News and Views [ February 2000 ]

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Tuesday: 29 February, 2000: The People's General Congress, the highest legislative body in Libya, opened its meeting Sunday in Sirte to look at reports on national politics, the central bank, the planning high council, the executive and managing committee of the great artificial river project. The meeting follows the annual ordinary session of the grassroots people's congresses held 13 February to discuss several issues relating to Libyan foreign and national policies and the 2000 budget. Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi rejected the budget drafted by the People's General Congress in his address to the members of the body meeting on 28 January in Sirte. The People's General Congress includes representatives of the People's Congresses and the People's Committees, the People's General Committee (government), trade unions, professional organisations and leagues. Its mission is to draft decisions made by the People's Congresses, choose the members of the General People's Committee, pass laws and to determine the national and foreign policies of the country. [PANA]
Tuesday: 29 February, 2000: A court in Libya has adjourned the trial of six Bulgarian health workers, who are accused of deliberately infecting hundreds of children with HIV, the virus which can lead to Aids. The trial was scheduled to begin on Monday but was postponed at the request of a defence lawyer, who said he needed more time to prepare. The trial will resume in early April. The Bulgarian medics, five nurses and an anaesthetist, were detained in 1998 after almost 400 children were given infected blood at a hospital in Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city. The 1,600-page indictment charges them with intentionally supplying the contaminated blood. [BBC]
Tuesday: 29 February, 2000: The United States continues to label Libya a sponsor of terrorism but has not attempted to stop the country's political rehabilitation at the United Nations, a reward for surrendering two suspects in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Two weeks ago, the State Department authorized a visa for Libya's U.N. ambassador, Abuzed Dorda, to travel to Washington for five days to attend a conference hosted by the U.N. International Fund for Agricultural Development. The trip was the first to the nation's capital by a Libyan U.N. envoy since the two countries broke off diplomatic relations nearly two decades ago, according to Dorda. U.S. administration officials said the United States has eased up on Qadhafi's government because he has halted terrorist threats against the United States. ``Look, this is not the same Libya it was six years ago,'' said a senior State Department official. ``As far as we can tell, they have walked away from terrorism.'' [The Washington Post]
Tuesday: 29 February, 2000: Libya is pitching for investments from Malaysian oil company Petronas and carmaker Proton as part of efforts to strengthen trade relations. Abdel Hafeedh al-Zleetni, secretary of the Libyan General People's Committee for Economy and Trade, blamed previous United Nations economic sanctions on Libya for the low-key trade situation. The official Bernama news agency, which Monday ran a weekend interview with the visiting official, said Malaysia's trade with Libya shrank to 23.5 million ringgit (6.18 million dollars) last year, from 34 million ringgit in 1998. Al-Zleetni, who is leading a trade delegation, told Bernama after meeting Petronas officials that it was expected to increase its investments in Libya. [AFP]
Monday: 28 February, 2000: Former British secret agent David Shayler has upped the ante in his fight with the government by identifying two intelligence officers he says were involved in a plot to kill Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. The Observer newspaper, which reported the revelation but did not print the names, said Shayler, a former agent in the MI5 domestic security service, had brought the names to light to force the government to launch an inquiry into the affair. "News that Shayler is revealing the identities of agents will send shockwaves through the intelligence services," the newspaper said on Sunday. [Reuters]
Monday: 28 February, 2000: Bulgaria is increasingly concerned about the fate of six medical workers who face the death penalty in Libya on charges of injecting nearly 400 children with the HIV virus. Their trial is set to resume in Libya on Monday. Sofia says Libyan authorities have accused the six of deliberately trying to "weaken the security of the state" over the 1998 incident, from which 23 children have already died. The Bulgarians -- five nurses jailed since 1998 and an anaesthetist -- went on trial on February 7 over an outbreak of AIDS at a children's hospital in Benghazi. They are on trial along with nine Arabs, including eight Libyans. Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov spoke to Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi late Wednesday to express his conviction that "Bulgarian citizens did not commit these serious crimes" and urged Qadhafi to "use his influence" to postpone the trial so that Bulgarian lawyers can take part. [AFP]
