the whole of Libya's 80-strong contingent had been evacuated, but diplomats have put the size of the force at at least 200. [AFP]
Sunday, 29 December, 2002: On return to Tripoli, the head of a yearlong peacekeeping mission in the troubled Central African Republic, Major Abdel Baset al-Lafi, told The Associated Press that none of the 81 Libyans deployed to the coup-plagued African nation were killed during the mission. Since being deployed in May 2001 to protect presidential palaces, Libyan forces saved the country's president, Ange-Felix Patasse, from three coup attempts. [AP]
Sunday, 29 December, 2002: Gunmen shot and killed a Libyan soldier and his female companion and seriously wounded a second Libyan in the Central African Republic's capital Bangui on Friday. The three were travelling in a taxi when it was stopped by several gunmen who then opened fire on the vehicle after asking the woman to get out, witnesses told AFP. "The woman refused, choosing to die with her lover," one witness said. "The gunmen opened fire, killing one of the Libyans and his girlfriend and wounding the other one." The killings took place at around 3.00 am (0400 GMT), according to a Libyan diplomat contacted by telephone. [AFP]
Sunday, 29 December, 2002: Libya denied it is planning to boycott the upcoming Arab summit in Bahrain. Libya's African Unity minister, Ali al-Triki told "Al-Jazeera" news TV channel Libya will attend the summit but has not yet decided on the level of its representation. On October 24, Libya announced that it is withdrawing from the Arab League to protest the Organization's lack of initiatives to settle crises in the region, mainly the Iraqi and Palestinian issues. [Arabic News]
Sunday, 29 December, 2002: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi received Dr. Yousef al-Garadawi, the Islamic scholar who is currently visiting Libya on the invitation of the World Islamic Call Society. [JANA]
Saturday, 28 December, 2002: The Arab affairs editor in the Libyan Jana news agency has dismissed statements published by al-Jazeera satellite channel which were based on reports by its Cairo correspondent regarding the non participation of Libya in the coming Arab summit in Bahrain. The editor confirmed that the reports were baseless and devoid of any truth. [JANA]
Saturday, 28 December, 2002: Three envoys of Osama bin Laden delivered a message from him this month to the leaders of an Algerian Islamic extremist group, an Algerian newspaper has reported. In its Thursday edition, L'Expression said the emissaries met with Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a leader of the Salafist Group for Call and Combat. The messengers also have met with Muslim fundamentalists along the Algerian border with Libya, Chad and Mali, the newspaper said. [AP]
Friday, 27 December, 2002: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has informed Libya of its decision to release and deport two of its nationals [Mohammad Ramadan and Abdelnaser Faraj], recently accused of threatening to blow up a Jordanian plane, for lack of incriminating evidence. At a meeting held yesterday, Foreign Ministry Undersec-retary Saif Saeed bin Saed conveyed the decision to Libyan Ambassador Abdelhamid Fathi Farahat, who expressed Libya's gratitude to the UAE for the way it had handled the crisis. [Gulf News]
Friday, 27 December, 2002: Libyan Leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi yesterday received Ahmed Maher the Egyptian Foreign Minister, who delivered to him a message from President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. During the meeting, it was re-affirmed that Libya is committed to its stance to withdraw from the Arab League unless the League's charter is activated. [JANA]
Friday, 27 December, 2002: Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on Thursday received Farouk Qaddoumi, Foreign Minister and head of the political Department of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), official sources said in Tripoli. [PANA]

Thursday, 26 December, 2002: Libya made clear this week to Arab League chief Amr Mussa that it would not reconsider its decision to pull out of the 22-member pan-Arab body, Libyan Minister for African Unity Ali al-Triki said on Wednesday. Al-Triki told AFP he informed Mussa on Monday Libya was "maintaining its decision to pull out of the League." Mussa visited Tripoli briefly on Monday in a last-ditch effort to keep Libya from bolting the League. [AFP]
Thursday, 26 December, 2002: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday had phone talks with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi (photo) on Mideast issues, the official MENA news agency reported. During the conversation, the two leaders "exchanged views on a number of Arab and regional issues in light of the current world changes with emphasis on the issues of Palestine and Iraq," MENA said. [Xinhua]
Thursday, 26 December, 2002: Libya rejects claims by Israeli Prime Minister Sharon that Iraqi experts are working in its nuclear industry, the official Jana news agency reported. "We reject the lies that he [Sharon] is in the habit of putting forth," Jana quoted Hassuna al-Shawesh, an under secretary of the foreign ministry, as saying. Israel has never acknowledged its nuclear programme although experts estimate it has around 150 nuclear warheads. Sharon on Tuesday said he had information that Iraqi scientists were working with Libya's nuclear industry. [AFX]

