Libya:
News and Views [ March 2000 ]


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Friday: 31 March, 2000: The Libyan leader, Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, has congratulated Senegal's president-elect, Abdoulaye Wade, whose inauguration takes place Saturday. Libyan television reported that Qadhafi congratulated Wade in a telephone conversation after which they discussed issues of mutual interest, particularly continuing efforts by the OAU to end conflicts in Africa. In a message last week, Qadhafi commended Senegal's outgoing President, Abdou Diouf, for his "courage" and the transparent manner in which the second round presidential poll was conducted 19 March. [PANA]
Friday: 31 March, 2000: Tunisia and Libya will soon be linked by a new optical fiber cable. The French telecommunications company, Alcatel and India's KEC will supply and install the cable that will be used by Tunisia and Libya's telecom authorities STEG and Gecol. The length of the cable will be 400 kilometers. Four connections will be established in Tunisia as follows: Abbu Kammash-Medenine with 110 km, Medenine- Bouchemma, 94 km, Bouchema-Sidi-Mansour, 150 km, and Bouchema-Ghannouch, 3.5 km. [North Africa Journal]
Friday: 31 March, 2000: Libya may launch a tender for wheat flour within the next few weeks, European grain traders told Reuters. "Libya's next tender will be for wheat flour," said a trader based in Geneva, saying he expected the details to be announced by the middle of next week. But another trader said details would not be available until the end of March or early April, adding that an exact date had not yet been fixed. Libya usually tenders roughly every three or four months for between 200,000 tons and 300,000 tons of wheat flour from the European Union or North African suppliers like Morocco and Tunisia, traders said. [North Africa Journal]
Friday: 31 March, 2000: Former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda was lured in leaving active politics by an offer by Libyan president Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi in joining the Club of Elder Statesmen and Wisemen. Dr Kaunda speaking on the BBC's morning programme -Network Africa - said he had carefully considered the invitation which was extended to many former presidents including the late Julius Nyerere. [Times of Zambia]
Thursday: 30 March, 2000: U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Tuesday she would be inclined to lift a US travel ban on Libya if a safety assessment team that recently returned from Tripoli recommended that she do so. "A favorable recommendation would weigh heavily upon my decision," Albright told AFP. "I don't want to pre-judge that (decision)," she said. "I have to see what they say (but) if there is no danger to Americans, I think it would be okay. But I have to determine that." Earlier Tuesday, State Department spokesman James Foley told reporters in Washington that the four-member team which visited Libya over the weekend to assess conditions for westerners in the country was preparing its recommendation on whether to lift the ban. [AFP]
Thursday: 30 March, 2000: Well-informed sources in Sofia and Tripoli claim that Bulgaria is conducting secret diplomatic talks with a view to preventing heavy sentences being passed on the six Bulgarian medics detained in Libya on charges of having deliberately infected almost 400 children with the AIDS virus, according to a World Reporter report. According to a Western diplomat in Sofia, Bulgarian representatives have reportedly held talks with high-ranking Libyan officials, and this may be the only hope for the affair to have a favorable outcome. "Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi is unpredictable, and no one can tell what he will take it into his head to do tomorrow. Diplomacy behind the scenes is the best way of resolving such cases, and Bulgaria has taken the right line," the diplomat commented. [PANA]
Thursday: 30 March, 2000: Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and Sierra Leonean President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah Wednesday discussed issues affecting Africa and measures to strengthen stability and peace on the continent. Libyan television reported that Kabbah, who arrived Wednesday morning in Benghazi, 1,050 km east of Tripoli, briefed Qadhafi on the situation in his country and the west African region as well. [PANA]
Wednesday: 29 March, 2000: Libya and the United States could have normal relations if Washington respects Libya's rights as a sovereign nation, the new Libyan foreign minister was quoted as saying Tuesday. ``We wish to normalize relations with America with only one condition: that our full independence is respected,'' Abdel-Rahman Shalgam was quoted as saying by the London-based Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat. Shalgam did not elaborate, but described decisions that closed the U.S. Embassy, the Libyan Embassy in the United States and that barred Americans from visiting Libya as unilateral actions. Shalgam, who was appointed foreign minister earlier this month, was interviewed in Amman before ending a two-day visit to the Jordanian capital Monday. [AP]
Wednesday: 29 March, 2000: Some 30 French oil and gas services companies plan to travel to Tripoli next month in a bid to strengthen their position in the Libyan hydrocarbons market before the United States returns to the country. ``We are trying to get in there quickly. Everyone expects the U.S. administration to change its position (on sanctions against Libya) after the American presidential elections in November,'' Jean-Jacques Royant, in charge of international cooperation at the French oil and gas suppliers' council (GEP), told Reuters in an interview. Royant said GEP members would present their products and services at an international fair in Tripoli on April 5-20. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 29 March, 2000: Libya has launched several studies whose aim are to find solutions to environmental problems arising from the widespread utilisation of underground waters, the advance and infiltration of sea water and pollution. The studies are being conducted under the law which forbids the abusive use of waters, spells out modalities for the drilling of boreholes and sets out rigorous drinking water quality standards and protects agricultural lands from over-irrigation. Water is currently in short supply world-wide as a result of population pressure and growing needs in various sectors. Libya's geographical situation obliged authorities to confront the problem of water at an early stage by setting the necessary institutions and technical structures for water research, development and conservation of the vital resource. A major study was conducted on surface waters culminating into the decision to construct 39 dams which are expected to contain an average of 120 million cubic meters of water per year. [PANA]
Wednesday: 29 March, 2000: Some 300,000 pistachio trees planted on experimental basis in three regions in Libya yielded favourable results that encourage their intensive exploitation across the country. The pistachio trees were planted in al-Jabal Al Gharbi bringing to 500,000 the total number of pistachio trees growing so far in Libya. According to the promoters of the project, 30 kg were harvested per tree in south-western Libya. Libyan scientists commended the tree-planting project and are already examining the possibility of extending it to other parts of the country. [PANA]
Letters: 28 Marchto: ASPCLila Essato: Essagood Muslimsneed to go back