Letters:Risalah lil-Qadhafi (3)

Sunday: 27 February, 2000: Sudan's Islamic government has no preconditions for starting peace talks under an Egyptian-Libyan effort to reconcile the nation's many opposition factions, Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman said Saturday. Osman also reiterated that the government was ready to share power and wealth with the exiled opposition, including southern rebels who have been fighting for autonomy since 1983. Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa met with Osman and Ali el-Tureiki, Libya's minister of state for African affairs. The ministers discussed the situation in Sudan, the Libyan-Egyptian initiative and the government and opposition points of view, Egypt's Middle East News Agency reported. [AP]
Sunday: 27 February, 2000: Former British secret agent David Shayler has vowed to fight government moves to sue him for making public allegations about the security services. After failing to extradite Shayler from France to face criminal charges, the government is going to the civil courts to claim damages for breaches of confidence and contract and stop him making more allegations, Shayler's lawyer said. Shayler was arrested in France in 1998 at Britain's request and held for four months after publishing allegations on the Internet that the MI6 overseas security service had plotted to assassinate Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi in 1996. [Reuters]

Letters:Risalah lil-Qadhafi (2)To: Adrar Nfousa

Saturday: 26 February, 2000: The British government is suing a former MI5 secret agent for making public allegations about the security services, the Guardian newspaper has reported. After failing to have David Shayler extradited from France to face criminal prosecution, the government is going to the civil courts to claim damages for breaches of confidence and contract and dissuade him from making more allegations, it said. Shayler was arrested in France in 1998 at Britain's request and held for four months after publishing allegations on the Internet that MI5 had supported a botched plot to assassinate Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi in 1996. [Reuters]
Saturday: 26 February, 2000: The Clinton administration is suspending the export of handguns, rifles and ammunition to Canada after discovering a large volume of sales in the past nine months, American and Canadian officials said today. American officials said they do not know where the firearms are going -- and that is what caused them to act. In recent years, Canada has become a transshipment point for weapons from the United States including sophisticated missile technology. The weapons have ended up in countries like China, Iran and Libya, according to United States Customs Service records. [The New York Times]
Friday: 25 February, 2000: South Korea's Dong Ah Construction Co. said Thursday that it will sign a contract worth US$1.2 billion with Libya involving the third phase of the latter's Great Man-made River project in the middle of March. Dong Ah will conclude the first stage of the third phase project in the middle of next month. The project is targeted for completion in August 2002 under the memorandum of understanding exchanged in June last year between the company and Libyan authorities. ANC, a joint venture formed between Dong Ah and the Libyan government, is the main contractor for the project. [Yahoo-Asia]
Friday: 25 February, 2000: According to a US-based source with access to some UN confidential letters, secret deal which formed the basis of the handing over of the Lockerbie bombing suspects has agreed that witnesses in the trial will not to be asked about "any other operations or situations" involving Libya apart from the bombing itself. The letters gave assurances to the Libyan government that the case would not be used to undermine the Libyan regime. The so called Annan letters, which date to the crucial period just before Libya's handover of the two suspects last April, involve replies to a series of questions from the Libyan government about the trial at Camp Van Zeist in the Netherlands. [Yahoo-UK]
Thursday: 24 February, 2000: Japan and Libya have agreed to step up efforts to improve ties, following the suspension of UN sanctions against Libya over the Lockerbie aircraft bombing of 1988. The Japanese foreign minister, Yohei Kono, said Libya's decision to hand over two suspects in the case was a welcome sign of a change of policy by Libya which would strengthen economic ties and encourage Japanese investment. He was speaking after talks with the Libyan economy and trade secretary, Abd al-Hafidh al-Zleetni, who is making the first cabinet-level Libyan visit to Japan for fifteen years. Mr Zleetni told the Japanese his government would soon despatch an ambassador to Tokyo. [BBC]
Thursday: 24 February, 2000: Delegations from several countries attended a symposium on AIDS control held on Saturday in Tripoli. Under the theme, 'Africa United In The Fight Against AIDS', the symposium was organised by the Libyan health and social security ministry in co-operation with the National AIDS Control Committee. The meeting sought ways to raise awareness on the dangers of AIDS and how to go about fighting the scourge. Delegations from Egypt, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Canada, the UK, Italy and the US attended the symposium. [PANA]
