News and Views [ May 2000 ]

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Letters: 31 May Ta'ziyah Shahadna ANN and al-Jazeerah Libyans rule Libya

Wednesday: 31 May, 2000: "America relies on cruise missiles for conducting its relations with the rest of the world," Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi said. "These are outdated methods and bankrupt programs that have no future." In a wide-ranging interview, Qadhafi denied Libyan involvement in terrorist activities and dismissed the 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 bombing as "something of the past." Pointing to his decision last year to surrender the two Libyan suspects in the case to Scottish courts, he said the next U.S. administration would be compelled to normalize relations with Libya or stand "accused of racism and spite."
Asked whether Libya would pay compensation to the families of the Lockerbie victims if the two defendants were found guilty, Qadhafi replied that this would be determined by the court. "We'll see the ruling of the court and whether compensation is being asked for from those who have been convicted, or from their families or from their tribe or from the state," he said. He then turned the question around: "Suppose the two suspects are acquitted. Will Libya ask to be compensated for the billions of dollars we have lost because of the embargo and because of this groundless accusation?" he said. Libya claims the UN sanctions, which were imposed in 1992, have cost the country $33 billion.
The Libyan leader said he was personally acquainted with the Internet, that he has an e-mail address (which he does not give out), and wondered aloud how he might communicate directly to the American people through the Internet. "I hope that I will find a forum to talk to the Americans so that I can brainwash them for their own interests," he said with a grin. He warned that the Internet was in danger of becoming "trivialized." "Now it's like a toy, something for fun," he said. "Unless it is really regulated properly, and a good sensible program is adopted, the Internet will lose its value and people will just desert it and forget about it." [Chicago Tribune]
Wednesday: 31 May, 2000: [American] Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan arrived in Libya Tuesday, an Egyptian news agency reported, praising the suspension of sanctions against the North African nation after it turned over two men suspected in the 1988 bombing of an American jet. Farrakhan arrived in the capital of Tripoli for talks with the leaders of Chad, Liberia, Mali and Libya, according to the Middle East News Agency. The agency did not say what the talks with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi would focus on, and Libyan spokesmen in Cairo and Tripoli could not be reached. The presidents of Chad, Liberia and Mali also arrived Tuesday in Tripoli. [AP]
Wednesday: 31 May, 2000: An aluminium baggage container reconstructed after the Lockerbie bombing has been examined at the trial of two Libyans in the Netherlands. The six-foot high container and its floor panel was dismantled and then rebuilt at the request of the defence. It was originally reconstructed by Peter Claydon, from the UK's Air Accident Investigation Branch, who gave evidence at the trial of the two men accused of bombing the New York-bound Boeing 747 in December 1988. Questioned by prosecuting counsel Alan Turnbull, QC, Mr Claydon said that in his opinion, the damage to luggage container 4041 was caused by a "high energy event" - "possibly an explosion". There was no doubt in his mind, that the "event" occurred within the baggage container itself. [BBC]
Wednesday: 31 May, 2000: Controversial Austrian politician Joerg Haider has caused a stir by arranging petrol prices some 12% lower than the national average in the province where he is governor. Mr Haider has declined to specify where he acquired the petrol, but political commentators in Austria are linking the cheap oil purchase with Mr Haider's recent meeting with Libyan President, Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. Although Mr Haider stepped down as the right-wing Freedom Party leader at the beginning of this month, he is never out of the national headlines for long. He generally attracts attention with intentionally provocative statements about the EU, all the more so since Austria's 14 European partners imposed bilateral sanctions after his right-wing Freedom Party joined the government in February. Now he is back in the public eye as a result of his recent visit to Libya followed by the promise of cheap petrol for the southern province of Carinthia. [BBC]
Wednesday: 31 May, 2000: The Organization of Islamic Conference said Tuesday it was trying to send an envoy to the Philippines to help release 21 hostages kidnapped by a rebel Muslim group, an act the pan-Islamic body branded as a violation of Islamic law. Also Tuesday, the Libyan Embassy in Riyadh said that a Libyan charity group headed by Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, son of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, would also send an envoy to the Philippines to try and secure the release of the hostages. The envoy, who was not identified in the embassy statement, would be Libya's second. Libya has already sent retired diplomat Rajab Azzarouq. The Abu Sayyaf rebels have said they will only negotiate with President Joseph Estrada's executive secretary, ambassadors from the hostages' countries and Libya, and representatives of the United Nations and Islamic nations. [AP]
Letters: 30 May 'Endama Yantoq ... Mun yahkum? Sharrul-baliyahti
To M. I. To Mr. Azzwari Hayhat To Usama

Tuesday: 30 May, 2000: Britain's Lasmo said on Friday it had passed the last hurdle in getting its large Libyan Elephant oil development under way by forming an operators' management committee for the venture. The move, reported by a Lasmo spokesman, opens the way for the development, one of the biggest discoveries in Libya in recent years, to proceed with engineering procurement contracts. "All the structure is now in place for development," the spokesman said. "The process now will be to invite tenders for an engineering and procurement contract." The process of assembling the committee was completed recently with the appointment of Mohammad Abdel-Salam, a reservoir engineer with Libya's National Oil Drilling Company, and Ali Shkat, head of external audit at Libya's National Oil Corp (NOC). Abdel-Salam, who will chair the committee, and Skhat were nominated by state-owned NOC, the spokesman said. [Reuter]
Monday: 29 May, 2000: Libya has expressed its willingness to import arms and ammunition manufactured in Pakistan Ordnance Factory (POF), Wah Cantt. Sources said a list of the POF products has already been provided to Major General Mustafa al-Kharoubi, inspector general of the Libyan Arab Armed forces. Sources said, this has been revealed in a paper prepared by the Pakistan government regarding Pak-Libya joint ministerial commission (JMC) meeting scheduled to be held very soon at Islamabad. A plan has also been prepared for boosting Pak-Libya economic relations including defence relations, sources said. Under the plan, sources said, after the JMC, the Major General Abu Bakr Younis Jaber, member historical command council and commander in chief of the Libyan Arab army would also be invited to visit Pakistan as a part of the process to revive Pak- Libya military cooperation. [Dawn]
Monday: 29 May, 2000: When asked if his son's "scholarship" was a bribe, Bashir Mohamed Attarabulsi, Libya's representative at a meeting of National Olympic Committee officials in Brazil, said "Never did Tom or Dave [Salt Lake Bid Committee members] tell me to vote for Salt Lake City. Never ... in my situation, I accepted without thinking it would be a bribe... the U.S. gives scholarships to many countries," he added. The idea never arose, Attarabulsi continued, because Salt Lake City did not need to buy votes. It was the best candidate for 2002. Even if none of the 10 International Olympic Committee members purged in the scandal voted for Salt Lake, the city would have won. Mr Attarabulsi resigned from the IOC following revelations that the SLBC spent close to $20,000 to send one of his sons, Suhel, to college. [The Salt Lake Tribune]
Letters: 28 May, 2000
We are all proud of Usama What is important .. Ya-khsara Thanks Azzwari

Sunday: 28 May, 2000: A secret MI5 dossier has revealed how the IRA was funded by Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, the Libyan leader, to wage a terrorism campaign in Britain. The documents, seen by The Sunday Times, describe in detail how £6.75m was handed over by Qadhafi's agents to an IRA courier known as "Cassidy" during visits to Tripoli airport. Qadhafi's support for the IRA is known, but the extent of his financial backing and details of the payments have long been a mystery. The documents include minutes of a meeting between a Libyan government official and a senior MI5 officer. Libya agreed to disclose how it paid the IRA as part of a deal to end United Nations sanctions. [The Sunday Times]
Sunday: 28 May, 2000: The Italian football team Perugia are hoping to secure the services of al-Saadi al-Qadhafi, the son of Libyan leader Colonel Qadhafi, for next season. Luciano Gaucci, president of the Serie A club, is reported to be in negotiations with al-Saadi al-Qadhafi, who plays for the Libyan national side and is coached by disgraced Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson. Gaucci is known in Italy for his inventive approach to football management. [Team-Talk]
Saturday: 27 May, 2000: Tunisia and Morocco agreed Friday to further boost bilateral cooperation in all fields and support the Middle East Arabs in their struggle for legitimate rights. They also hope that a full lifting of sanctions off Libya would be done as soon as possible, especially the Lockerbie issue will be dealt with in a positive way. [Xinhua]
Saturday: 27 May, 2000: Libya has donated 1.5m Swiss francs to the Ethiopian Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission for alleviating the present food shortage in the country, it was learnt. According to the Commission, the donation was handed over to it by Ali Abdella Awidan, secretary of the Peopleís Bureau of the Great Socialist Arab Jamahiriya in Ethiopia. [Addis Tribune]
Letters: 26 May, 2000
Al-Jazeera - Bou-Isha - Azzwari Hadiyah (3) Ila al-Fatah
E'lan Raj'i Liqa' al-Alfiyah Mohakamat al-Qarn