Tuesday: 28 March, 2000: Libya's OPEC delegation head Abdullah al-Badri said on Monday that Libya sought an oil price of $25 a barrel, while Algeria's oil minister said a price between $20 and $30 was desirable, the official United Arab Emirates news agency WAM reported. Al-Badri and Algerian Oil Minister Chakib Khelil were speaking to WAM in Vienna where all 11 OPEC members are gathering to try to bridge differences in opinion over how much extra oil members can afford to pump without sending international market for heir oil into a tailspin. ``We support increasing production, but we must study the desired increase intensely in order to maintain prices,'' WAM quoted Khelil as saying. The United States, the world's biggest consumer of oil, has been pressing producers to export more oil to ease prices from recent nine-year highs. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 28 March, 2000: A team of American officials has ended talks in Libya aimed at reviewing a ban on US citizens travelling to Libya. They are the first US diplomats to go to Libya since diplomatic ties were cut nearly two decades ago. The groundbreaking mission left Tripoli late on Sunday after discussions lasting more than 24 hours, Libyan state television reported. It said the meetings had covered "issues of common interest". The State Department said earlier the main aim of the trip was to reassess whether conditions for safe travel had improved. [BBC]
Tuesday: 28 March, 2000: Kuwait Oil Minister Sheik Saud Nasser al-Sabah said Monday that OPEC's ministerial meeting has been adjourned until midday Tuesday. Al-Sabah was speaking to reporters after leaving the ministerial meeting that began earlier Monday. OPEC is holding its ministerial meeting to decide whether and by how much to increase oil output once its current output agreement expires at the end of March. An OPEC delegate told Dow Jones that Iran, Libya, Nigeria and Indonesia aren't in favor of an oil supply increase of 1.7 million barrels a day, a figure being proposed by OPEC's gulf member states. [Dow Jones]
Monday: 27 March, 2000: The girlfriend of former MI5 officer David Shayler will arrive in London with new evidence of a secret service plot to kill Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, according to The Observer newspaper. Annie Machon, who lives with Shayler in Paris, will bring the documents to England and call on Metropolitan Police Commissioner John Stevens to open an inquiry into whether the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), widely known as MI6, was involved in a 1996 plot to kill Qadhafi. "For three years David has been persecuted by the authorities for telling the truth. It is time the police used its resources to mount an inquiry," Machon, also a former Security Service employee, told the Observer. [Reuters]
Monday: 27 March, 2000: Abdalla Salem El-Badri, head of Libya's National Oil Corp. and delegation to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, declined to specify Libya's position on an oil output increase being considered by OPEC members. But El-Badri indicated Sunday upon arrival to Vienna for Monday's meeting that April might not be the right time to increase oil production. Asked whether September might be the right date for an output increase, he said "I need more consultations with my colleagues." He added "I am concerned about oil prices," but declined to elaborate further. [Dow Gones]
Monday: 27 March, 2000: Iranian President Mohammad Khatami on Sunday held talks with Saudi, Libyan and Venezuelan leaders on the galloping oil market on the eve of a critical OPEC meeting in Vienna. State radio said Khatami had telephone chats with Saudi Crown Prince Abdallah bin Abdel Aziz and Libyan leader Mu'ammer al-Qadhafi to discuss the state of the worldwide market a day before OPEC ministers meet to decide the fate of the cartel's production. The official news agency IRNA reported that he also had a phone discussion with his Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chavez. The Saudis and Venezuelans are reported to be more in favour of a production increase than the Iranians and Libyans, who are viewed as hardliners in the 11-member cartel. [AFP]
Letters: 26 MarchASPCL(1 - 2)

Sunday: 26 March, 2000: Four U.S. State Department officials arrived in Libya on Saturday on what is thought to be the first such visit since diplomatic relations were cut in 1981. The consular officers have come to assess Libya's general security arrangements with a view to recommending whether to lift a ban on U.S. citizens visiting the country. Their trip is opposed by some relatives of the victims of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which blew up in 1988 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people. Egypt's Middle East News Agency said the Americans arrived on a British Airways plane and were met by Libyan officials and the Belgian ambassador, whose embassy hosts a U.S. interests section. They will leave Libya on Sunday, said U.S. State Department spokeswoman Michelle King. [AP]
Letters: 25 Marchal-Ittihad 2 - Great Olymbics 0