Thursday: 24 February, 2000: A Scottish judge has delayed a ruling on whether British and U.S. broadcasters will be allowed to televise the forthcoming Lockerbie airliner bombing trial. Lord MacFadyen said he would give his ruling "at a later date" on an unprecedented plea by some of the world's biggest media companies to break with British tradition and broadcast the trial, due to start in May. The media companies argued their case during two days of legal proceedings at Edinburgh's Court of Sessions, saying there was worldwide interest in the trial and the public had a right to see the drama unfold and justice be done. They also said television would not pose a threat to the outcome because the trial will be the first in Scottish legal history without a jury. But representatives of both the prosecution in the case -- the Scottish Crown Office -- and defence lawyers for the Libyan pair argued against the move. [Reuters]
Thursday: 24 February, 2000: The prosecution of the Lockerbie bombing case could be jeopardised if the trial were televised, it was claimed yesterday. Alastair Campbell, QC, who will lead the Crown's team at the trial in the Netherlands, said that many witnesses from abroad had already warned that they would not attend if cameras were allowed into the courtroom. He was joined by lawyers for the two accused Libyans in opposing a move by the BBC and several other broadcasters in the UK and US to broadcast the proceedings. At the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday, Roy Martin, QC, for the BBC, said the Lockerbie trial would be unique, with no jury and a Scottish court sitting abroad. The BBC would intend to carry the entire proceedings on its internet channel and edited highlights on news broadcasts in the UK and on the world service. [Yahoo-UK]
Wednesday: 23 February, 2000: Officials in Bulgaria say that Libya has accused six Bulgarian medical staff of intentionally infecting nearly four-hundred Libyan children with the HIV virus. The Bulgarians -- five nurses and a doctor -- were working in a hospital in the city of Benghazi when they were detained a year ago. At least thirteen other Bulgarians were also detained, but later released. The six are due to go on trial next week. If found guilty, they could face the death penalty. The Bulgarian Foreign Minister, Nadezhda Mihailova, has called on the Libyans to ensure the accused receive a fair trial. [BBC]
Wednesday: 23 February, 2000: In an unprecedented legal plea, some of the world's biggest media companies has urged a Scottish court to allow them to televise the forthcoming Lockerbie airliner bombing trial. Unlike the United States, where images of the O.J. Simpson murder trial gripped millions of viewers worldwide, Britain has never allowed live courtroom coverage for fear of influencing the trial's outcome. The BBC, British Sky Broadcasting, global news and information company Reuters, U.S. cable giant CNN, and U.S. networks ABC and CBS were among those asking to televise the trial, due to start in early May. [Reuters]
Letters:In support of Mr ElzwariI still remeber .. Risala lil-Qadhafi

Tuesday: 22 February, 2000: They are sometimes called the ''seven sisters,'' nations accused of sponsoring terrorism and stigmatized by placement each April on a U.S. State Department list. But the ''sisters'' -- Iran, Sudan, Libya, North Korea, Cuba, Iraq and Syria -- are likely to lose at least one sibling before the Clinton administration ends. Administration officials, after years spent trying to isolate so-called rogue states, say they are now eager to show that better behavior will be rewarded. This past summer, it appeared that Libya might be first off the list. Libya has not sponsored an act of international terrorism in more than a decade, according to the State Department. In April, Libya turned over two suspects in the Pan Am 103 bombing in 1988, which killed 189 Americans. However, a delay in the trial of those suspects from this month to May, and an outcry by relatives of the victims, have postponed any action, U.S. officials say. [USA Today]
Monday: 21 February, 2000: According to a report obtained by NBC News, the Libyan government was responsible for assassinations of various dissident Libyans in the United States and "recruited a Chicago street gang to attack U.S. airliners with shoulder-fired weapons -- a move that was interdicted." In the late 1980's, several members of the El Rukns street gang were convicted of conspiring to commit terrorist acts on behalf of Libya. As part of the conspiracy, one of the gang's leaders purchased weapons from an undercover FBI agent. [APB]
Flight 114 - 21 February 1973Risalah Hadi'ah
You have the same rights ..Modern Ansar al-Jahiliya