Wednesday, 25 December, 2002: Civil rights groups sued the US government Tuesday to stop future detentions of Middle Eastern men under a new anti-terrorism policy that led to hundreds of arrests of visa holders last week. At least 400 men were arrested for visa violations when immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Sudan went to Immigration offices to register. [AP]
Wednesday, 25 December, 2002: Foreign ministers of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) will be meeting on January 3rd in Algiers. A meeting at the level of ministers delegated for Maghreb affairs in the AMU's five member states ( Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria) will be held just one day before the meeting of the foreign ministers. [Arabic News]

Tuesday, 24 December, 2002: The US Pacific territory of American Samoa has banned nationals from 23 countries unless they have specific permission to visit. Attorney general, Fiti Sunia, said nationals of the banned countries would now need approval from his office before being granted entry permits. The countries are: Afghanistan, ... Libya, ... and Yemen. [News]
Tuesday, 24 December, 2002: Central African Republic Government troops have retaken the town of Bozoum, 384 km northwest of the Central African Republic capital (CAR), Bangui. After the Djiboutian contingent's departure on Thursday, the Sudanese component left the following day. Some Libyan soldiers were also reported to have left Bangui. [UN-IRIN]
Tuesday, 24 December, 2002: Secretary General of the Arab League Amro Musa has arrived in M'aitiga airport, accompanied with a delegation, on a visit to Libya. He was received at the airport by the secretary of the general peoples committee for African Unity. [JANA]

Monday, 23 December, 2002: Jordan's official news agency Petra identified the two Libyans detained in Abu Dhabi on Sunday as Mohammad Ramadan and Abdul Naser Faraj. It said they were transit passengers from Tripoli. "A few minutes before landing in Abu Dhabi one of the Libyan passengers Mohammad Ramadan said they had bombs and planned to hijack the plane," Petra said. The official UAE news agency said that during an argument with a crew member, the disgruntled passengers said that if they had a bomb, they would blow up the plane. [Reuters]
Sunday, 22 December, 2002: Sky marshals seized two passengers on board a Royal Jordanian Airlines plane after they told a flight attendant they were carrying a bomb, CNN reported Sunday. Jordanian and Abu Dhabi authorities were questioning the men at Abu Dhabi airport where the plane landed early on Sunday. No bomb was found. Security officers seized the men, believed to be from Libya, after they told a flight attendant they were going to blow up the plane. [Reuters]
Sunday, 22 December, 2002: The ministerial meeting of the African Union (AU) held last week in Tripoli, Libya, decided that Addis Ababa would be the seat of the AU. Ethiopia's Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin said it was decided at the meeting that Addis would remain the seat of the AU. Mesfin said the campaign conducted by Libya's president Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to take the AU out of Addis had been made ineffective by the meeting in Tripoli. [Addis Tribune]
Sunday, 22 December, 2002: Libya's Tamoil Trading Ltd, which until recently supplied 70% of Zimbabwe's fuel needs, is piling pressure on government to mortgage more state assets before its US$360 million supply deal can be resuscitated, it emerged yesterday. Fuel industry sources said BP/Shell assets in Harare and Gweru may be forcibly acquired and handed over to keep the Libyans happy. Last week's talks between government and Tamoil collapsed after authorities failed to make a commitment to cede more state properties. [Zimbabwe Independent]
Sunday, 22 December, 2002: The Djiboutian contingent of a presidential protection force in the Central African Republic (CAR) is to withdraw on Friday. Composed of about 200 soldiers mostly from Libya, Sudan and Djibouti, the force was sent to CAR following the May 2001 coup attempt. On 2 October, 2002, the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States summit set up a 350-man force with a mandate to protect President Patasse. [UN-IRIN]
Sunday, 22 December, 2002: Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien has articulated Vietnam's desire to expand ties with Libya in all areas, especially in trade and business. Talking to a visiting Libyan parliamentary delegation in Hanoi on Friday, Nien said the two countries share a time-tested friendship and have assisted each other both in past struggles for national independence as well as present efforts for national development. [IRNA]
Saturday, 21 December, 2002: The Libyan Arab African Investment Company (LAAIC) has dropped a US$20 million publishing deal with Mirror proprietor Ibbo Mandaza after he failed to produce a "credible feasibility study". Mandaza denied any links with the LAAIC, but chairman Mustafa Tayeb Khattabi confirmed this week that they had tried to enter into a partnership with him only for them to withdraw due to "feasibility problems". [Zimbabwe Independent]
Saturday, 21 December, 2002: Libyan Oil Minister Abdulhafidh al-Zlitni (photo) said OPEC ministers agreed last week that the group should apply its price band mechanism automatically, triggering an output hike if prices rose. OPEC's basket price leapt above $28, the upper limit of its target range, on Monday and last stood at $29.56. "When we had a meeting last Thursday we agreed that we were going to apply the price band automatically as soon as the conditions for a price band are there," al-Zletni said. [Reuters]
Saturday, 21 December, 2002: The national Anti-Aids week concluded in the Libyan capital Tripoli last night. It was sponsored and organised by the National Centre for the Prevention of Diseases under the slogan "No Discrimination". The Human Rights Society of al-Qadhafi International Foundation for Charitable Societies issued a statement in which it denounced any discriminatory practices against those infected with the aids virus. [JANA]
Saturday, 21 December, 2002: An American congressionally mandated commission will investigate China's sales of nuclear material to North Korea. In its last report, made public in July, the commission stated: "China provides technology and components for weapons of mass destruction to North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Sudan." [The Washington Times]
Saturday, 21 December, 2002: To provide the best services in the communications sector in Libya and to upgrade and establish modern communications networks, a number of projects implementation contracts were signed in Tripoli yesterday between the general post and communications corporation and the peoples committees in various sha'biyas. [JANA]
Saturday, 21 December, 2002: The U.N. Security Council on Friday relaxed a freeze on the assets of more than 200 people suspected of having links to terrorism so they can pay for basic needs like rent, medicine and legal expenses. The individuals on the list come from a range of countries including Afghanistan, ... Libya, Tunisia, ... Uzbekistan and Switzerland. [AP]
Saturday, 21 December, 2002: The Pentagon is planning to build a second missile-defense interceptor system near the U.S. East Coast or in Europe to counter missile threats from the Middle East, Bush administration officials said yesterday. The CIA estimates that Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria could emerge as long-range missile threats and that the initial U.S. West Coast system will be unable to knock out missiles from those countries. [The Washington Times]
Saturday, 21 December, 2002: Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE has joined with a regional telecom group in Africa to install a new communication system in 20 countries as the continent struggles to promote trade and investment. Sindiso Ngwenya, acting managing director for Comtel, said ZTE would start building the fibre optic network for the regional telecom inter-connection firm in June. Ngwenya said China Telecoms, Libya Telecommunications and Libya Investment Company had also shown interest in becoming shareholders in Comtel. [Reuters]