Saturday: 25 March, 2000: The BBC has lodged an appeal against a legal ruling which forbids it from broadcasting the Lockerbie bombing trial on television and the internet. The corporation said on Friday it was appealing a Scottish judge's refusal to allow the televising of the trial of two Libyans accused of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103. The plane exploded in December 1988 over the southern Scottish town of Lockerbie, killing 270 people. The BBC bid, supported by eight other broadcasters, was rejected by Lord Macfadyen at the High Court in Edinburgh earlier this month. He agreed with prosecutors, who had opposed the move arguing that the Libyans' right to a fair trial was more important than the right of the media to freedom of expression. [BBC]
Friday: 24 March, 2000: Libya on Thursday welcomed a planned visit by U.S. consular officials who will help decide whether to lift the ban on travel to Libya by U.S. citizens. ``We welcome this delegation...This is an important step we hope will be followed by others,'' Hassouna Chaouch, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, told Reuters in a telephone interview. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright authorized the trip by four State Department officials to see whether it is safe for U.S. citizens to travel in Libya. ``This is an important visit and it is possible to build on it for a resumption of relations between Libya and America based on dialogue and understanding and on the development of cooperation and shared interests,'' Chaouch said. ``It is America who severed ties with Libya. For us, America is an important and fundamental state... The present U.S. administration has realized the importance of Libya, of its position, of its economic and mineral potential, as well as its role in Africa and for peace...,'' he added. [Reuters]
Letters: 24 MarchOmar al-Mukhtar (2)al-Hiwar (8)Ahsent!Poltical religion

Friday: 24 March, 2000: A joint Libyan and Algerian medical team left Tripoli Thursday for Mozambique to help the country's flood victims. The doctors, technicians and nurses carried a shipment of supplies, including drugs and equipment needed in the emergency that has befallen Mozambique in the aftermath of the floods. This humanitarian gestures falls within the framework of a joint programme between the two states aimed at helping the flood-stricken people in Southern Africa. Libya 5 March launched a three-day airlift of emergency supplies from Tripoli to Maputo. [PANA]
Friday: 24 March, 2000: The chairman of the Sudanese opposition Umma party, Sadek Al-Mahdi, arrived Wednesday in Tripoli for an official visit to Libya. According to state television, the visit is part of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's efforts for national concord and reconciliation in Sudan. Al-Mahdi's party concluded an agreement with President Omar Hassan El-Beshir's government in Khartoum, following the sacking of parliament speaker Hassan El Tourabi, leader of the Islamic Front. But leaders of the Democratic National Alliance set up in 1995 denounced the agreement and made the overthrow of the Khartoum regime its major objective. Al-Mahdi's visit to Libya comes a few days after his break-up with the alliance, leading to the end of the sacred union between the northern opposition and southern rebellion. [PANA]
Thursday: 23 March, 2000: Libyan's leading oil official Abdallah al-Badri said on Wednesday there was still no consensus among OPEC producers on what action to take at a ministerial meeting in Vienna next week. Asked whether there was now a consensus on raising output and by how much he said: ``We are still discussing the situation of the market before reaching a decision. We must first look at the realities. We must look at the figures.'' Al-Badri was talking to Reuters by telephone from Libya after a meeting there with Venezuelan Oil Minister Ali Rodriguez. He said he was still worried about raising supply for the second quarter. ``The time is difficult to take a decision because of a demand decrease in the second quarter,'' he said. [Reuters]
Thursday: 23 March, 2000: Venezuelan Oil Minister Ali Rodriguez arrived in Libya on Wednesday and went straight into talks with Abdullah al-Badri, the man in charge of Libya's oil sector, Libyan oil sources said. Rodriguez is on a tour of oil producers to prepare for a March 27 OPEC meeting that is due to decide output policy after current production curbs expire at the end of March. Al-Badri, chairman of Libya's National Oil Company, was minister of energy in a cabinet scrapped as part of a restructing of Libya's political system announced this month. [Reuters]
Thursday: 23 March, 2000: Japan said on Tuesday Libya no longer poses a terrorist threat and that it would consider lifting eight-year-old sanctions on the state. ``We are considering the lifting of sanctions imposed on Libya,'' a Japanese Foreign Ministry official told Reuters. Japan's punitive steps, taken in 1992 after a 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, included a ban on flights between the two countries, exports of parts for aircraft and petrochemical facilities, and cash remittance to Libya. The official did not say when Tokyo would lift the sanctions, but local television broadcaster NHK reported that the move could come by the end of March. [Reuters]
Letters: 22 March 2000 Libyans are the bestFitnahRisalah