Monday: 21 February, 2000: Oil producers have a consensus on the need to raise output and are busy discussing how many extra barrels to unleash on a hot market and when, Gulf sources said on Sunday. ``The exact amount of the increase and a timetable are under intense discussion among oil producers now,'' one of the Gulf sources told Reuters. An OPEC delegate familiar with the organization's policies told Reuters on Sunday that producers would likely ease supply limits starting on April 1. OPEC and its allies Mexico and Norway are under mounting pressure to ease supply restrictions from huge markets such as the United States, the world's biggest oil consumer. Iran, Kuwait, Libya and Algeria want to keep oil prices as high as possible. [Reuters]

Letters:Ezzwari has all the rightIslam unifies Libyans
felt sorry for LibyaIslam is above all ..Thank you Buisier

Saturday: 19 February, 2000: Scotland's former top law officer, who resigned suddenly on Wednesday, said on Friday his departure would not hurt Britain's case against two Libyans charged with the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing. ``It's not a case of leaving a great vacuum. The preparation will continue,'' former Lord Advocate Lord Hardie told reporters. He angrily denied what he called ``outrageous'' suggestions by some legal observers and opposition politicians in Scotland that he was ducking out of the trial because the case against the pair was not strong enough. Hardie, who as Scotland's chief public prosecutor was in charge of preparing the prosecution for the trial, stunned the families of the 270 Lockerbie victims by giving up the post and appointing himself a judge less than three months before the trial. [Reuters]
Friday: 18 February, 2000: Scotland has named a new top law officer following the shock resignation of the man charged with overseeing Britain's case against two Libyans accused of the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing. British government officials also moved to quell fears that Wednesday's resignation of Lord Advocate Lord Hardie would hurt the case less than three months ahead of the May trial, expected to be the longest and most expensive in British history. Scotland's number two law officer and a key member of the prosecution team, Solicitor General Colin Boyd, was nominated as the new Lord Advocate. His nomination requires royal approval. [Reuters]
Thursday: 17 February, 2000: Scotland's top law officer, Lord Hardie, has resigned three months before the start of the trial of two Libyans accused of the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing. An official statement said Lord Hardie was leaving his post as Lord Advocate to become a judge, a move observers said was commonplace in Scotland's justice system. A spokeswoman for Scotland's regional government said on Wednesday that Lord Hardie and Solicitor General Colin Boyd, seen as the top prosecutor, had worked together in preparing the government's case for the Lockerbie trial, due to begin in early May. She would not comment on whether Hardie's resignation had anything to do with the trial. Scottish media reports have suggested the prosecution's case had unravelled in the past few months after a key witness said his original testimony was inaccurate and key evidence was seen as flawed. [Reuters]
Thursday: 17 February, 2000: U.S. oil major Conoco Inc. said on Tuesday that a recent inspection found its oil assets in Libya to be in good condition and the company hoped to be able to return to Libya within the next few years. Libya took over the assets of Conoco and several other major U.S. oil companies after President Ronald Reagan ordered them out of Libya when the U.S. bombed Libya for allegedly supporting terrorism. He reiterated Conoco's opposition to the U.S.'s Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, under which it has lost huge investments, and said that Conoco expects to be one of the first companies -- if not the first -- to be allowed back into Iran. [Reuters]
Letters100% pure nationalists!Ta'ziyahLibyan sports

Thursday: 17 February, 2000: U.S. officials say they now believe the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988 was part of a larger operation by Libya to retaliate for the Reagan administration’s bombing raid on Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi’s headquarters in 1986. A little known U.S. Defense Department report obtained by NBC News said the retaliation campaign began three days after the Tripoli bombings, continued for nearly four years and even included the attempted recruitment of a Chicago street gang, the El Rukns, to shoot down U.S. airliners with shoulder-fired weapons. U.S. officials said the discovery of such an elaborate response by the Libyans is important because it contradicts the “popular belief” that the U.S. raids in April 1986 suppressed Libyan terrorism. U.S. officials believe the revenge attacks included the Pan Am 73 hijacking in Karachi, Pakistan, in September 1987, in which 22 people were killed; the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988, which killed 270 people; and the UTA French airline bombing over Chad in September 1989, which killed 171 people. [MSNBC]