Friday, 20 December, 2002: US immigration officials in California have detained hundreds of Muslim men who turned up to register under new laws brought in as part of the anti-terror drive. Reports say between 500 and 700 men were arrested in and around Los Angeles after they complied with an order to register by 16 December. Under the new rules, all male immigrants aged 16 and over from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria had to register by Monday. [BBC]
Friday, 20 December, 2002: The chief executive officer of Libyan Arab Airlines, Captain Fathi Shatti, was elected the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) president at the 34th annual general AFRAA assembly which ended in the Zimbabwean capital Harare on Tuesday. He takes over from Air Zimbabwe managing director, Rambai Chingwena, who said he had enjoyed his year-long tenure as president despite the difficulties plaguing the aviation industry. [The Daily News]
Friday, 20 December, 2002: Zimbabwe's energy minister says that a vital fuel deal with Libya includes conditions the fuel-starved Southern African country cannot meet. Speculation has been rife in Zimbabwe that the deal with Libya, which supplies 70% of the country's fuel needs, has collapsed. Under the deal with Libya Zimbabwe is permitted to pay for fuel in local currency. In return Libya has been allowed to invest in tourism and banking in Zimbabwe and to obtain agricultural products such as beef, sugar, coffee and tobacco. [SAPA/AFP]
Thursday, 19 December, 2002: The leader of an Islamic militant group [Hamas], his wife and five brothers who work at a Texas company were indicted on charges of money laundering and sending computers to Libya and Syria, US Attorney John Ashcroft announced Wednesday. Four of the brothers were arrested in Texas by federal anti-terrorism agents. The fifth brother was already in custody. They worked at Infocom, a computer company in Richardson, Texas. [AP]
Thursday, 19 December, 2002: Central African Republic's Prime Minister Martin Ziguele on Wednesday denied claims that Libya had stationed troops and landed military in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). [PANA]
Thursday, 19 December, 2002: Democratic Republic of Congo's foreign minister Leonard She Okitundi has appealed to France to mediate in the dispute between his country and Libya following Tripoli's delivery of military hardware to the Movement for the Liberation of Congo. [PANA]
Thursday, 19 December, 2002: The General Co-ordinator of the [Libyan] Revolutionary Committees Liaison Bureau and his delegation, held a meeting in Cairo with Safwat el Sharif the General Secretary of the [Egyptian] National Democratic Party. [JANA]
Thursday, 19 December, 2002: A coalition of 12 opposition parties in the Central African Republic (CAR) organised a mourning day on Tuesday as a sign of solidarity with the victims of the October uprising. Enoch Lakoue, the chairman of opposition Parti social-democrate told IRIN that the purpose of the mourning day was to demand the immediate withdrawal of Libyan troops and combatants from the Mouvement de liberation du Congo. Libyan troops have been present in CAR since the coup attempt of May 2001, to protect president Patasse. [UN-IRIN]
AP: Qadhafi Unleashes His African Ambitions