Friday: 24 March, 2000: A joint Libyan and Algerian medical team left Tripoli Thursday for Mozambique to help the country's flood victims. The doctors, technicians and nurses carried a shipment of supplies, including drugs and equipment needed in the emergency that has befallen Mozambique in the aftermath of the floods. This humanitarian gestures falls within the framework of a joint programme between the two states aimed at helping the flood-stricken people in Southern Africa. Libya 5 March launched a three-day airlift of emergency supplies from Tripoli to Maputo. [PANA]
Friday: 24 March, 2000: The chairman of the Sudanese opposition Umma party, Sadek Al-Mahdi, arrived Wednesday in Tripoli for an official visit to Libya. According to state television, the visit is part of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's efforts for national concord and reconciliation in Sudan. Al-Mahdi's party concluded an agreement with President Omar Hassan El-Beshir's government in Khartoum, following the sacking of parliament speaker Hassan El Tourabi, leader of the Islamic Front. But leaders of the Democratic National Alliance set up in 1995 denounced the agreement and made the overthrow of the Khartoum regime its major objective. Al-Mahdi's visit to Libya comes a few days after his break-up with the alliance, leading to the end of the sacred union between the northern opposition and southern rebellion. [PANA]
Thursday: 23 March, 2000: Libyan's leading oil official Abdallah al-Badri said on Wednesday there was still no consensus among OPEC producers on what action to take at a ministerial meeting in Vienna next week. Asked whether there was now a consensus on raising output and by how much he said: ``We are still discussing the situation of the market before reaching a decision. We must first look at the realities. We must look at the figures.'' Al-Badri was talking to Reuters by telephone from Libya after a meeting there with Venezuelan Oil Minister Ali Rodriguez. He said he was still worried about raising supply for the second quarter. ``The time is difficult to take a decision because of a demand decrease in the second quarter,'' he said. [Reuters]
Thursday: 23 March, 2000: Venezuelan Oil Minister Ali Rodriguez arrived in Libya on Wednesday and went straight into talks with Abdullah al-Badri, the man in charge of Libya's oil sector, Libyan oil sources said. Rodriguez is on a tour of oil producers to prepare for a March 27 OPEC meeting that is due to decide output policy after current production curbs expire at the end of March. Al-Badri, chairman of Libya's National Oil Company, was minister of energy in a cabinet scrapped as part of a restructing of Libya's political system announced this month. [Reuters]
Thursday: 23 March, 2000: Japan said on Tuesday Libya no longer poses a terrorist threat and that it would consider lifting eight-year-old sanctions on the state. ``We are considering the lifting of sanctions imposed on Libya,'' a Japanese Foreign Ministry official told Reuters. Japan's punitive steps, taken in 1992 after a 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, included a ban on flights between the two countries, exports of parts for aircraft and petrochemical facilities, and cash remittance to Libya. The official did not say when Tokyo would lift the sanctions, but local television broadcaster NHK reported that the move could come by the end of March. [Reuters]
Letters: 22 March 2000 Libyans are the bestFitnahRisalah

Wednesday: 22 March, 2000: Signaling a possibility of closer ties with Libya, the U.S. Clinton administration is sending a four-member team to Tripoli to assess whether conditions are safe enough to permit renewed travel by Americans to Libya. Spokesman James P. Rubin said Tuesday that after the visit, a determination will be made on whether to remove restrictions on ``travel to, in or through Libya.'' During their 26-hour stay, beginning Wednesday, the State Department team will assess security at airports, hotels and hospitals and also will confer with foreign diplomats resident in Tripoli. No meeting is planned with the Libyan leader, Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. [AP]
Wednesday: 22 March, 2000: U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has authorized a trip by U.S. consular officials to Libya as a prelude to deciding whether to lift a ban on travel there by U.S. citizens, her spokesman James Rubin said in a statement on Tuesday. Relatives bereaved in the air disaster over Scotland in which 270 people were killed told Reuters earlier that they had passed on a request to Albright to cancel the trip and that their anger had united them for the first time in a decade. They criticized in particular the timing of the planned visit, ahead of a trial of the two suspects which is taking place in May in the Netherlands under Scots law. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 22 March, 2000: A US State Department official on Tuesday confirmed Libya has "reduced" its support for terrorism, but stopped short of saying all Libyan support for such activities had ended. "Libya has taken important steps to reduce its support for terrorism," said US assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs Edward Walker. The State Department comments came as Washington announced plans to send a consular mission to Tripoli Wednesday to assess whether to lift a 19-year ban on travel to the country for US citizens. "There is still a long way to go before we would consider removing Libya from the terrorist list," said Walker, downplaying earlier comments by a State Department official of a "cessation of Libyan support for terrorism." That official, who had spoken on condition of anonymity, also said that Tripoli had "thrown out" the extremist Abu Nidal group. Asked whether other terrorist organizations continued to benefit from the support or protection of the Libyan government, the official answered: "Not as far as we know." [AFP]
Letters: 21 March 2000Tahfot al-Mulahadhatal-Dhahira al-Fir'awniyah 4

Tuesday: 21 March, 2000: Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi agreed in telephone talks to "coordinate" their positions on oil policy before an OPEC meeting on March 27, the official Algerian news agency APS said on Monday. "The two leaders came to an agreement over the coordination between the two countries ahead of the upcoming OPEC conference," APS said. APS gave no details about the two leaders' positions on OPEC policy. Bouteflika and Qadhafi also discussed an Africa-European Union summit planned for next month in Egypt, it said. Bouteflika and Qadhafi held the telephone talks on Sunday, APS added. [Reuters]
Monday: 20 March, 2000: Libyan Foreign Minister Omar al-Muntasser was accidentally given an unrestricted U.S. visa in late 1998, Time magazine reported in its latest issue. Muntasser, who has since been replaced, took full advantage of the visa and apparently traveled to Texas, home of the United States' oil industry, and Aspen, Colorado, Time reported in its edition that appears on news stands Monday. Muntasser's travels were later pieced together by U.S. agents, although Time did not say why Muntasser traveled to either place. Washington considers Libya a state sponsor of terrorism, although Tripoli's international relations may be warming. Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has turned over two Libyans suspected in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland that killed 270 people. The two go on trial on May 3. [Reuters]
Letters: 20 March 2000to: Syfe ...to: AbdelrahimWe have learned