Thursday: 17 February, 2000: US Republican presidential candidates George W. Bush and John McCain squabbled over their mudslinging race and reformist credentials in a critical test ahead of the make-or-break South Carolina primary. On foreign policy, the two Republicans concurred that Clinton has been soft on China and too ready to deploy troops to global hotspots. McCain called for the overthrow of Iraq, Libya and North Korea if they continue to develop weapons of mass destruction. "I would arm, train, equip, both from without and from within, forces that would eventually overthrow the governments and install free and democratically elected governments," said McCain. [AFP]
Wednesday: 16 February, 2000: British Parliament's intelligence and security committee is to question MI6 on what it knew about a plot to assassinate Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafy, the Libyan leader, the Guardian has learned. The cross-party committee, chaired by Tom King, the former Conservative cabinet minister, is expected at a private meeting today to agree to ask MI6 whether ministers were told about the plot, details of which are contained in a secret British intelligence report placed on the internet. In a separate development Francis Maude, the shadow foreign secretary, yesterday tabled a series of questions to Robin Cook about the affair. He asked the foreign secretary to set up an inquiry into allegations that MI6 knew of the assassination plot. Allegations about MI6 involvement in the plot were first made by David Shayler, the former MI5 agent, two years ago. He will not be able to give evidence, at least not in person, since he is likely to be arrested under the official secrets act if he returns to Britain from Paris. [The Guardian]
Wednesday: 16 February, 2000: Libya is intending to sign several energy contracts with Russia, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov told the press after talks with the deputy speaker of the Libyan General People's Congress. The contracts involve the construction of a thermal-powered electrical station outside Tripoli and a high-voltage electricity transmission line, Klebanov said. A nuclear research centre in the Tripoli outskirts might resume its work, he said. The former USSR had assisted in the building of the centre. Russian experts are looking at its present condition and considering the possibility of resuming work there, he said. [BBC]
In your dreams, my friend!Tahiya lil-Ostath Azzwari
Libyans are 100% MuslimsLimatha al-Tahaj-jom..?

Tuesday: 15 February, 2000: Former British Intelligence "MI5" agent David Shayler has said the UK foreign secretary may have been misled over whether British secret services were involved in a plot to assassinate Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. He said a document, published on an American internet site, vindicated his allegations and warranted a full investigation into others made by him. "It is established that there was certainly a Qadhafi plot, so when Robin Cook unequivocally said I'm perfectly clear these allegations are foundless and it is pure fantasy - he went too far. "I accept that in normal circumstances, people would be more inclined to believe a government minister than a whistleblower. "But now we have shown that the government has certainly compromised the truth if not outrightly lied about this, then I'm vindicated and I think we have to have a full inquiry now." The claims will be studied by British Parliament's Security and Intelligence Committee, the committee's chairman, Tom King, said. [BBC]
Tuesday: 15 February, 2000: Libya and Chad will set up a joint oil company to exploit the latter's resources and cooperate with foreign companies, Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi said. The official Libyan news agency JANA received on Monday in Tunis quoted Qadhafi as saying that the new company will coopere with foreign oil companies in the project. ``We have set up a joint company for pumping oil, for petroleum services, and for refining oil. By God's will, Chad will have a great part in the oil resources,'' Qadhafi was quoted as saying over the week end at the end of a 12-day visit to Chad. The project is expected to bring onstream between 200,000 and 250,000 barrels of oil per day by 2001. The oil will be pumped via a 1,050 km (650-mile) pipeline to a terminal at the Cameroun port of Kribi on the Gulf of Guinea. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 15 February, 2000: British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook has denied that a report published on a U.S. internet site showed Britain played any role in a plot to assassinate Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. But in Tripoli, the British ambassador was summoned to the Libyan foreign ministry to explain the report, according to a Libyan news agency. Cook said the report backed up his statement in 1998 that the government had not authorised an assassination attempt against Qadhafi and that British agents had played no role in such an "escapade". Arab newspapers reported in February 1996 that Qadhafi had narrowly escaped death when rebels attacked his motorcade near the Libyan city of Sirte. "What I said two years ago is that I'm absolutely satisfied the previous Foreign Secretary did not authorise an assassination attempt," Cook, who took up his post in 1997, told BBC radio on Monday. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 15 February, 2000: Chadian former president Hissene Habre, indicted by a court in Senegal for alleged complicity in torture, has denounced the charges as "calumnies", in an interview with the weekly Jeune Afrique. The onetime strongman, ousted from Ndjamena in late 1990, accused the authorities in Paris and Tripoli of plotting against him. The former dictator said in the interview that his "life and liberty" in Senegal, where he has lived in exile since being ousted from power, "continue to upset lots of people - my mortal enemy Qadhafi, for a start, and his allies in reactionary and neocolonial French circles. "The truth is, Libya and France are working in close collaboration," abetted throughout "by financial and oil interests". He said. [AFP]
Monday: 14 February, 2000: Secret report said to link the British MI6 agents to a plot to kill Libyan leader Colonel Qadhafi was leaked on the internet. British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook denied two years ago that British security services had been involved in a bombing which narrowly failed to kill Col Qadhafi. Former MI5 agent David Shayler is currently in exile in France for alleging that British intelligence paid about £100,000 to help purchase jeeps and weapons for the assassination. But the report posted on the California-based Yahoo internet site says that British intelligence knew two months in advance of an attempt to blow up Col Qadhafi and overthrow his regime. [BBC]
Monday: 14 February, 2000: Libya said Sunday it will ask the British government to cooperate with a probe into the alleged involvement of British intelligence in a 1996 attempt to assassinate Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. "The British Foreign Office's denial is not sufficient, and Libya will ask the British government to cooperate in the investigation," a Libyan foreign ministry spokesman said, quoted by state television. In London The Sunday Times reported that Britain's foreign intelligence service, MI6, knew at least two months in advance of a plot to kill Kadhafi in early 1996, quoting a top secret report posted on the Internet. The Libyan spokesman said "the information quoted (in the newspaper) is serious and has been corroborated" with regard to the involvement of British intelligence in the plot. The paper said MI6 had been told details of the plot by a member of the rebel group wanting to overthrow the regime. [AFP]

Sunday: 13 February, 2000: In the United States, while the FBI and other investigators search for the culprits of this week's cyber-attacks against popular Web sites such as Yahoo and EBay, legions of computer enthusiasts, armchair gumshoes, hackers and conspiracy theorists are having no trouble proposing leads of their own. Some astute observers noticed that the attacks coincided with the anniversary of the landmark Telecommunications Act of 1996, which President Clinton signed into law four years ago Tuesday. The law was one of the U.S. government's earliest attempts to regulate cyberspace. If Uncle Sam wasn't responsible for the attack, perhaps a foreign regime was, some suggest. The governments of Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, North Korea and Libya are all mentioned as possible culprits. [LA Times]
Friday: 11 February, 2000: U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen on Thursday ruled out a role for the U.S. military in settling Africa's bloody civil wars, saying it was already stretched too thin. "I do not see the US military playing any kind of a significant role in the disputes of Africa," he told reporters. Cohen nevertheless said he hopes to reinvigorate a US effort to train African peacekeeping battalions during his eight-day trip to Morocco, South Africa and Nigeria. King Mohammed VI of Morocco was to meet Cohen Friday for talks expected to review the situations in Algeria, Libya and the overall Middle East peace process. [AFP]
Letters: " Libyan football results and standings"

Thursday: 10 February, 2000: Archie Dunham, who heads the fifth largest U.S. oil company, said on Tuesday he was cautiously optimistic that under a new president, U.S. oil companies would be able to return to Libya and Iran, both now off limits because of U.S. sanctions. Dunham said he believed a ``window of opportunity'' would open when a new president takes office next year, making it possible for the new president to initiate changes, if he so wanted, that would allow U.S. firms to return to both countries. Dunham was speaking to reporters before addressing the Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) conference in Houston. He has been a persistent critic of unilateral U.S. sanctions against countries such as Libya and Iran, contending they have failed to promote positive political changes while putting U.S. companies at a disadvantage to their foreign competitors. [Reuters]