Friday: 26 May, 2000: An air accident investigator has told the Lockerbie trial of two Libyans that there was a significant mathematical error in the official report on the disaster. In highly technical but potentially crucial evidence, Christopher Protheroe said he informed prosecution lawyers in a meeting on Monday that a complex formula used to calculate blast wave effects after an initial explosion had been incorrectly applied in the 1990 report. He admitted that correct calculation of the so-called "mach stem" phenomenon would indicate that the bomb which destroyed Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland went off closer to its fuselage skin than originally thought. [BBC]
Friday: 26 May, 2000: Pakistan and Libya are likely to form a specialized trading company to promote trade between the two countries on sustainable basis through a joint venture. Pakistan is expected to supply cement plants, road building and electrical equipments to Libya at competitive prices and conforming the international quality. Both the countries have completed initial work and a formal announcement will be made very soon. A joint ministerial commission (JMC) is scheduled to meet very soon to decide the formalities in this regard. Both sides have also agreed to undertake various other projects of different nature. [Asia Pulse]

Thursday: 25 May, 2000: A Scottish newspaper severely criticised at the trial of the two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing has said it is standing by its claims. The Sunday Herald reported that the prosecution case was in tatters amid concerns over evidence due to be provided by a man described as a key witness. The newspaper alleged that the "disarray" had prompted the Crown to seek a 12-day adjournment in the case. Scotland's Lord Advocate, Colin Boyd QC, told the court there was no truth in the allegations and statements attributed to Crown Office sources had not been made. But in a statement on Wednesday, the newspaper said: "The story was accurate and, we believe, in the public interest. We will print a full and robust response to the criticisms in our edition on Sunday." [BBC]
Thursday: 25 May, 2000: Libya's Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, who has boasted of supporting all of the world's liberation movements, is now trying to reconcile rebels with established governments -- from Sierra Leone to the Philippines. As Libya moves out of international isolation more than a year after United Nations sanctions were suspended, analysts believe its initiatives display an increasing willingness to cooperate with the West. One analyst said Qhadafi had actually struck out on a more moderate path around 15 years ago, but had pulled surprises since then and might do so again to assert an identity distinct from US and Western ways. Yezid Sayigh of London's International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said Libya has been cooperating more with the West, while continuing to search for an alternative and non-conformist approach in the global arena. "There is a general sense in which Libyan foreign policy doesn't swing and oscillate quite as widely as before," the IISS senior Middle East researcher told AFP by telephone. [AFP]
Letters: 24 May, 2000
Aish Gasdak?!! Omar al-Mukhtar (5) Imtihan
Ila al-Aqeed Congratulations Mr. Azzwari Questions

Wednesday: 24 May, 2000: The Lockerbie trial has been hit by a technical fault which has prevented it from resuming at a special court in the Netherlands. Proceedings have been adjourned until Wednesday by the presiding judge, Lord Sutherland. The trial was due to resume on Tuesday after a 12-day break to allow the prosecution more time to prepare the next phase of its case against two Libyans suspected of planting a bomb on Pan Am Flight 103. The problem arose with a computerised system which relays notes from the stenographer to screens used by the lawyers. Lord Sutherland apologised to witnesses and relatives who had turned up for the hearing and described the delay as "regrettable but unavoidable". [BBC]
Wednesday: 24 May, 2000: The European parliament called Tuesday for Middle East peace at a conference of parliamentary speakers from Mediterranean nations, boycotted by Lebanon because of Israeli participation. However, Syria and Libya sent their parliamentary speakers to the conference in the Palestine Hotel in Egypt's Mediterranean port of Alexandria, European Commission officials said. Speaker of the European parliament, Nicole Fontaine, appealed to delegates to "unite their efforts to give peace a strong political impulse." Also attending were speakers from Egypt, the Palestinian areas, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Turkey. European Commission officials could not say whether or not Libyan or Syrian delegates had met with the speaker of the Israeli Knesset. Libya has been opposed to the Arab-Israeli peace process while Syria has previously boycotted regional conferences and meetings attended by Israel because of their difficult peace talks. [AFP]
Wednesday: 24 May, 2000: A United Nations Committee against Torture this morning concluded its twenty-fourth session following three weeks of meetings at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The Convention has been ratified or acceded to by 119 States including Libya. [M2]
Tuesday: 23 May, 2000: The trial of the two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing is due to resume after a 12-day adjournment. The break in proceedings came after the prosecution asked for more time to question key witnesses. Their evidence is understood to be crucial to the prosecution's allegations linking the two men to the explosion which downed Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie on 21 December 1988, with the loss of 270 lives. It is understood the court will be shown video images of the reconstruction of the aircraft from debris recovered over a hundred kilometres from Lockerbie. Expert witnesses will also explain how the bomb was triggered. [BBC]
Tuesday: 23 May, 2000: A former diplomat is being dropped from an expert panel on the Lockerbie bombing following allegations that he was an MI6 intelligence officer. Professor Andrew Fulton has been asked to stand down as deputy director of the Lockerbie trial briefing unit at Glasgow University. The unit provides "impartial and objective" legal information about the trial of the two Libyans accused of the bombing, which resumes in the Netherlands on Tuesday. The decision to ask him to resign, regardless of the truth or otherwise of the allegations, is said to be because of the risk of publicity overshadowing the unit's work. [BBC]
Letters: 22 May, 2000 Al-Jazeera wa Mahatat Okhra ..