Friday: 17 March, 2000: Venezuelan Oil Minister Ali Rodriguez has included Libya and Algeria on his tour to members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, ahead of the ministers meeting in Vienna on March 27, a ministry spokeswoman said. The minister is scheduled to visit Iran on Saturday March 18, Iraq on Sunday March 19 and Kuwait on Monday March 20. He then will travel to Algeria on Tuesday March 21 and make a last stop before Vienna in Libya on Wednesday, March 22. [Dow Jones News Wire]
Letters:al-TadhamonSolidarityHaj Mabrour

Thursday: 16 March, 2000: Al Ahly football club of Tripoli is expected to clash with Abidjan's Africa Sports in Cote d'Ivoire in the first leg of the African Champions League. At the same time, Al Ittihad is back in Tripoli after a training camp in the Canary Islands, and is expected to host Ghana's Great Olympics Friday in the African Cup Winners' Cup. And Al Mahala currently in Egypt ahead of their Saturday's match against Al-Ismailia of Cairo are continuing their preparations initiated in Hungary for the CAF cup. [PANA]
Letters:The problemRefreshing ...Yahdeenato: al-Mauloud




The home of " Libyan Relief Fund"

Letters:Da'wahTahtheerOmar al-MukhtarTo: Mr. Lebe

Wednesday: 15 March, 2000: The Libyan government has urged "wealthy African states" to "take part in the speedy supply of humanitarian aid to Mozambique," which was struck by the worst floods in 50 years, Libyan television reported Sunday. According to the report, Libya has also urged China and India to help Mozambique face the disaster which has affected hundreds of thousands of people. Libya has strived to support Mozambique in airlifting relief items and equipment needed for the emergency operations. Teams of Libyan frog-men and canoes have been sent to the affected regions of Mozambique to take part in the emergency operations, the report added. [PANA]
Tuesday: 14 March, 2000: Oil prices crept higher on Monday, supported by Iran's call for small output increases and Algeria's plea for a delay in additional production until after the second quarter, traders said. Crude oil for delivery in April ended at $32.02, gaining 26 cents on the day and extending last week's small recovery from Wednesday's collapse that slashed oil's fresh nine-year high of $34.14 a barrel by nearly $3. Iran's position followed a shift in its stand last week, shortly afer it joined Algeria and Libya in opposing unleashing extra barrels in the second quarter because, they said, demand would drop by 3.0 million barrels per day (bpd) in the second quarter. [Reuters]
Letters:To: BuisierBe patientJust a thoughtCan't you see?Ta'ziyah

Monday: 13 March, 2000: Fresh rain was forecast in Mozambique on Sunday but air crews from Europe, the United States and African states hoped to fly more food, medicine and shelter to flood victims. Planes and helicopters flew till last light on Saturday, making the most of a break in the weather that might not last. The international effort is expected to be stepped up with the scheduled arrival of helicopters and logistical support from Egypt and Libya in the next 24 hours. Heavy-lift helicopters from the United States are expected to enter the relief effort. [Reuters]
Saturday: 11 March, 2000: The 17th conference of the International Student Federation Friday opened in Tripoli, to discuss solutions to problems facing the organisation. A source close to the organisation did not name the problems, but said the two-day conference will be followed by a meeting of the Pan African Student Federation and the extended Central Council of the Intl. Student Federation. Participants would also discuss how to enhance student action. [PANA]
Saturday: 11 March, 2000: Lebanese Amal movement leader Nabih Berri will boycott all official functions attended by Libyan delegates on the sidelines of the Arab foreign ministers during their two-day conference. Once the gathering is over, the speaker will raise with the Lebanese Cabinet the unresolved dispute with Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi over the 1978 disappearance of Imam Musa Sadr, the speakerís mentor and the Amal movementís founder. Sadr was on an official visit to Libya when he went missing, and Tripoli has for long maintained that he left for Italy, though Rome says he never arrived there. [Daily Star]
Letters:Waqi-iyet al-TafkeerWe demand change
To: Adrar and AlbayTaqseem LibyaAl-Fir'aouniyah - 3

Saturday: 11 March, 2000: Somali warlord Hussein Mohamed Aidid was due to travel to Tripoli Friday for talks with Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi amid a new pushby the Libyan leader to help broker an end to years of conflict in Somalia. Aidid's office announced that the south Mogadishu strongman would be accompanied by eight senior officials of his Somali National Alliance faction. Qadhafi invited other Somali leaders to Libya this week as part of efforts to end long-standing clan warfare in Somalia. Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, the leader of the breakaway northwestern Somali region known as the Republic of Somaliland, left Hargeisa for Tripoli on Thursday at Qadhafi's invitation, according to Abdi Idriss Duale, Egal's press secretary. [AFP]
Letters:Another reply to Albay's letterHadiyahMulahadhat