Wednesday, 18 December, 2002: An appeal trial that begun earlier this year briefly resumed over the weekend, but was rescheduled for January 25, Amnesty told AFP Tuesday. "During Saturday's hearing, families were not allowed to enter the court, just as they were not allowed access to the defendants in prison," Amnesty official Jerome Bellion-Jourdan said, quoting witnesses. The accused, who include professionals and university students, are charged with belonging to the banned Al-Jama'a al-Islamiya al-Libiya (Libyan Islamic Group). [AFP]
Wednesday, 18 December, 2002: Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has suggested that an African name be given to Pretoria, South Africa's capital, to honour the memory of Zulu people who were massacred by whites as they defended their motherland. Qadhafi's suggestion came in letters he has sent to South African President Thabo Mbeki, former president Nelson Mandela, and the chairman of the South African parliament. [PANA/JANA]
Wednesday, 18 December, 2002: Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Khorazi, accompanied with a delegation, arrived in Tripoli internatonal airport last night on a visit to Libya. He was received by the deputy director of the Asian department at the General Peoples Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation and the Iranian ambassador to Libya. [JANA]
Wednesday, 18 December, 2002: At least 50 foreign men were arrested in San Diego, USA, after failing to meet a deadline to be photographed and fingerprinted for a U.S. visa tracking system, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Tuesday. The deadline applied to male visa holders 16 years and older from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria. [KGTV]
Tuesday, 17 December, 2002: Libya is preparing to withdraw its troops from the Central African Republic (CAR's) capital Bangui within 24 hours. The troops worked as bodyguards for CAR's President Patasse since November 2001, sources said in Tripoli Monday.[PANA]
Tuesday, 17 December, 2002: Zimbabwe's efforts to salvage a fuel supply deal with a Libyan oil company failed at the weekend as petrol stocks run dry, state media reported on Monday. A delegation from Libyan oil group Tamoil returned home on Saturday after a week of talks with officials from the state-owned National Oil Company of Zimbabwe, the Herald newspaper said. "Nothing came out of the negotiations although there are still hopes that something could be salvaged," the Herald quoted an oil industry source as saying. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 17 December, 2002: The UN Security Council has approved a list of 23 judges for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania. The list of nominees, which will be forwarded to the UN General Assembly, includes Mansoor Ahman of Pakistan,... Mohammed Ibrahim al-Werfalli of Libya, and Lloyd Williams of Saint Kitts and Nevis. [UN-IRIN]

Monday, 16 December, 2002: Libyan security officials told AP on Sunday that they had been seeking Libyan national Salem Saad bin Suweid accused in the Oct. 28 shooting of U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley, since 1988, apparently for links to extremists, and had alerted other Arab security agencies to watch for him. The Libyan officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the 40-year-old bin Suweid, also known as Abu Suheib Habib and Salem bin Suriya, left Libya for Afghanistan in 1988, joined al-Qaida and rose to lead one of its cells. [AP]
Sunday, 15 December, 2002: Jordanian police arrested a Libyan and a Jordanian accused in the killing of American diplomat Laurence Foley in October, officials announced Saturday, saying a top al-Qaida operative supplied the two men with guns and money for a terrorist campaign in Jordan. The two suspects, Salem Saad bin Suweid (photo) from Libya and Jordanian Yasser Ibrahim, both admitted belonging to al-Qaida and having links to a top figure in the terror network, Jordan's Information Minister said. [AP]
Sunday, 15 December, 2002: Libyan secretary for African Unity Ali al-Traiki (photo) held a meeting with the foreign minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Congolese foreign minister expressed the thanks and gratitude of his counry for the Libyan Leader's efforts to achieve peace and stability in the Great Lakes area. DRC's President Kabila is set to visit Libya on Monday. [JANA]
Sunday, 15 December, 2002: Tripoli has refuted allegations by Democratic Republic of Congo's Ambassador to the UN Atouki Elika, that Libya had dispatched troops and military equipment to the border between DR Congo and Central African Republic. The DRC accused Libya on Friday of providing "substantial" military support to Jean-Pierre Bemba's rebel Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) which operates in the northern part of the DRC. [PANA]
Sunday, 15 December, 2002: Corinthia Hotels of Malta continues its programme of rapid expansion with the opening of its second hotel in Hungary and its first in Libya. The five-star Corinthia Tripoli Towers hotel in Libya is expected to open before the end of the year. The £64m new-build offers 299 bedrooms, a conference and banqueting centre for as many as 550 people, a spa and a shopping gallery. [Caterer.Com]
Sunday, 15 December, 2002: A tanker caught fire on Friday about a km away from the Hellenic Petroleum Aspropyrgos refinery, but all its 28 crew were taken off safely. The "Theopisti" was about to dock near the refinery to unload when a fire broke out in one of the cabins and quickly spread to the deck. The vessel had arrived on Thursday from Libya. [Reuters]
Amnesty International : Libya; The Forgotten Victims