Monday: 22 May, 2000: Jordan and Libya on Sunday reaffirmed their support for Arab countries to regain their legitimate rights in the peace process with Israel, calling for Arab solidarity on regional and international affairs. The position was expressed in a memorandum signed at the end of a one-day meeting of the higher committee between the two countries, which was co-chaired by Jordanian Prime Minister Abdel Rauf Rawabdeh and visiting General Secretary (premier) of Libya's General People`s Committee Mubarak al-Shamekh. The memorandum said Jordan and Libya support the Palestinians to restore their rights, including the establishment of an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, and support Syria and Lebanon to regain their lands occupied by Israel in successive Middle East wars. Al-Shamekh arrived in Amman on Saturday to co-chair the higher committee meeting and for talks over bilateral economic cooperation and developments in Middle East affairs. [XINHUA]
Monday: 22 May, 2000: Extreme right-wing Austrian leader Joerg Haider said Sunday he had had a private meeting in Libya with Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, but refused to reveal its details. "I was on a private visit," Haider told Austrian radio. "I have no intention of making all my private meetings the subject of political discussion." Austria's two opposition parties demanded Saturday that Haider explain secret talks held in Libya with Qadhafi earlier this month. Profil magazine pointed out that this was not Haider's first visit, citing the former Austrian ambassador to Libya, Werner Druml, as saying he had heard that Haider had held talks with Qadhafi towards the end of last year. Haider has stepped down as leader of the Freedom Party but retains a high profile. [AFP]
Sunday: 21 May, 2000: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi newly stated that the West must abandon colonization methods in dealing with Africa. In an interview to the Italian newspaper La Stampa and viewed on Libyan television, Qadhafi accused what he depicted as the imperialism and Zionism of the attempts made to corrupt the atmosphere between Africa and Europe after their historical meeting at the Cairo summit this April, saying that he expected after this historic meeting that enemies of cooperation would interfere to corrupt the atmosphere between Europe and Africa. In answering a question concerning accusations used in defense of the Libyan suspects against the Palestinians, where they had been accused of having been involved in this affair, Qadhafi said "when it was a political matter, we defended the Palestinian's and the Syrian and we cleared them of this charge, yet the political page in the case is over and the legal one started in which the defense and prosecution are free in making their case." []
Sunday: 21 May, 2000: Relatives of victims of the Lockerbie disaster have had a plea for cash aid to attend the trial of the two accused in the Netherlands rejected. Three relatives had applied to the Lockerbie Air Disaster Fund for help in meeting the cost of attending the Camp Zeist court case. In considering the application, the trustees said expert legal advice was taken and it was agreed unanimously that they could not make a grant available as it fell outside the remit and powers of the trust. The fund was set up after the downing of New York-bound Pan Am flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in December 1988. The trial of the two Libyan accused of the bombing began on 3 May at Camp Zeist but was adjourned for 12 days last week to allow the prosecution time to prepare the next phase of its case. [BBC]
Sunday: 21 May, 2000: Austria's two opposition parties demanded Saturday far-right leader Joerg Haider explain secret talks held in Libya with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi earlier this month, press reports said. The secret talks, reported on Saturday by two Austrian magazines and confirmed by Haider's spokesman, were "extremely dubious" and required an explanation, the secretary general of the Social Democrats Doris Bures said. Format magazine quoted Haider's spokesman saying the ex-leader of Austria's Freedom Party "went (to Libya) one or two weeks ago for a day or half a day," in its Monday edition. Format carried comments from a journalist with USA Today, who interviewed the Libyan leader on the day of Haider's visit. Barbara Slavin asked Qadhafi what Haider, who was accompanied by a bank manager, was doing in Libya. "He wants to do business here," Qadhafi replied, cited by Format. [AFP]
Letters: 20 May, 2000
We Need To Be Very Careful Concentrate on Real Issues We Heard Enough

Saturday: 20 May, 2000: Libyan President Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on Monday evening received replies from the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Meleis Zenawi and the President of Eritrea Asyas Afourki on the escalated situation between the two countries. Meantime, al-Qadhafi received two telephone calls from President of central Africa and from President Alfa Omar Konari of the republic of Mali, relating to conditions in the east African region, the greater lakes and the African horn and problems arising there and means of settling them. []
Letters: 19 May, 2000
Mun Anta ya Azzwari Ya Aboul-Isha ... Asma' wa 'Ataber
Leebi Raj'i Jiddan Sabab Mihnatina Sharru al-Baliyati

Friday: 19 May, 2000: English Premier League team Middlesbrough have been beaten 1-0 by the Libyan side, Tripoli. Tripoli included the son of the Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi in its team. The tournament was the first between a British side and Libya since the bombing of an American Airliner over Lockerbie in Scotland. It was held to inaugurate a new stadium - the Great Man-Made River Stadium, named after a vast project to provide fresh water through 3,800 kilometres of pipes to the country's barren Mediterranean coast. An Italian team, Bari, which also took part in the three-way competition lost by the same margin to the Libyan side. Bari then went on to beat Middlesbrough 2-0 in the final game. [BBC]
Friday: 19 May, 2000: Chinese Vice President Hu Jintao said today that China will continue its efforts along with the international community for the complete lift of sanctions against Libya. Hu made the remarks in his meeting with Abdel Rahman Mohamed Shalgham, Libyan Secretary for External Relations and International Cooperation this afternoon at the Great Hall of the People. Hu described Libya "an important nation" in the African and Arab world. "China highly values its friendly ties with Libya and is willing to further strengthen future cooperation with Libya on the basis of sincere friendship, mutual respect, equality, and mutual benefits," Hu said. [XINHUA]
Friday: 19 May, 2000: The strong Boro party had a superb reception from a friendly and vocal North African crowd but they slumped to two defeats in the high-profile triangular tournament - with midfielder Phil Stamp acting as stand-in keeper. The event - supported by diplomats hoping to ease Libya back into the international fold - was to mark the official opening of Tripoliís new Great Man Made River Stadium. The stadium was packed with national dignitaries and the programme began with a pageant of music and fireworks. England star Paul Gascoigne especially was a huge hit with the 15,000 capacity crowd and was cheered loudly every time he touched the ball. And Gazza earned a standing ovation at the final whistle of the opening game when he swapped shirts and a warm embrace with local hero al-Saadi al-Qadhafi, the son of the Libyan leader and the star player in the Tripoli Select X1. The disciplined and highly-motivated Libyan side beat the Italian team Bari 1-0 over 45 minutes in the first game of the event, screened live on local television. Then the polished and skilful Tripoli side followed up by beating Boro 1-0. [TeesNet]
Letters: 18 May Ila Kull Leebi (3) Baina Iqsa' al-Akhar wal-Hiwar .. (9)

Thursday: 18 May, 2000: Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan held talks with Abdel Rahman Shalgham, Libyan Secretary for External Relations and International Cooperation. Tang said that China and Libya, both developing countries, face the same tasks of safeguarding state sovereignty, developing their economies, and raising the standards of living of their people. He said that developing friendship and cooperation with Libya and other African countries is the policy of the Chinese government. Shalgham said that Libya places great importance on developing its relations with China, and is prepared to strengthen cooperation in economic, trade, and international affairs. [XINHUA]
Thursday: 18 May, 2000: With the English soccer season drawing to a close, Middlesborough FC have headed off to north Africa for a fixture that would have been impossible to stage more than a year ago. The Premier League side is playing in a three-way tournament in Libya, along with the Italian club Bari, and the hosts, Tripoli. The team is hoping the tournament can go some way to "heal the rift" between Libya - a pariah since the allegations of its involvement in the Lockerbie tragedy - and the Western world. [BBC]
Thursday: 18 May, 2000: Middlesbrough's Bryan Robson is hoping Middlesbrough can play their part in the healing process surrounding the Lockerbie disaster during their trip to Libya. The Teessiders were due to play in a three-cornered tournament in Tripoli today along with the hosts and Italian side Bari to mark the opening of the Great Man Made River Stadium. Robson said: "The Home Office wanted us to take on board this trip. Britain and America are trying to get reconciliation pacts going with Libya. "We're quite pleased to go there and play football and I think it is great when sport can come into play in these aspects, and hopefully it can be of great benefit to all countries concerned." [BBC]
Thursday: 18 May, 2000: Egypt and Libya on Tuesday signed a memo of understanding under which Egypt will provide Libya with 150,000 tons of rice annually in the coming three years. The trade volume between Egypt and Libya amounted to 328.6 million Egyptian pounds (94.7 million U.S. dollars) in 1999. Libya is Egypt's third largest trading partner in the Arab world. [Al-Ahram]
Thursday: 18 May, 2000: Libya's National Oil Company has hammered out a framework for gas exploration terms for the first time which are tough but similar to those offered for oil, industry sources said on Tuesday. Libya's state-owned National Oil Company last week announced a total of 137 blocks were up for grabs in a new licensing round, and included a gas clause. Under current production sharing agreements known as EPSA-3, gas is negotiated separately and is not explicitly defined. The sources said NOC told 48 foreign oil firms -- some of them newcomers to the North African country -- that they could seek a licence extension beyond the three years specified in EPSA-3 to accommodate the market. NOC would have first priority to the foreign company's share of gas at an agreed discount. If the discovery was small, gas would head into the domestic market and if large, the firm would be allowed to export the gas. NOC did not specify its definition of small and large finds, they said. [Reuters]

"Help us to free your Libyan brother Khaled Ghaith" home page

Wednesday: 17 May, 2000: Libya has agreed to dispatch unspecified number of helicopters to Sierra Leone to evacuate wounded UN soldiers following their detention by rebels of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), according to an official statement released Tuesday in Tripoli. The operation is to be carried out in collaboration with Burkina Faso and Liberia, the statement said, adding that the two countries and Libya started high-level consultations on the evacuation Tuesday in Tripoli. On Monday, the RUF released 138 out of some 500 soldiers of the Un Mission in Sierra Leone (MINUSIL) taken hostage on 2 May. [PANA]
Libyan Sports: Results and Standings