Friday: 10 March, 2000: Libya threatened to boycott the upcoming Arab League ministerial meeting in Beirut because its minister was the only one not invited to dinner by Lebanon's speaker of parliament, diplomatic sources said Thursday. Despite appeals by Lebanese President Emile Lahoud and Prime Minister Salim Hoss to relent, parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri chose to cancel the dinner rather than inviting Libyan Foreign Minister Abdel Rahman Shalgham, the sources said. Berri heads the Shiite Muslim Amal movement, whose founder, Mussa Sadr, mysteriously vanished while visiting Libya in 1978. Libya insisted that Sadr had traveled on to a European country, but this was followed by reports that Libyan agents deposited Sadr's luggage in Europe. Sadr's disappearance has made for bad blood between Lebanon's Shiite community and Libya. Libya is expected to attend the meeting of the Cairo-based League's ministerial council, which is being held unusually in Beirut Saturday and Sunday. [AFP]
Friday: 10 March, 2000: Hyundai Corp said Thursday that it would expand investment in oil and gas exploration projects around the world, starting with Libya's "elephant" oil field in the second half of this year. The company said it hopes to secure enough oil reserves to prepare for an era of high oil prices. The elephant oil field, discovered in 1997, is believed to have oil deposits of 700 million barrels. Hyundai will tap the oil field in two stages. Preliminary surveys of the field were already completed by a consortium it set up with a number of Korean firms, including Korea National Oil Corp. From the second half of this year, the consortium can pump 50,000 barrels of crude oil per day and 150,000 barrels per day from 2003 in the second phase of the work. [Asian Pulse]
Letters:A reply to Albay's letterA serious matter
La lil Iqsa'Sports updateAl-Fir'aouniyah - 2

Thursday: 9 March, 2000: The Chadian leader has commended Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's resolve to help restore peace and stability in his country. In a message delivered by foreign minister Mohammed Salah Nadhif, President Idriss Deby said "Colonel Qadhafi's efforts and concern for stability and security in Chad" were commendable. Qadhafi had in November proposed to help resolve the dispute between the government and the rebel-held north, under siege of former defence minister Youssouf Togoimi. Fighting intensified in the Tibesti between the government army and Togoimi's Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad, following the failure of several mediation attempts. The Libyan leader has always reiterated that Tripoli "would not tolerate its territory be used to destabilise Chad." [PANA]
Thursday: 9 March, 2000: Egypt and Libya are exploring issues of common interest between the two countries, according to a message relayed from President Hosni Moubarak Monday. Egypt's foreign minister, Amr Moussa, was in Libya to deliver the message, which also touched on the situation in the region, to Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. Upon his arrival at the Sirte airport , Moussa indicated that his visit was set against the background of consultations between World Trade Organisation countries. He said the consultations were relative to the Libya-Egyptian initiative for the attainment of national reconciliation in Sudan, the next Afro-European conference, the Arab ministerial conference to held next week, as well as other issues necessitating co-ordination and regular consultations between the two countries. [PANA]
Letters:Abouzaid DourdaIt is now the time

Wednesday: 8 March, 2000: The BBC has lost its latest plea in its legal argument to be allowed to broadcast the Lockerbie trial of two Libyans on television and the internet. After a hearing last month, Lord Macfadyen issued a 42-page ruling on Tuesday morning in which he refused BBC Scotland permission to televise the trial. The BBC was granted an adjournment of the case until Tuesday afternoon, when it stated that the decision broke the European Convention on Human Rights. Lord Macfadyen rejected the corporation's plea for him to consider referring the case to a court of three judges. After hearing legal argument on methods of appeal under the procedure by which the case had been brought to court, he told the BBC he was rejecting that request. "But it may well be that there are other ways forward," he told the BBC's lawyer, Alan Dewar. [BBC]

Tuesday: 7 March, 2000: Jordan has deported eight Libyans for alleged links with international terrorist organizations, Jordanian officials said Monday. A senior government official said the eight, who were arrested Jan. 4, had planned to use Jordan as a safe haven to build an organization aimed at plotting against Libyan national security. Monday's announcement was the first official acknowledgment that Jordan has deported the eight Libyans, who were apprehended in their homes in Zarqa, 17 miles northeast of Amman. The Petra news agency, the mouthpiece of the state, also said the men were deported, but provided few other details. At the time of their arrests, officials had said the eight were circulating leaflets critical of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. The government insisted that the eight would not be extradited to Libya, where they could face execution. But a government official, insisting on anonymity, said the eight were extradited to Libya three weeks ago under an Arab League security pact. [AFP]
Tuesday: 7 March, 2000: Libya, Iran and Algeria are against any increase in crude oil production from the end of the month, the Iranian news agency IRNA said Monday, quoting a statement by the Iranian oil ministry. The statement referred back to a meeting of the oil ministers of the three OPEC hardliners in Tripoli on January 21, indicating that nothing had changed since then. "Demand for crude oil has started to drop by three million barrels per day (bpd) for the second quarter of the year and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will maintain the current level of output beyond March 31, 2000," IRNA quoted the ministry as saying. OPEC gathers in Vienna on March 27 to draft its production strategy from the end of the month, when an agreement to cut production runs out. Member states have previously said that any decision must be unanimous. [AFP]
Tuesday: 7 March, 2000: Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Mussa held talks on Monday with Libyan leader Mu'amar al-Qadhafi and other top officials. The official Libyan news agency JANA said the two men discussed "the regional situation and matters of common interest" in their talks in the Mediterranean town of Sirte but gave no further details. Earlier Musa held talks with African Unity Minister Ali Abdel Salam Triki which he said focussed on the European-African summit to be held in Cairo next month, Egyptian and Libyan efforts to bring peace to Sudan and an Arab League ministerial meeting in Beirut at the weekend. [AFP]
Tuesday: 7 March, 2000: Libya is carrying out a continuous series of flights to ferry aid to flood-stricken Mozambique, the official JANA news agency reported Saturday. The "air bridge" is enabling Libya to send more aid to the country, where officials say the total number of people affected by the floods is as many as 1.5 million. [Sapa-AFP]
Letters:Tahafot Attahafotto: Abdel-RaheemRisalah ... (4) Nida'