Saturday, 14 December, 2002: With the appeal trial of scores of professionals and students charged in connection with the banned Libyan Islamic Group, al-Jama'a al-Islamiya al-Libiya due to resume [today], Amnesty International urges the authorities to ensure a fair trial and to quash the two death sentences handed down in the original trial. Two men were sentenced to death: Salem Abu Hanak (photo/right) and Abdullah Izzedin (photo/left). "We urge the Libyan authorities to ensure that the death sentences are lifted and to work towards the worldwide trend towards the abolition of the death penalty", Amnesty Int. said. [Amnesty Int.]
Saturday, 14 December, 2002: The Democratic Republic of Congo accused Libya on Friday of flying troops and arms into northern Congo with an eye to helping a regional rebel group launch an assault on the capital, Kinshasa. Congo said the troop movements threatened to derail the peace process in the vast central African nation and asked the U.N. Security Council to demand Libya's immediate withdrawal from its territory. [Reuters]
Saturday, 14 December, 2002: Men from five Arab or Muslim countries have until Monday to submit to fingerprints, photographs and interviews with the U.S. government, or face deportation. The men must show a passport with entry stamp, identification and work or school documents. Exemptions are made for permanent residents, those granted asylum and diplomats and their dependents. Those required to register by Monday are males 16 or older born in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan or Syria who entered the U.S. on or before Sept. 10, 2002. [AP]
Saturday, 14 December, 2002: Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Friday called Libyan arms shipments to DRC rebels "a slap in the face" from Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to South African President Thabo Mbeki. "Qadhafi is shipping arms to the MLC (Congolese Liberation Movement) at a time when the government of the DRC is negotiating with these rebels, under the mediation of current African Union head Thabo Mbeki, to reach an accord that will create a legal state," Vital Kamerhe, who has played a key role in driving forward the DRC's peace process, said. "The authorities of our government are indignant at the attitude of President Qadhafi, who is one of the founding fathers of the African Union," he added. [SAPA/AFP]

Friday, 13 December, 2002: A Bush administration strategy announced yesterday calls for the preemptive use of military and covert force before an enemy unleashes weapons of mass destruction, and underscores the United Statesís willingness to retaliate with nuclear weapons for chemical or biological attacks on U.S. soil or against American troops overseas. In a top-secret appendix, the directive names Iran, Syria, North Korea and Libya among the countries that are the central focus of the new U.S. approach. [The Washington Post]
Friday, 13 December, 2002: A novel written by the Libyan writer Ibrahim al-Koni published recently in France has won the French Arab Friendship Prize. The novel was selected from a short list of novels written by French writer Helen Howard, Algerian novelist Ahlam Mostawani and Lebanese novelist Elias Hori. The prize will be awarded in a ceremony next week at the French culture ministry in Paris. [JANA]
Friday, 13 December, 2002: Jia Qinglin, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee met in Beijing Thursday with a delegation from Libya's General People's Congress (GPC). Jia told the delegation, headed by GPC Foreign Affairs Secretary Suleiman S. Shahoumi, that the CPC was willing to carry out a variety of friendly exchanges with the GPC for the healthy and stable development of bilateral ties. [Xinhua]
Thursday, 12 December, 2002: Libyan investors have bought a major stake in the House of Dawda based at Ntinda Industrial area [Uganda] and renowned locally for making biscuits and fruit juices. The [Libyan] World Islamic Call Society is reported to have paid $7 million for 70% shares in House of Dawda. "Similarly, the same Libyan company, has also bought off the famous House of Manji in Nairobi, Kenya, which has been producing biscuits and other products for over the past 30 years," said a source. [New Vision]
Thursday, 12 December, 2002: Libyan foreign minister Abdelrahman Shalgam has described the Arab League as an expired antibiotic. In statements published yesterday in the London- based al-Sharq al-Awsat daily, Shalgam called on the Arabs to form a new league that strengthens their ties and unify their word against foreign aggression through founding an Arab federation and establishing a united Arab military alliance similar to the NATO. [Arabic News]
Wednesday, 11 December, 2002: Alcatel, the French telecommunications equipment group, will today announce a 58 million euro contract to supply an internal telecommunications network to Agip Gas, a joint venture between Italian petroleum group Agip and the Libyan National Oil Corporation. Frederic Rose, head of the network services branch, says it is the group's largest contract in the petroleum and gas sector. [Le Figaro]
Wednesday, 11 December, 2002: Malta and Libya will keep working to improve relations between the two countries, Malta's Finance Minister John Dalli said yesterday. Mr Dalli said the two countries have always had good relations, but the time has come to explore new areas of co-operation. The minister was speaking during a meeting with the Libyan Secretary for the Economy, Shoukri Ghanem. [Malta Independent]
Wednesday, 11 December, 2002: The challenge to make the African Union (AU) succeed relates to the continued political will of the governments and people of Africa, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the South African foreign affairs minister, said today. She was addressing the first extraordinary session of the executive council of the AU in Tripoli, Libya. "If we reach, sign and ratify protocols, decisions, conclusions, agreements and declarations, but lack the political will to respect and abide by them, we can hardly achieve unity," she said. [SAPA]
The Libyan League For Human Rights: Disappearance Of M. al-Kikhia