Wednesday: 17 May, 2000: A new book published this week reveals that CIA officer Matt Gannon died aboard Pan Am Flight 103, a jumbo jet that was blown out of the sky in 1988 by, U.S. officials believe, Libyan operatives in retaliation for U.S. attacks on Libya in 1986. By coincidence, Gannon was the son-in-law of Thomas A. Twetten, a top CIA official who helped plan the air strikes on Tripoli. Throughout the book, its author Ted Gup, a former Washington Post investigative reporter, describes how agency officials lied to family members about how their loved ones died to maintain "plausible deniability" and keep the CIA from being linked to controversial overseas missions. [Washington Post]
Wednesday: 17 May, 2000: Within days of a visit by the Pakistani Chief Executive, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, to Tripoli, the Libyan Foreign Minister, Mr. Abdel-Rahman Shalgam, is touring Pakistan and has offered to help restore peace in Afghanistan. In a related development, Mr. Saeed Haqqani, Taliban ``ambassador'' to Pakistan, has claimed that a Libyan delegation would soon visit Afghanistan to assess the economic problems of that country. Mr. Haqqani was quoted as saying that a Taliban delegation led by the Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Abdul Jalil, met the visiting Libyan Foreign Minister and discussed the issue of improving bilateral relations. [The Hindu]
Wednesday: 17 May, 2000: Abdel-Rahman Shalgam, Secretary for External Relations and International Cooperation of the General People's Committee of Libya, said today that Libya is willing to further its trade and economic cooperation with South China's Shenzhen city. Zhuang Xinyi, deputy mayor of Shenzhen, held talks with Shalgham today. Shalgam said that Shenzhen's rapid development and decreased pollution impressed him deeply. The Libyan visitors arrived in Shenzhen Sunday afternoon. [XINHUA]
Letters: 16 May Al-Alfiyah .. La Taqtolo Abu-Isha Yotawij Wijhat Nadhar

Tuesday: 16 May, 2000: The prosecution case against the two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing has suffered a serious setback with the emergence of fresh evidence that could undermine the Crown case. A report by an explosives expert is believed to conclude that the 1lb Semtex bomb that exploded on board PanAm Flight 103 was attached to the inside of the cargo hold and not in a radio-cassette recorder in the luggage hold, as the prosecution alleges. The findings will make it difficult for the prosecution to establish a link between the two Libyan defendants and the explosion which killed 270 people. If the device was not in the container and cannot be traced back to Malta, the Crown has no substantial evidence to link the two Libyans with the Lockerbie bomb. [The Times]
Tuesday: 16 May, 2000: Reports that the trial of the two Libyans accused in the Lockerbie bombing has been adjourned because of prosecutors' doubts over the evidence of a principal witness have been denied. The trial, being held at a Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands, was adjourned last week until Tuesday, 23 May, at the request of the prosecution. The Crown said it wanted more time to question defence witnesses and the trial had gone more quickly than anticipated. But weekend newspaper reports in the UK said the prosecution was concerned about one of its key witnesses, a Swiss man whose company is believed to have supplied the timing device for a bomb which allegedly destroyed Pan Am Flight 103. [BBC]
Tuesday: 16 May, 2000: Libya's African affairs minister, Ali Triki, held separate talks Sunday in Tripoli with Ugandan foreign state minister Amama Mbabaza and Husse Sossa, the Angolan president's special envoy. Libyan television reported that the talks were part of efforts to strengthen co-operation between Libya and African countries. They focused on the means to consolidate co-operation in all areas, preparations for the conference of African foreign ministers in Libya at the end of May, as well as several African, regional, and international issues of common interest. [PANA]
Tuesday: 16 May, 2000: Renegade former MI5 intelligence officer David Shayler is on the verge of announcing he is to return to Britain to face criminal charges under the Official Secrets Act, it was reported today. Shayler plans to climb a crucifix outside the British embassy from where he will deny betraying his country. In March, Shayler's girlfriend handed a dossier of documents he had prepared alleging an MI6 plot to assassinate Libyan leader Colonel Qadhafi into the headquarters of Special Branch. [ITN]
Letters: 15 May, 2000 To Gaddafiís Mouthpieces To Mr Abul-Isha

Monday: 15 May, 2000: Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Musa said Saturday that Cairo and Tripoli have renewed efforts towards reconciliation in Sudan and that they want to coordinate the matter through the Inter-governmental Authority for Development (IGAD). "Arrangements are underway to hold a tripartite meeting shortly, bringing together the foreign ministers of Egypt, Libya and Sudan to discuss the Sudanese question," Musa told the press. "This ministerial meeting will follow meetings of senior officials of the three countries in Khartoum," Musa said without giving dates. Egypt and Libya launched an initiative in 1999 for a national conference to bring together the government and northern opposition groups, as well as the rebel Southern People`s Liberation Army (SPLA) to end the civil war raging for 17 years in the country. [AFP]
Monday: 15 May, 2000: Libyan Arab Airlines will resume flights to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, on May 16, according to an official in the Dubai International Airport. The unnamed official indicated the first Libyan flight to the gulf region since United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions upon Libya on April 15, 1992 will be landing at the Dubai International Airport tomorrow. The arrival will mark the re-opening of the air route from Libyan capital of Tripoli to the gulf region, following the suspension of the U.N. air embargo on April 5, 1999. There will be three flights a week to and from Dubai. [XINHUA]
Monday: 15 May, 2000: Muslim rebels holding 21 hostages in the Philippine jungle reopened contact with negotiators Friday by delivering letters from their captives but refused to release two sick hostages. Rajab Azzarouq, a former Libyan ambassador to the Philippines who is helping negotiate, called the delivery of letters written by the hostages to their loved ones "a gesture which I hope will lead to a breakthrough." But the nearly three-week hostage crisis appeared to be far from over. [AP]
Letters: Mutatalabat al-Hiwar Al-Qadhafi (2) Ila al-Madhloom Tahiyah

Sunday: 14 May, 2000: Chadian president Idriss Deby, who is the chairman of the Community of Sahelian-Saharian States, arrived in Tripoli on Friday and conferred with the leader of the Libyan Revolution, Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. The two leaders discussed the situation on the continent, the progress of Libya's mediation efforts in the conflict between Deby's government armed rebels led in the northern part of the country by the National Front of Renovated Chad (FNTR), diplomatic sources said. [PANA]
Sunday: 14 May, 2000: The Somali Peace Rally (SPR) said in a statement that it is disappointed by the recent invitations of Uganda, Libya and Eritrea governments to Mogadishu warlords Hussein Aideed, Osman Ali Ato, and Mohamed Kanyare Afra to their countries. Such visit by Somali warlords in those countries will only produce obstacles towards solving Somali civil war. The SPR considers any support of Libya, Eritrea and Uganda to Somali warlords as a sign aimed at perpetuating conflicts in Somalia. [Africa News]
Saturday: 13 May, 2000: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi told the American newspaper "USA Today" that "the world has changed radically and drastically, and anyone who does not change his own opinions would be a reactionary. The methods and the ideas should change, and being a revolutionary and a progressive man, I have to follow this movement. Libya today is not Libya yesterday because the world today is not the world that was yesterday. Let me give you an example: Those people who used to ask for support from Libya to fight the Israelis, now they are joining the Israelis and sitting at one table together. . . . These are new realities and new facts." He also said: " Why does America put its nose in this place [the Middle East] ? Why doesn't America give to the Syrians the same long-range aircraft they give to the Israelis? They enable the Israelis to have nuclear bombs. Why don't they do the same for the Egyptians and Syrians, so there is a balance in the Middle East? " [USA Today]
Saturday: 13 May, 2000: The Libyan lawyer representing a Bulgarian doctor and five Bulgarian nurses accused of contaminating Libyan children with the AIDS virus, denied Thursday telling a Bulgarian paper that confessions had been obtained by force. "I did not see any marks of torture on the accused," Othman al-Bizanti told AFP. "I deny the remarks attributed to me by the Sega newspaper. I simply repeated what I heard the translator say that the confessions of the accused were obtained by force," he said. Wednesday's edition of Sega quoted Bizanti as saying confessions had been forced from two of the defendants "by physical and psychological pressure." The six Bulgarians are on trial accused of deliberately infecting 390 children in the pediatric hospital where they worked in the northern Libyan city of Benghazi. They are also charged with premeditated homicide, "activities which led to a massacre designed to sap Libya's strength" and "a violation of the Islamic way of life," according to the Bulgarian foreign ministry. Eight Libyan hospital administrators from Benghazi, and another Arab, face the same charges, the ministry said, although officials in Tripoli said no Libyans were involved. [AFP]
Saturday: 13 May, 2000: Pakistan and Libya say they have agreed on steps to strengthen economic ties. The announcement was made in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, after talks between the visiting Libyan foreign minister, Abdulrahman Mohammed Shalgam, and his Pakistani counterpart, Abdul Sattar. A Pakistani statement said they discussed a wide range of issues, including the civil war in Afghanistan and Pakistan's dispute with India over Kashmir. It said the recent visit to Libya by Pakistan's military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, had added a fresh vigour to bilateral relations. Mr Shalqam arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday for a six-day visit. [BBC]
Saturday: 13 May, 2000: A Philippine Muslim rebel group holding 21 hostages has refused to release two ailing European captives and reject the government's negotiating team, a guerrilla leader said Friday. Rajab Azzarouq, a former Libyan ambassador to the Philippines with extensive contacts in the impoverished southern Mindanao region, met with the rebels Wednesday and asked for the release of the two sick hostages. But the guerrillas said they no longer want to talk with him because he isn't the current Libyan envoy and didn't deliver on promises made in previous negotiations for the release of other hostages. [AP]
Letters: 12 May, 2000Al-alfiyah athalithah .. wal wisaiyah !