Monday: 6 March, 2000: Pressure is growing on the United Nations to publish a private letter between Secretary General Kofi Annan and the Libyan leader Colonel Qadhafi. There have been claims that it contains details of a secret deal which paved the way for the extradition to the Netherlands of two Libyans suspected of planting the Lockerbie bomb. Bob Minetti of US Families of Victims of Pan Am 103 said they want to see what is in the letter, and have written to President Clinton asking him to put pressure on the UN to publish. "It's incredibly bizarre for everybody to assure us that the letter means nothing and yet not to show it to us," he said. But the new Lord Advocate, the most senior law officer in Scotland, says he has seen the letter and would have no problems if it was published. [BBC]
Monday: 6 March, 2000: The American Soybean Association (ASA) on Sunday challenged U.S. Vice President Al Gore ``to show us your leadership'' by intervening to include more soybeans in U.S. food aid programs in a bid to boost prices. The ASA's president Marc Curtis said decades-long U.S. economic sanctions against Iran, Libya, Sudan, North Korea and Sudan was a ``recurring nightmare'' that blocks business in markets worth $554 million annually for soybeans and its products. "Clearly, one of the greatest barriers of free trade exists right here in the United States in the form of unilateral economic sanctions. U.S. farmers cannot sell their products to Iran, Libya, Sudan, North Korea and Cuba. ``The use of unilateral economic sanctions by our government has been a recurring nightmare for soybean farmers and all of U.S. agriculture for nearly three decades,'' he said. [Reuters]
Letters:Tahafot al-Nokhbah

Sunday: 5 March, 2000: The surprise resignation of Scotland's top prosecutor will not affect the trial of two Libyans accused of blowing up PanAm Flight 103, his successor told U.S. relatives of the bombing's victims. "So far as the trial is concerned, the preparation for that has not been affected. The prosecution team is still in force and we are ready to go to trial on May 3," Lord Advocate Colin Boyd told reporters after a three-hour meeting with about 30 victims' relatives. Boyd was named to replace Lord Andrew Hardie, who stepped down last month. The resignation angered relatives and raised concerns about whether its timing indicated weakness in Scotland's case. Hardie's departure came just two weeks after reports suggested the prosecution's case was unravelling after a leading witness was reported to have said his original testimony was inaccurate and key evidence was seen as flawed. [Reuters]
Sunday: 5 March, 2000: Liberian president Charles Taylor held talks Friday with Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi at Sirte, 450 km east of Tripoli. Libyan State television reported that the two leaders discussed Africa's development in general, security issues and peace on the continent. It said that Taylor's visit to Libya was part of the support African leaders were giving Qadhafi's efforts for the restoration of peace and stability in Africa particularly the Great Lakes region. The two leaders also discussed the means of setting up a mechanism for the implementation of the Sirte Declaration on the African Union, adopted by the heads of state at the fourth OAU extraordinary summit last September in Libya. [PANA]
Letters:Hatta elli mau-labis kaki