Thursday: 10 February, 2000: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi said a summit in Chad grouping predominantly Islamic African states would try to find a solution to conflict gripping some Moslem states, Chad radio has reported. "It is inadmissible to see Moslems killing each other, notably in Algeria, Afghanistan or Chad, whereas Islam is a religion of tolerance," Qadhafi said at Friday night's opening of the General Islamic Summit. "The third General Islamic Summit of N'Djamena will take all necessary steps with the view to halting this violence, as Islam is a religion of pardon," Qadhafi said without elaborating. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 9 February, 2000: Leading oil producers are not yet decided on what policy to adopt when a year-long agreement on output limits expires next month, a Gulf source said on Sunday. While concerned that the international oil market is not left to face a shortage, producers are determined not to make a mistake when deciding whether or not to change the pact which has pushed oil prices to their highest since the Gulf War. ``We want to make sure the market does not face shortage or be undersupplied,'' said the Gulf source. OPEC price hawks like Kuwait, Libya, Algeria and Iran are keen that policy be left unchanged at least for another six months until the end of September. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 9 February, 2000: A regional bloc of African states has thrown its weight behind a controversial oil extraction and pipeline project in Chad which environmentalists oppose. The 11-strong Community of Sahelian-Saharan States (CED-SAD) adopted a resolution backing the project at a two-day meeting in the country's capital N'Djamena which ended on Saturday evening. The CED-SAD's 11 members are Libya, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger, Sudan, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Djibouti, Senegal and Gambia. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 9 February, 2000: Bangladesh's High Court today put off confirming death sentences awarded to 15 former military commanders convicted for the assassination of Bangladesh's first President, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, 25 years ago. A trial court sentenced the men a year ago for the killing of Mujibur Rahman during a 1975 military coup. Only four of the 15 men facing execution are held in Dhaka's central jail. They have pleaded not guilty. The other 11, who were tried in absentia, are fugitives reportedly living in Canada, the United States, Pakistan and Libya. [AP]
Monday: 7 February, 2000: United States Defence Secretary William Cohen has defended Washington's plans to establish a national missile defence system. He told an informal conference of European defence chiefs in Munich that the system is necessary in the face of a threat of an attack from "rogue states". Citing the examples of North Korea, Iran, Iraq and Libya, the US defence secretary said that within five years these countries would be able to put all of NATO at risk. He explained the United States must never be in a position to be blackmailed into not carrying out its alliance obligations. To do so, a "limited national anti-missile defence system" was needed. No decision has yet been made by US President Bill Clinton to deploy such a system, but the threat was real, Mr Cohen said, and the technology existed to counter it. [AFP]
Sunday: 6 February, 2000: The Community of Sahel-Saharan States' second summit ended in N'djamena, Chad, Saturday as a success for its chief sponsor Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, whose calls for new members and a security charter were answered. New members Djibouti, Gambia and Senegal joined the eight COMESSA states in signing the security charter which aims to preserve peace and stability in the region. Founded on Libya's initiative in February 1998, COMESSA was designed to promote economic, political and cultural integration within the region and already counted as members Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Eritrea, Libya, Niger, Mali and Sudan. The admission of three new members makes COMESSA Africa's largest international grouping, fulfilling a long-term Libyan policy goal. [AFP]

Saturday: 5 February, 2000: A court in Dakar, Senegal, indicted the exiled former dictator of Chad on charges of torture. It was the first time that a former African head of state has been charged with human rights violations by the court of another country, the Human Rights Watch, of New York, said. Backed by the United States and France as a buffer against Libya, the dictator, Hissène Habré, a French-trained military tactician from northern Chad, ruled from 1982 to 1990. The United States and France gave him millions of dollars in weapons and equipment. A panel set up by President Idriss Déby of Chad has accused Mr. Habré's administration of 40,000 political assassinations and 200,000 torture cases. Mr. Habré, 57, has lived in Senegal since he fled Chad in 1990, after Mr. Déby had ousted him. [AP]