Friday: 12 May, 2000: The trial of two Libyans accused of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing was adjourned Thursday to May 23 after lawyers agreed to skip to the next stage of proceedings. Presiding judge Lord Ranald Sutherland, who opened the trial eight days ago, said he was granting the adjournment "with some reluctance" in the knowledge that it would speed up matters in the long run. Following lengthy negotiations, defence lawyers agreed not to dispute more than 250 pieces of debris from Pan Am Flight 103 which otherwise would have taken weeks to be formally identified in court. "What was the prospect of a very lengthy chapter has been curtailed," said deputy prosecutor Alistair Campbell. The adjournment will allow the next batch of witnesses -- starting with British air accident investigators -- to be brought over to the special Scottish court in the Netherlands that is trying the case. [AFP]
Friday: 12 May, 2000: Libya has offered foreign oil firms large new swathes for exploration in a licensing round which includes a clause which for the first time allows the export of gas to external markets, industry sources said. Libya's National Oil Company (NOC) on Wednesday held a presentation in northeast Libya attended by 40 oil companies to outline terms and acreage available in the licensing round. "Now 70 percent of Libya is open for licensing," said one industry official who attended the meeting. "It's a very significant step forward." Progress had been delayed by a recent cabinet reshuffle and a wait for new legislation replacing the country's 45-year old petroleum law. The industry officials said the meeting, chaired by NOC chairman Abdullah al-Badri at a new facility at the Zawia refinery, had cleared up confusion about Libyan oil policy. [Reuters]
Friday: 12 May, 2000: Libyan strongman Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi is a vibrant, dedicated head of state, a god-fearing "great guy" who has brought his devoted people prosperity, according to Egyptian tycoon Mohammed Al Fayed. "I never expected to see a leader so committed to his people," said the owner of luxury goods store Harrods and nemesis of the British establishment in an article in the Spectator magazine entitled 'Why Qadhafi is a better man than Blair.' "He is a great guy believing in God," said Al Fayed in the interview, which appeared after the businessman secured potentially lucrative rights to develop oil fields in Libya. "You see the pleasure of the people. They have no poverty, no begging, no shanty towns," he said. "Everyone have (sic) a beautiful house, and this is leadership." Al Fayed said the three oil concessions that he agreed last month to develop were worth 25 billion pounds (37.5 billion dollars, 42 billion euros) and would involve rebuilding "the whole infrastructure of Libya". [AFP]
Letters: 11 May, 2000La wisaiyah ala-sha'b al-Leeby

Thursday: 11 May, 2000: The judges in the trial of the two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing are expected to be asked to adjourn the case for 12 days. The Crown is reported to be seeking an adjournment to give it time to interview witnesses notified to it a short time before the trial started last week. The prosecution team says the trial is weeks ahead of schedule and it needs time to prepare the next chapter involving technical and forensic evidence. On the sixth day of the trial in the Scottish Court at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands, the focus remained on the painstaking recovery of debris from the disaster. Pan Am flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie in southern Scotland on 21 December 1988, killing all 259 on board and 11 people on the ground. [BBC]
Thursday: 11 May, 2000: Fragments of suitcases, clothing and instructions for a cassette player have been displayed as prosecutors build their case against two Libyans charged with the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing. The six-day-old trial kept its focus on the painstaking recovery of debris after Pan Am flight 103 exploded over Scotland and crashed to earth, killing 270 people. Libyans Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima, who face life imprisonment if convicted of murder at the special Scottish court in the Netherlands, are alleged to have hidden an improvised bomb inside a radio cassette recorder, which was placed in a brown Samsonite suitcase. Prosecutors say the suitcase stuffed with a tweed-type jacket was put on a flight from Malta, from where it went via Frankfurt to London, to be placed there on the doomed jet. But the defence continued to question the reliability of the labelling of the tens of thousands of pieces of wreckage and possessions found strewn over 2,000 sq km (800 square miles). [Reuters]
Thursday: 11 May, 2000: A grandmotherly English villager told the Lockerbie trial Wednesday how she found a nugget of evidence from Pan Am Flight 103 in a field just outside her home, 100 kilometers (60 miles) from where it was blown out of the Scottish sky. Gwendoline Horton testified that she joined neighbors in the days after the December 21, 1988 mid-air blast to collect debris scattered around their homes in Longhorsely, a village in Northumberland, northern England. "We went out to collect what we could," said Horton on day six of the trial, adding that she twice turned in material to police -- including a scorched instruction book for a radio-cassette recorder that now is a key bit of evidence. Two Libyans are accused of using a Toshiba brand recorder to cache the powerful bomb that downed the London-New York flight, killing all 259 people on board the plus 11 residents of Lockerbie, southwest Scotland. [AFP]
Thursday: 11 May, 2000: There was new hope Wednesday over the fate of the 21 hostages being held by Muslim rebels on the southern Philippines island of Jolo, according to a Libyan organisation involved in mediation attempts. "We are optimistic for the success of (Libyan mediator) Rajab Azzarouq in securing the release of the hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf group thanks to his excellent connections with the Muslims in the country," AFP was told by an official of the Qadhafi International Charity Organisation. The German daily Die Welt said Wednesday that former chancellor Helmut Kohl's secret services coordinator telephoned Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi last week on behalf of the German government for help in freeing the Philippines hostages. According to the report, Qadhafi called back an hour later to say that the Qadhafi International Charity Organisation was ready to act. Within 24 hours, Azzarouq, who was said to know personally at least one of the leaders of the Abu Sayyaf movement, was on his way to the Philippines. [AFP]
Thursday: 11 May, 2000: The Libyan ministry of African affairs announced Tuesday in Tripoli that a joint committee has been established in Freetown to prevent the total collapse of the peace process in Sierra Leone. The first meeting of the committee, which was set up Monday, was held Tuesday in Freetown, where rebels have seized UN peacekeepers. A statement issued by the Libyan foreign ministry said that the joint committee was set up at the end of a meeting between Libya's African affairs minister, Dr Ali Triki, RUF leader Foday Sankoh and Oluyemi Adeneji, special representative of the UN secretary-general. The committee, whose composition was not disclosed, is expected to undertake efforts to free Kenyan and Zambian soldiers of the UN Mission in Sierra Leone from captivity by RUF rebels. According to the Libyan statement, Sankoh had reaffirmed his commitment to the Lome peace agreement, signed July, and his will to co-operate "fully" with the UN mission. [PANA]
Letters: 10 may, 2000
Ila: S. F. Hamed Hiwar Hadi' Iblees
Write in Arabic We Know I feel Sorry