Tuesday, 10 December, 2002: Ethiopia will host a special summit of the African Union early next year to debate Libyan proposals to make Africa a single country with one army. African foreign ministers, meeting Monday in Tripoli, ended speculation Qadhafi would host the summit. Diplomats said there was minimal support within the 53-nation AU for Qadhafi's proposals, but other leaders decided to discuss them so oil-rich Libya would not be offended. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 10 December, 2002: Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher left Cairo for Libya on Monday to attend a ministerial meeting of the African Union (AU). Maher said he will discuss with other participants proposals on introducing some amendments to the AU Charter. [Xinhua]

Monday, 9 December, 2002: Loyalist forces of the Central African Republic's President Patasse have recaptured the northern town of Zamara. Residents fleeing to the capital Bangui said Libyan troops and rebels from neighboring Congo backed government soldiers in the clash, which left the bodies of Congolese fighters scattered in the streets. [AP]
Monday, 9 December, 2002: A foreign diplomat recently posted to Pretoria said she was keen to understand what the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) was really about, but was having big problems. There is also ambiguity about whether Libya's autocratic leader Qadhafi would be on Nepad's implementation committee. The time has come for Nepad to prove its credentials by way of peer review on one of Africa's autocrats. [Business Day]
Sunday, 8 December, 2002: A German citizen jailed since January has pleaded guilty of trying to export stolen military parts -- parts he intended to send to the Libyan government. Klaus Buhler was caught when he flew into Jacksonville, Florida, to meet a man he thought was going to sell him a stolen helicopter engine. That man turned out to be an undercover officer. Buhler said his Libyan connections, including a best friend whom he described as a personal assistant to Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, offered to buy six Chinook engines and parts for $5.6 million. [WJXT]
Sunday, 8 December, 2002: South Africa's foreign minister will fly to Libya on Sunday, where she will attend and chair an extra-ordinary session of the executive council of the African Union (AU). The meeting is set to consider proposed amendments to the AU's constitutive act. Countries that have made proposals include S. Africa, Libya, Senegal, Nigeria, .. and Mozambique. [SAPA]
Sunday, 8 December, 2002: Algeria's junior minister for African and Maghreb affairs Abdelqader Messahel is leading his country's delegation at a two-day meeting of the Algeria-Libya follow-up committee, which opened Saturday in Tripoli. [PANA]
Mansour al-Kikhia Foundation

Saturday, 7 December, 2002: Greek foreign minister George Papandreou and his visiting Libyan counterpart Abdel-Rahman Shalgam held talks Friday on the Cyprus problem and other regional issues. According to statements the two ministers made after their meeting, the talks also covered Euro-Mediterranean cooperation, cooperation in police matters and terrorism combat, illegal immigration and crime, as well as the latest developments on Iraq. [Xinhua]
Saturday, 7 December, 2002: War in Iraq would create "many hardships" for the entire region and European leaders can help avoid conflict, Libya's foreign minister urged Friday. "If there will be an attack by the U.S. against Iraq there will be many hardships and very difficult situations in the entire region," Abdel-Rahman Shalgam (photo) said after meeting with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou. [AP]
Saturday, 7 December, 2002: Kenya must begin to reassess its diplomatic links with the nations of the world in view of the new threat of terrorism. Since the country hosts diplomatic missions of almost all shades, ranging from Libya and Iraq to Israel and Britain, it should urgently review the locations of those missions that are likely to be targeted by terrorists - such as the Libyan Embassy in the middle of the city centre and many others. [The Nation]
Saturday, 7 December, 2002: Zimbabwe's Department of Veterinary Services director Stuart Hargreaves said Zimbabwe had still not begun exporting beef to Libya, six months after a deal was concluded by the Harare and Tripoli authorities, because the Libyans were demanding beef from foot-and-mouth-quarantined areas. "The Libyans will not accept any beef from the foot-and-mouth-infested areas," Hargreaves told the Financial Gazette. [Financial Gazette]
Saturday, 7 December, 2002: The Greek operator of an oil tanker ordered out of French waters on Friday called on the European Union to secure its right to free passage through international waters. The order followed a French-Spanish agreement signed last week aimed at protecting their shores from dilapidated or dangerous oil tankers. Greece is notably home to Universe Maritime, the operating company for Libya-based Mare Shipping, whose Prestige tanker sank in mid-November off northwestern Spain, spewing thousands of tonnes of heavy fuel oil. [AFP]