Friday: 4 February, 2000: The Libyan leader, Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, arrived in N'djamena Thursday afternoon on a three-day visit to Chad where he will attend the second summit of the community of Sahelian-Saharan states, beginning Saturday. Qadhafi expressed happiness to be in N'djamena for the summit of the organisation which "represents a huge stride on the path of African unity..." "Our presence in N'djamena means that we have started a new stage and a new era for Africa," he added. "We have opened a new page, after turning another one which is rich with lessons that we will take inspiration from for the unity of Africa." The Central African Republic, Eritrea, Libya, Mali, Niger and Sudan comprise the community, which aims at setting up an economic union capable of guaranteeing peace, security and stability in member countries. The N'djamena summit follows that held in April 1999 in Sirte, Libya. [PANA]
Thursday: 3 February, 2000: The two Libyan defendants charged in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, pleaded innocent yesterday at a pretrial hearing in the Scottish High Court. Although the trial is scheduled to begin May 3 at a former U.S. air base in the Netherlands, the pretrial session was held in Edinburgh because the defendants did not express a desire to be present. "In the absence of my client, I formally enter a plea of not guilty to the indictments," said defense attorney Bill Taylor, representing defendant Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi. Attorney Richard Keen entered an innocent plea on behalf of co-defendant Lamen Khalifa Fhimah. The pleas, which had been expected at a later stage, were a surprise ending at a one-hour hearing held to resolve a disagreement between prosecutors and defense lawyers on measures to conceal the identities of sensitive witnesses. The two sides agreed that the measures would be decided on a case-by-case basis. [AP]
Thursday: 3 February, 2000: Niger President Mamadou Tandja left Libya Tuesday night after a two-day visit during which he held talks with Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on strengthening bilateral relations. Tandja's visit, his first to Libya since coming to power December, is part of African leaders' support to Qadhafi's efforts to restore peace and security on the continent. The Libyan leader has been called to act as a co-ordinator in the peace process in the Great Lakes region and in setting up a mechanism for the implementation of the Sirte declaration on the African Union adopted at the fourth OAU extraordinary summit held in Sirte, 450 km east of Tripoli, 9 September, 1999. Bilateral talks were also held during the visit between Libyan foreign minister Omar Mountassir and his Niger counterpart, Sabou Nasserou. [PANA]
Thursday: 3 February, 2000: The First International Festival of Storytelling and Monodrama is to be held in Beirut at the Monnot Theater from Feb. 3-12. Dido Lykoudis, an Ethiopian-born actress of Greek origin takes the stage on Feb. 10 to present Errance, an extract from epic poetry by Achilles. The poem recounts the escape of the daughters of the King of Libya, Danaos, from Egypt to Argos where they ask, in an outdated language, for asylum. The tragic poem retains its acuteness and relevance as the fleeing of populations from arbitrary political, religious or economic conditions continues in this day, according to Lykoudis. [Daily Star]
Wednesday: 2 February, 2000: Various Libyan cities mobilised in the last two weeks to carry out a huge afforestation campaign aiming at controlling the desertification process by protecting arable lands and halting sand dunes. The sand dunes are extremely unsteady in the Libyan desert. They can move at a pace of five to six kilometres a day at some places, with risks of the sand burying houses, oases, fields and roads. A source at the agriculture ministry said that, to date, at least 110,000 seedlings were planted in the country, thanks to a good rainfall recorded during the period. The afforestation campaign will be followed in the next few days by the planting of about one million seedlings in the various regions of the country. [PANA]
Tuesday: 1 February, 2000: Results of African club competition preliminary round, first leg matches played at the weekend: African Champions League:
Al-Ahli Tripoli ( Libya ) 4 -- Olympic (Niger) 0. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 1 February, 2000: A French group representing terrorism victims said on Monday it had asked the country's top anti-terrorism judge to issue an arrest warrant for Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi in connection with the 1989 bombing of a DC-10 French airliner that killed 170 people. The victims' group, SOS-Attentats, said it made the request last Thursday. Last October, anti-terrorism Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere ruled that he had the jurisdiction to investigate a complaint filed in June by the victims' group who accused Qadhafi of being an accomplice to manslaughter in the bombing. The group includes relatives of those who died in the attack. Six Libyans - including a brother-in-law of Qadhafi - were convicted in absentia in March last year for the bombing of the UTA DC-10 over the Niger desert as the jetliner traveled to Paris from the Republic of Congo. They were sentenced to life in prison. [AP]
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