Wednesday: 10 May, 2000: The Palestinian Abu Nidal group said it was ready to provide a witness and evidence showing that Libya was behind the Lockerbie bombing. In a statement, the former ally of Libya said Tripoli was accusing Palestinian groups to escape responsibility for the 1988 airliner bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland that killed 270 people. "The group will present one of its members to be a witness with precise evidence," said the statement faxed to Reuters in Beirut on Tuesday. The statement accused Libya of making a deal with the United States to conceal evidence in return for Libyan information on its former allies. Last week at the start of a trial in the Netherlands, lawyers for two Libyans accused of the Pan Am bombing blamed the attack on the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) and the little-known Palestinian Popular Struggle Front (PPSF). [Reuters]
Wednesday: 10 May, 2000: Pak Libya Holding Company approved two projects in the information tehnology sector involving Rs75 million (US$1.44 million) including setting up of Pakistan's first venture capital fund. At a board meeting in Karachi under the chairmanship of Dr Khaled F Zentuti, attended by Zaigham Mahmood Rizvi, managing director and Ramadan A Haggiagi, deputy managing director discussed the performance of the company and expressed satisfaction about its activities. The board also approved equity participation of Rs50 million in an Internet and Data Network Project, another upcoming IT venture. Inclusive of these two projects, Pak Libya has sanctioned Rs545 million for eight projects. These projects ivolve a leading newspaper group, a leading polyester fibre maker, two leading leasing companies and a textileunit. [Asia Pulse]
Wednesday: 10 May, 2000: Rajab Azzarouk, a former Libyan ambassador to the Philippines, and a respected Muslim cleric Tuesday emerged as the new negotiators chosen to try to win the release of 21 hostages being held by Muslim rebels in the southern Philippines. The captives include a German family of three, a French couple, two Finns, a South African couple, a Lebanese, nine Malaysians and two Filipinos who were snatched from a Malaysian dive resort on April 23. Several years ago, Azzarouk and the son of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, Saif al-Islam, visited Camp Abubakar, the southern Philippine jungle headquarters of an MNLF offshoot, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, to convince the rebels to open peace negotiations with the government. [AFP]
Wednesday: 10 May, 2000: A Libyan envoy Tuesday accused Muslim rebels in the Philippines who snatched 21 Western and Asian hostages two weeks ago of being inhumane and violating Islam by holding innocent people. In a sign the international community is increasingly concerned about Manila's attempt to militarily pressure the extremist Abu Sayyaf rebels into freeing the hostages, a special European Union envoy was to meet later Tuesday with President Joseph Estrada. Libya's Rajab Azzarouq, visiting the remote island of Jolo where the hostages are being held in a pigpen-like cage of branches, said he was worried about their health. "The holding of these hostages is un-Islamic," he said. "Holding them is rather inhuman." [AP]
Wednesday: 10 May, 2000: Exactly where and when some pieces of the Pan Am jumbo jet blown up over Lockerbie were found may never be known, a prosecution witness has admitted. Scottish police officer Duncan McInnes acknowledged under defence questioning that the sheer volume of wreckage, plus erratic police labelling, meant expert guesswork was sometimes used to locate evidence and date its discovery retroactively. In the most intensive cross-examinations so far in the five-day-old trial of two Libyans accused of the 1988 bombing, defence counsel forced police witnesses to admit evidence was sometimes mislabelled and implied it might have been open to manipulation. They were apparently seeking to cast doubt on where in the jumbo jet an explosion may have occurred, and therefore at which airport the luggage containing a bomb might have come aboard. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 10 May, 2000: The Qatar government has received complaints from Tunisia, Libya and Iraq concerning the El-Jazeera television station whose programs reach the entire Arab world through its satellite broadcast. El-Jazeera is well known for its anti-Arab government stance. Most Arab governments, including those of the Maghreb, have already lodged complaints against one of the most vocal Arab TV stations. Among the latest complaints received by the Qatar government are from the Iraqi government which was angered by the El-Jazeera's coverage of Saddam's birthday celebration. The coverage of this event showed a very contradictory regime in a country where poverty is rampant while its top leader uses enormous resources to celebrate his birthday. Libya too has recently complained about El-Jazeera's portrayal of Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. [Africa News]
Wednesday: 10 May, 2000: Abdel Rahman Shalgham, Secretary for External Relations and International Cooperation of the General People's Committee of Libya will pay an official visit to China from May 14 to 19, at the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue made the announcement at a regular press conference. [XINHUA]

Letters: 9 May, 2000 Save your brother's life Leebi Madhloom To: Mr. Hilliard

Tuesday: 9 May, 2000: U.S. economic sanctions will keep American oil firms from participating in this week's meeting in Libya to discuss new oil exploration and production sharing agreements in the North African country, a U.S. State Department official said Monday. Libya's National Oil Corp (NOC) has invited about 50 energy firms from the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia to take part in the Wednesday meeting in Tripoli. But no U.S. oil company representatives have asked the Clinton administration for a waiver from U.S. law that forbids travelling or investing in Libya, according to the State official. ``Our understanding is they aren't going to apply for waivers to go,'' he said. Even if American oil executives wanted to attend the Libyan meeting, they probably would not get the required waivers because of current Washington's investment policy toward Tripoli, said the official. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 9 May, 2000: The Lockerbie trial has heard references to a circuit board, part of a suitcase and charred clothing found among debris after a bomb destroyed Pan AM flight 103 over Scotland in December 1988. A spokesman for the prosecution declined to say if the items were the same pieces of key evidence expected to be introduced later as alleged remnants of the timer, case and clothes used to pack and detonate a bomb. Two Libyans said by Scottish prosecutors to have been agents of the Libyan intelligence service are accused of planting a bomb concealed in a radio-cassette recorder and triggered by a special timer said to have been made in Switzerland. Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima deny that they used cover as officials of Libyan Arab Airlines in Malta to put a bomb on a Maltese flight and caused it to be transferred to a Pan Am flight at Frankfurt bound for London and New York. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 9 May, 2000: Libya has pledged to cancel part of Tanzania's 46 million U.S. dollar debt and change the remaining amount for investment in Tanzania. Tanzanian Minister for Finance Daniel Yona said on Monday that the decision was made during the first meeting of a permanent joint commission established in Tripoli, Libya early this month. "The principal amount was 46 million U.S. dollars which was borrowed in 1983," the minister said, adding that "the accumulated interest amount which Libya said might be frozen would be sorted out later by the two parties." [XINHUA]
Tuesday: 9 May, 2000: Police feared stumbling across a second bomb as they painstakingly gathered "tens of thousands" of pieces of debris from Pan Am Flight 103, the Lockerbie trial heard Monday as it began its second week. "One of the problems we had was the possibility of secondary devices," testified Douglas Roxburgh, 63, who was deputy chief of Dumfries and Galloway police when the Boeing 747 was blown out of the sky in December 1988, killing 270 people. Sniffer dogs screened any suspected bomb-related debris, after which officers in protective suits would examine items that might give clues as to the bomb that destroyed the London-New York flight, Roxburgh said. Two Libyans, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, 48, and Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah, 44, are accused of conspiracy and murder in connection with the December 21, 1988 downing of the Pan American Flight 103 -- charges they both deny. [AFP]
Tuesday: 9 May, 2000: Philippine President Joseph Estrada has replaced his chief negotiator in talks with Muslim rebels in the south of the country. Mr Nur Misuari said on Monday his position had been taken over by Ghazali Ibrahim, a respected religious leader in the south. The rebels of the Abu Sayyaf group, who are holding 21 hostages, had previously demanded that Mr Misuari be replaced. But the Philippine government has responded 'coolly' to a further demand by the rebels that ambassadors from all their captives' nations be involved in negotiations. The rebels have indicated that they also want to negotiate with the Philippine Presidential Executive Secretary, Ronaldo Zamora, representatives of the United Nations, Libya and other Islamic Nations. [NewsAsia]
Monday: 8 May, 2000: African club competition second round, first leg matches played at the weekend: ... Al-Ittihad of Libya won its match against SuperSport United, South Africa, 2 - 0 ... [XINHUA]
Letters: 7 May, 2000 Etfarraj La tatakallam We know To: Albarasi