Friday, 6 December, 2002: Algeria on Thursday expressed its support for a call by Qatar to hold an extraordinary Arab summit to review Libya's proposal to activate joint Arab action and the role of the Arab League. "Algeria welcomes Libya's proposal to activate joint Arab action and fully supports every measure that strengthens Arab rank to enable it (to) defend its causes", Algerian Radio quoted a Foreign Ministry source as saying Thursday. [Al-Bawaba]
Friday, 6 December, 2002: A Palestinian man was hanged in Jordan for the 1994 assassination of a Jordanian diplomat. Yasser Abu Shinar died for the slaying of Naeb Maaytah, first secretary of the Jordanian Embassy in Beirut. Four others were convicted and sentenced to death. One of the five, Jamal Fatayer, was arrested last December after being expelled from Libya. [AP]
Friday, 6 December, 2002: South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma travelled Thursday on a three-nation visit to Rwanda, DR Congo and Libya, officials said. [PANA]
Friday, 6 December, 2002: Kenya, Sudan and Zimbabwe have expanded higher education opportunities for women through establishment of private schools. An expert in higher education, Prof Juma Shabani, said the private universities offered flexible programmes that encouraged enrolment of more women. Some of the countries that have explicit legislations on education as a basic right are Liberia, Libya, Mali, Cameroon, Algeria and S. Africa. [Daily Nation]

Thursday, 5 December, 2002: Uganda has ordered 12 jet fighters. Top military sources told The Monitor that the army sent experts to Canada and Libya to inspect the jets. "In Canada there is a dealer in MIG 21 and MIG 26 who has shown interest in supplying the fighters," a source said. "We are also looking at the opportunity of getting refurbished ones from Libya." The army has sent 16 officers to be trained as pilots and technicians in Libya. [The Monitor]
Thursday, 5 December, 2002: After years spent living in a chaotic shelter smack in the centre of the Libyan capital without adequate space or proper sanitary conditions, some 300 of Libya's neediest refugees have been shifted to a newly-christened facility in a nearby suburb. The new compound, some 10 km from the centre of Tripoli, gives Somali and Congolese refugees proper shelter in the old homes of the Italian workers. [UNHCR]
Thursday, 5 December, 2002: The first members of a security force arrived Wednesday to protect Central African Republic's President Patasse's government after a string of coup attempts. The first 57 soldiers arrived from nearby Gabon, and the rest of the 213-member force is expected to be in place by Monday. The force is expected to replace Libyan soldiers sent by Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi in 2001 to prop up Patasse's government. [AP]
Thursday, 5 December, 2002: Thousands of people are fleeing western Ivory Coast as loyalist troops battle to regain control of areas captured by rebels. Ivory Coast is accusing Burkina Faso of supporting the rebels. Burkina Faso, which maintains close ties to Libya and has a long history of supporting rebel movements in Liberia and Sierra Leone, denies the accusation. [AP]
Othman el-Barrani's Eid al-Fitr Moon Sighting Page