Saturday: 4 March, 2000: Chadian rebels said Thursday they killed 197 government soldiers during the past week in the mountainous northern Tibesti region. A "major military offensive launched on February 24 by (President Idriss) Deby ... finished in a general defeat for the army" at the cost of 197 lives and 182 injured troops, the rebels asserted. The statement from the Movement for Justice in Democracy in Chad, led by Youssouf Togoimi, a former interior minister, made no mention of casualties among rebel ranks. The Chadian government has acknowledged that clashes have taking place in the northern territory near the borders with Libya and Niger. [AFP]
Saturday: 4 March, 2000: The international community mobilised Friday to bring aid to hundreds of thousands of people hit by Mozambique's catastrophic floods. Amid fears of further rains to come, new offers of aid were being made virtually hourly. United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan said late Thursday that the world body had begun "very seriously raising money" to deal with the disaster and was working closely with southern African countries as they worked out a regional response. The UN Population Fund announced that it had sent a first batch of live-saving delivery kits, part of emergency supplies that "will help some 500,000 people for three months." Libya said it has sent a plane-load of food and medecine to Mozambique. [AFP]
Friday: 3 March, 2000: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi sprang another surprise on Thursday by proposing a head of state for Libya a day after sending most of his ministers packing. Under the Jamahiriya (state of the masses) system devised by Qadhafi in 1977, Libya has no president or formal head of state. Although he wields real power in Libya, the 58-year-old Qadhafi is known simply as the ``Guide of the Revolution.'' ``I would like that a constitutional reference be established. The (present) General Coordinator of the Social Popular Command could be the head of the state in a formal manner,'' Qadhafi told a rally in the southern city of Sebha. ``We need him in case something happens, like a catastrophe, a war, or whatever,'' Qadhafi said in a speech marking the 23rd anniversary of the establishment of ``Popular Power'' in Libya. [Reuters]
Friday: 3 March, 2000: The new Libyan government cabinet members:
1. Prime Minister: Mubarak al-Shamikh.
2. Deputy Prime Minister for Production: Bashir Bujenah.
3. Deputy Prime Minister for Services: Baghdadi Mahmudi.
4. Justice and General Security Minister: Mohammad Belgassem al-Zuai.
5. Foreign Affairs Minister: Abdel Rahman Shalgham.
6. African Unity Minister: Ali Abdel Salam al-Traiki. [BBC]
Letters:al-Amazighiyahmin Shorout al-Islah to: "a Libyan"

Thursday: 2 March, 2000: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has ordered the abolition of the central government Wednesday and the transfer of most ministerial functions to provincial bodies, a senior Libyan official said. ``All the central departments (ministries) in charge of production or services will be abolished and their functions will be transferred to the (provinces) cells of popular congresses,'' Ahmed Ibrahim, Deputy Speaker of the General People's Congress told the Congress at its annual session, broadcast by Libyan state television and monitored in Tunis. ``There will remain (from the government) a small secretariat at the central level that will handle sovereignty sectors such as foreign policy, security and information,'' he added. Ibrahim said that as a result of the transfer of functions to the popular committees holding power in the country's 26 Chaabiyat (or provinces) and hundreds of communes, some of these functions will be transferred to state-controlled companies and some will be abolished. ``This is a new step in the popular revolution,'' he said. [Reuters]
Thursday: 2 March, 2000: Libya Wednesday scrapped most ministries and transferred the bulk of their duties to the provinces in a move reflecting Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's dissatisfaction with the outgoing cabinet's economic policies. The energy ministry was among 12 ministries to be scrapped and their powers devolved to provincial committees or other bodies. The key ministries of defense and foreign affairs will remain under some form of central supervision. The defense ministry has always been kept out of government control and is run by Qadhafi's allies. Energy policy in the major oil-producing state will be run by the National Oil Company (NOC) under the supervision of the General People's Committee (prime ministry), which will also supervise the ministries of foreign affairs, African Unity, finance, information and tourism, justice and public order. The restructuring was approved by the country's top legislative and executive body, the General People's Congress (GPC) during debates broadcast by Libyan state television monitored in Tunis. [Reuters]
Thursday: 2 March, 2000: Mubarak al-Shamekh, 50, was Wednesday named prime minister to head a new Libyan mini-government after parliament dismantled most of the ministries, state television reported. The former housing minister succeeds Mohammed Ahmed al-Mangush, who held the post since December 1998. The new head of government will have two deputy prime ministers, one for production and one for services. The new foreign minister is Abdel Rahman Shalgham, who previously headed the foreign affairs committee in the parliament, or General People's Congress. [AFP]
Thursday: 2 March, 2000: Libya's parliament picked a new mini-government Wednesday, calling its predecessor a total failure and scrapping most of its ministries, state television said. The parliament, or General People's Congress (GPC), also transferred the functions of the dissolved ministries to municipal councils before ending its annual session in the coastal city of Sirte. Mubarak al-Shamekh, 50, was named prime minister by the GPC. The former housing minister succeeds Mohammed Ahmed al-Mangush, who held the post since December 1998. Under the new organizational scheme, the head of government has two deputy prime ministers. Beshir Bujeneh, the former maritime resources minister, is the new deputy prime minister for production while Bagdadi Mahmudi, a former member of the GPC will take charge of services. New Foreign Minister Abdel Rahman Shalgham previously headed the GPC's foreign affairs committee. [AFP]
Letters:Ta'ziyahila Sadeq al-Naihoum al-Dhahira al-Fir'aouniyah

Wednesday: 1 March, 2000: Hydro-Quebec International has won a major contract to provide technical assistance, training and expertise to GECOL, Libya's national electric utility, which has been collaborating with HQI for 15 years. According to a press release, the 36-month contract will come into effect in April 2000 and will be worth some $12 million (Canadian). The project basically consists in restructuring GECOL's organization and setting up a system for managing administrative and financial information . More specifically, the project aims to restructure the utility's organizational and management models, as well as customer services management and procurement management (stores and purchases); restructure and set up an integrated accounting and finance system; provide the training and expertise needed to achieve the general project objectives and to complete each project stage; set up an integrated management information system. [North Africa Journal]
Letters:We have the same identity... and more education Lokemiya al-Fikr

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