Sunday: 7 May, 2000: Police and civilians who dealt with the aftermath of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie will tell their stories next week as the trial of two Libyans accused of causing the explosion continues. Detailed evidence of the painstaking operation to collect every possible fragment of the wreckage of the doomed 747 is due to last all week at the court at Camp Zeist in Holland. [BBC]
Sunday: 7 May, 2000: A joint mission of Sierra Leone's former rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and the UN will go Sunday into the zones where UN peacekeepers are held hostage, according to a communique from the two sides and a Libyan minister read late Saturday on Sierra Leone radio. The communique followed discussions among Libya's Minister for African Unity Ali Triki, the UN secretary-general's special representative in Sierra Leone Oluyemi Adenidji, and RUF leader Foday Sankoh. After a "fruitful discussion on the present situation" in Sierra Leone, the three men "agreed to send a joint mission team to the areas where there have been security concerns since last Monday," the statement said. [AFP]
Sunday: 7 May, 2000: Rebels fighting to oust Chadian President Idriss Deby said Saturday they had captured an army garrison in the country's north. A rebel statement claimed that the garrison at Zouar, a small town with an airfield 560 miles north of the capital, N'Djamena, fell without a fight on Friday. The rebels also said it was ``common knowledge'' that Libya is ferrying Chadian government troops by air from the military base at Faya-Largeau to the Libyan air base at Aozou-Tanoua astride the Chad-Libyan border. [AP]
Saturday: 6 May, 2000: Lawyers for Libyan defendants suspects Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima began questioning experts for the first time about the kind of detonator that might have been used in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people. In the first testimony relating directly to the bombing, a senior Scottish police officer, Gordon Ferrie, was questioned about Palestinian attacks on Israeli airliners in the early 1970s, in which barometric trigger devices were used. Ferrie said the inquiry initially focused on a series of air crashes before Lockerbie, and in particular on the bombing of an El Al Rome-Tel Aviv flight in 1972, for which three alleged PFLP-GC members were convicted in absentia in an Italian trial. "We were given instructions at a very early stage that we should treat this as a murder inquiry," he told the court. Ferrie confirmed that the focus of the police inquiry into Lockerbie was initially on the PFLP-GC, but said that by June 1990 the direction of investigations was shifting. [Reuters]
Saturday: 6 May, 2000: The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Friday condemned the United States for listing it as a state sponsor of terrorism. "The United States should put an immediate stop to the fruitless effort to do harm to the DPRK, " said a Foreign Ministry spokesman when asked by a reporter from the Korean Central News Agency, the country's official agency. The U.S. State Department issued an annual report Monday on patterns of global terrorism, which listed the DPRK as one of the so called "state sponsors of terrorism." Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria are also on the list. [XINHUA]
Saturday: 6 May, 2000: A Scottish investigator confirmed yesterday that a Syrian-backed Palestinian terrorist group was initially suspected in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Gordon Ferrie, a detective chief inspector of police, told the Scottish court that the probe of the Palestinians was later dropped for lack of evidence. Ferrie's testimony on the third day of the trial of two suspected Libyan intelligence agents laid out the battle lines: The defense has stated its intention to implicate two Palestinian groups unrelated to the defendants in the Dec. 21, 1988 bombing that killed 270 people. The argument is designed to create enough doubt in the minds of the three Scottish judges to win a verdict of ``not proven,'' which would be tantamount to an acquittal. [AP]
Saturday: 6 May, 2000: Silence fell Friday over the trial of two Libyans accused of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, as a prosecutor solemnly read the names of the 270 victims of history's most notorious act of terrorism in the air. It took one hour for Alastair Campbell, one of the prosection team, to read aloud into the court record each and every name in alphabetical order, from John Michael Gerard Ahern to Mark James Zwynenburg. Co-accused Abdel-Basset Ali al-Megrahi, 48, and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima, 44, wearing fine white Libyan robes, sat back in their blue chairs, their hands folded on their laps, looking at Campbell across the chamber. The trial of Megrahi and Fahima began Wednesday. Under an agreement between Britain, the United States and Libya, it is taking place in a Scottish court, under Scottish law, at this one-time US air base provided by the Dutch government. [AFP]
Friday: 5 May, 2000: The UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, has asked Libyan leader, Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, to help secure the release of UN peacekeepers seized by rebels in Sierra Leone. State television reported Thursday in Tripoli Annan made the request in a telephone conversation with Qadhafi. Seven Kenyan soldiers of the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (MINUSIL) were this week killed and 49 others detained in parts of Sierra Leone by fighters of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) led by Foday Sankoh. Libyan television said the UN chief is counting on "the high esteem and role played by Col. Qadhafi in Africa" to secure the liberation of the troops. [PANA]
Friday: 5 May, 2000: Two radical Palestinian groups fingered by the defence in the trial of two Libyans for the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing denied any link to the destruction of Pan Am Flight 103 Thursday. Leaders of the Damascus-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) and the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front (PPSF), in the West Bank town of Ramallah, both said their groups were not responsible. Talal Naji, deputy secretary-general of the PFLP-GC headed by Ahmed Jabril, told journalists: "We say and we repeat that we have no connection with this attack. "We demand that they produce proof, because we know that there is none," he added, saying that investigations should rather be directed towards Israel's Mossad secret service. [AFP]
Friday: 5 May, 2000: While Libya has become less of a terrorist threat, the United States has no plans to ease sanctions against domestic and foreign investment in Libya's petroleum sector, a top U.S. State Department official said on Thursday. At a special Senate hearing on U.S. policy toward Libya, Ronald Neumann, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, said U.S. sanctions against foreign companies that make large investments in Libya's oil industry "will continue to be considered." Under a U.S. law, known as the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act, foreign firms can be punished for making new investments of more than $40 million a year in Libya's oil sector. Sanctions include prohibiting U.S. banks from dealing in a significant way with the violating companies, and withholding some licenses and other business. U.S. oil companies, which were forced to pull out of Libya by President Reagan in the 1980s, will continue to be prohibited from investing in the country, Neumann said. "We expect to maintain core unilateral economic sanctions prohibiting U.S-Libyan business," he said. [Reuters]
Friday: 5 May, 2000: Although the trial of two Libyans accused of the 1988 Pan Am airliner bombing over Lockerbie is at last under way, a senior U.S. official on Thursday denied the Clinton administration was leaning toward warmer relations with Libya. Washington, which still lists Libya as a sponsor of terrorism, has ``no broad policy of rapprochement'' toward Tripoli and continues to oppose any lifting of U.N. trade sanctions against Libya, Ronald Neumann, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern affairs, told a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee. ``While we recognize positive steps Libya has taken, a number of issues remain on which Libya must act,'' said Neumann. ''We have achieved significant success in meeting long-established goals, but this is a continuing story whose ending is as yet unclear.'' He said Libya must still comply with U.N. Security Council demands it pay compensation to the families of the bomb victims on Pan Am flight 103, renounce support for terrorism and cooperate fully with the Lockerbie trial investigators. [Reuters]
Friday: 5 May, 2000: A U.S. State Department official on Thursday denied allegations that the United States made a deal with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi that might sway the outcome of the Lockerbie bombing trial. ``I can say with complete confidence that there is no deal,'' Ronald E. Neumann, an assistant secretary of state, told a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee. Qadhafi said Wednesday in an interview with a British television station that he had made an ``agreement'' with the United States and Britain. In turning the suspects over for trial, he said, the court will not raise questions about Libyan government involvement in the bombing. ``The agreement is to try these two suspects ... these two suspects only,'' Qadhafi said. In a hearing questioning overall U.S. policy toward Libya, Neumann was asked Thursday about Qadhafi's statement and answered, ``I haven't a clue what Col. Qadhafi is talking about.'' [AP]
Friday: 5 May, 2000: Censorship and repression of the media in Africa were condemned by editors and publishers at the 49th General Assembly of the International Press Institute (IPI) in Boston, USA. Editors, publishers and leading journalists, many from African countries, denounced the many governments in Africa which have trampled on media freedoms. The governments of these countries were called upon to scrap the laws that give them the power to exercise censorship, and to open their media and facilitate the free flow of information. The IPI, which represents over 2,000 editors and publishers throughout the world, listed these offenders as: Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Libya, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, who were described as the worst, with Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, and Uganda differing only in the degrees of repression. [Africa News]
Friday: 5 May, 2000: In a resumed two-day organizational session, the U.N. Economic and Social Council this morning elected members for several of its subsidiary bodies and for the executive boards of some of the United Nations agencies. The 24 members elected to the Commission on Human Rights were: Algeria, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Libya, Senegal, South Africa, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Viet Nam, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Russian Federation, Poland, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, United Kingdom, Canada and Belgium. [M2]
Friday: 5 May, 2000: Graphic accounts of the carnage inflicted when a terrorist bomb ripped apart a jet and sent it plunging into a Scottish town dominated the second day of the Lockerbie trial of two Libyans on Thursday. Witnesses described how a rain of fiery wreckage and torn human body parts hit the town of Lockerbie in the minutes after Pan Am Flight 103 was destroyed by a bomb on a dark December night in 1988 and plunged to earth in pieces. Glass fragments from the windows of exploding houses ripped through the air and terrified residents stumbled over limbs and corpses in the dark. Witnesses told a court holding Scotland's biggest murder trial that huge fireballs exploded "like an atomic bomb" when the Boeing 747's engines and wing struck the earth, and the stench of aviation fuel permeated the air. [India Times]
Letters: 4 May, 2000 Arrud wa-Rrud ... Mahatat al-Jazeera
Rudd lil-latheena ... Garion the Eternal City Strangers are Given Gifts