Wednesday, 4 December, 2002: The complex and chaotic conflict in Cote d'Ivoire has become more confused and spilled over its borders, potentially drawing in a number of its neighbours and threatening a nervous and volatile region. The name of Libya keeps raising its head above the parapet, with no proven evidence that its leader, Qadhafi, has any direct or incidental role in the Ivorian conflict. But the Liberian LURD rebels say the Libyan leader is allied with Taylor and Compaore to destablise Cote d'Ivoire first, followed by the rest of West Africa. [All Africa]
Wednesday, 4 December, 2002: Libya's minister for African Unity, Ali al-Traiki (photo) held a meeting today with Anthony Leeds the British ambassador, on the occasion of the start of his mission. The meeting reviewed the two countries bilateral relations and ways of their consolidation. It also handled the latest develeopments in the middle east, particularly in Palestine and the threats against Iraq. [JANA]
Wednesday, 4 December, 2002: The Secretary General of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council Idris Kasenene had a rough time on Sunday in Kibuli when Muslims attacked him over the demolition of the national mosque. Libyan President Qadhafi offered to build the mosque and his representatives are demolishing the old structure before erecting a new one. [The Monitor]
Wednesday, 4 December, 2002: Libya's minister for African Unity, Ali al-Traiki held talks over the phone yesterday with Mustafa Ismail the Sudanese Foreign Minister and Abdelaziz Belkhadem the Algerian Foreign Minister. The talks handled the situation in the Arab area and the need to convene an Arab extraordinary summit. Libya's Jana news agency has learnt that contacts are being made to hold the arab extraordinary sumit during January. [JANA]
Tuesday, 3 December, 2002: The son of Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafy delivered an unexpected rebuff to the west last night when he warned that Libya should drop its support for the American-led war on terrorism. Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, who is seen as the Libyan leader's heir apparent, said Tripoli should no longer pass on crucial intelligence reports about al-Qaida to the US and Britain. "The only thing we will get is the enmity of al-Qaida and that is it," Saif al-Islam, 30, told the Guardian in Islamabad. The new warning comes despite repeated efforts from Tripoli to end years of isolation and to improve ties with the US and Britain. [The Guardian]
Tuesday, 3 December, 2002: The Aisha charitable society, [chaired by Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's daughter Aisha (photo),] is sponsoring its second leisure and shopping festival, which is held until the fourth day of Shawal. The festival includes a number of cultural programmes, children and family leisure and fun, equestrian shows, in addition to open banquets for Ramadan breakfast. [JANA]
Tuesday, 3 December, 2002: Qadhafi's son Saif al-Islam said he had received a fresh message from al-Qaida which indicated that Bin Laden and his Egyptian deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, were still alive. "Yes, yes, he is alive. That is sure. I think they are in high morale and they will carry on attacks," he said. Saif al-Islam declined to say how he had got the message but said terrorist chiefs had asked him to help the families of many al-Qaida figures go home. [The Guardian]
Tuesday, 3 December, 2002: More than 20 ambassadors accredited to Pretoria yesterday pledged to join hands with local communities to fight back at what they say is a universal war against women and child abuse. The pledge is part of the 16 days of activism against violence on women and children. "None of our countries can say they are free of women and child abuse," said dean of the diplomatic corps and Libyan ambassador Abdalla Alzubedi. [Bua News]
Tuesday, 3 December, 2002: Libya has left its official selling prices for its crude oil grades in December unchanged from the month before, trading sources said on Monday. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 3 December, 2002: Agriculture officials in Zimbabwe said Monday the country had started exporting beef to Libya under an agreement they signed early this year. [PANA]
Monday, 2 December, 2002: The Libyan coastguard recovered the bodies of 12 illegal immigrants who drowned trying to reach Italy when their boat sank in bad weather. Diplomats say Libya is increasingly becoming a springboard for thousands of sub-Saharan Africans hoping to sneak into Western Europe via Italy's coastline for jobs and a better life. [Reuters]
Monday, 2 December, 2002: The protocol of the seventh meeting of the Libyan-Tunisian sectoral joint committee on security Affairs was signed yesterday. The protocol was signed by the secretary of the general peoples committee for justice and public security and by al-Hadi Muhanna the Minister of the Interior and Local Development in Tunisia. [JANA]
Monday, 2 December, 2002: The World Islamic Call Society based in Libya, has presented a consignment of 300 bags of rice and other assorted clothing to members of the Muslim community in Liberia. The presentation was made yesterday in Monrovia by Libyan Ambassador Mohammed Omar Talbi at the central mosque on Benson Street. [The News]

The home of "Libyan Relief Fund" :

Sunday, 1 December, 2002: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's son Saif al-Islam called on Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf Saturday and delivered a goodwill message from his father. Saif al-Qadhafi, who heads the charity Qadhafi Foundation, was in Pakistan for a five-day visit. Musharraf said he hoped Libya could play a constructive role in urging India to enter into dialogue to resolve the ongoing dispute between the nuclear rivals over Kashmir. Later Sunday the younger Qadhafi travelled to Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. [AFP]
Sunday, 1 December, 2002: Saif al-Islam, son of Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has said that some Muslims have defamed Islam through aggression on innocent people. While delivering the Friday Sermon at the Badshahi Mosque he said, "US relations with Al-Qaeda were their own... but Islamic nations like Pakistan and Libya had no link with it and should not be a party to it." Saif al-Islam (photo/right) said that Jihad was the right of Muslims and duty in Islam and it was also the right of Muslims to defend themselves but the West wants to change these principles. [Daily Times]
Sunday, 1 December, 2002: Libyans who took part in the Qur'an memorisation, recitation and study taking place in Cairo achieved good results. 357 contestants from 73 Islamic countries and several countries with Muslim minorities took part in the contest. Ahmed Mohammed Jadallah received the second prize in the Qur'an memorisation and recitation contest while Yusef Mohammed al-Najah received the second prize for memorising the entire Qur'an. [JANA]
Sunday, 1 December, 2002: More than 50 African illegal immigrants were missing after Libyan coastguards rescued scores more from a fishing trawler on the verge of sinking off the Libyan coast on Saturday, Libya's Jana news agency reported. 51 people were missing and 11 bodies had been found out of the 110 "African citizens" who had been aboard the vessel. [Reuters]
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