Thursday: 4 May, 2000: The long-awaited trial of two Libyans accused of murdering 270 people in the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing has opened with defence counsel pointing the finger at Palestinian groups. Lawyers for Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Fahima blamed the Syrian- backed Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) and the little-known Palestinian Popular Struggle Front (PPSF). It named nine alleged members of the PPSF including Mohammed Abu Talb, a Lebanese PFLP-GC member jailed in Sweden for terrorism. Talb was one of the first suspects to be identified in the Lockerbie case, but was never arrested. Also named was Parviz Taheri, listed along with Talb as a witness for the prosecution. A prosecution spokesman declined to give any details about him. [Reuters]
Thursday: 4 May, 2000: In an interview aired shortly before the trial began, Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi dismissed as "absurd" a suggestion that the suspects acted under his direct orders. "It is an absurd question that should not have been asked," he told Sky Television. The accused, who have already pleaded not guilty, deny working as secret service agents. They say they were just employees of Libyan Arab Airlines. Qadhafi told Sky Television the court would try the two Libyans only, and they alone would bear responsibility for the bombing if they were found guilty. "By and large the responsibility as far as this matter is concerned is an individual one," he said. "The court is sitting to judge them, not whether they are...Libyan agents." [Reuters]
Thursday: 4 May, 2000: Libyan leader Colonel Qadhafi has pledged to accept the verdict of the Scottish court in the Lockerbie jet bombing trial. Colonel Qadhafi said: "All parties have agreed to accept the rule of the law, the rule of the court." He denied that the Libyan state was on trial. "The court is sitting to try them whether they are guilty or not guilty, whether they have done the act or not. The court is not concerned...whether they belong to Libyan intelligence or not," the Libyan leader said in an interview from Tripoli. Colonel Qadhafi said that since 1977 he had no political or administrative responsibilities because he had handed over authority to the Libyan people. [ITN]
Thursday: 4 May, 2000: Tripoli has denounced what it claimed were US attempts to interfere in the trial of two Libyans charged with organising the Lockerbie bombing which opened Wednesday in a special Scottish court in the Netherlands. "The United States has wheeled out politicians and experts in an effort to convict the two Libyans in advance after all the signs indicated that the accusations against the suspects were weak and could be rebutted," deputy Foreign Minister Hassuna Shaush told AFP. He also said Libya still believed in the innocence of its two countrymen. "We do not want to interfere in a matter being dealt with by the courts, but we repeat our conviction that the two Libyans are innocent and that the court will give them justice," he added. [AFP]
Thursday: 4 May, 2000: The suspects, clad in Libyan national dress of black cap, white robe and waistcoat, have pleaded not guilty to carrying out the bombing of New York-bound Pan Am flight 103 on the night of December 21, 1988, which killed mostly Americans. Prosecutors say the accused were Libyan intelligence agents based in Malta who hid a Semtex bomb in a radio-cassette recorder that was placed inside an unaccompanied suitcase on a plane to Frankfurt. It was then allegedly transferred in London on to the doomed aircraft. The prosecution case must be proven "beyond reasonable doubt" for a guilty verdict to be returned. Alternatively the accused could be acquitted or the case deemed "not proven". The first witness to be called was an air traffic controller based at London's Heathrow airport. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 3 May, 2000: The trial of two Libyans accused of blowing up the Pan Am jet over Lockerbie in Scotland in 1988, will begin later today in Holland. After more than 11 years of diplomatic wrangling that has included UN Security Council resolutions and sanctions against Libya, the trial is now about to begin. There were 270 victims when the jet blew up over Lockerbie in Scotland in December 1988. The trial will be held at a former US airbase near Uchricht in Holland and will involve the testimony of more than 1,000 witnesses. It is expected to be the longest and most expensive trial in Scottish legal history. [ABC - Austarlia]
Wednesday: 3 May, 2000: As Libya emerges from years of isolation, government officials like Captain Fathi Shatti, the director of Tripoli airport, maintain that UN sanctions were always unjustified. "We were 100% innocent," he says. "For years and years we've been saying that, and all us Libyans, whether we are official or normal people, we believe that we are innocent." "The embargo was imposed on us for no reason whatsoever, and I'm sure the day will come where we prove that we are innocent". [BBC]
Wednesday: 3 May, 2000: The trial of the two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing will finally get underway in the Netherlands on Wednesday. It is more than 11 years since PanAm flight 103 was blown up over the Scottish town, killing all 259 people on board and 11 on the ground. The trial of the two Libyans - Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Magrahi, 48, and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, 44 - is taking place under Scottish law at Camp Zeist near Utrecht. It will begin with a reading of the indictment against the men. They are charged with murder, conspiracy to murder, and a breach of the 1982 Aviation Security Act. They deny the charges and are expected to lodge special defences, blaming other organisations and individuals instead of the Libyan suspects. [BBC]
Wednesday: 3 May, 2000: While two of his countrymen go on trial in a foreign court for allegedly blowing up an American airliner, Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi is reaping political and economic dividends for delivering them to their fate. Long a political pariah and economic backwater, Libya is now the international oil industry's hottest business prospect, according to a survey by British consultants Robertson. "Political developments coupled with world-class prospects propel Libya from a modest 20th position in 1998 to the number one country for new exploration, development and production ventures in 2000," its report said. "Libya is the cheapest and most attractive oil province outside the Gulf. But the potential at the moment is far greater than the reality," said George Joffe, an expert on North Africa. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 3 May, 2000: A top-level British diplomat Wednesday described as "successful" his 24-hour visit to Libya to discuss improving ties with Libya in the wake of the reestablishment of bilateral links last July. Sir John Kerr, permanent under-secretary at the Foreign Office, was quoted on Libyan television as saying his trip was "successful, constructive and important," shortly before his departure from Tripoli. Kerr talked with Libyan officials including Foreign Minister Abdel Rahman Shalgham about ways of "relaunching bilateral cooperation across the board, along with regional and international issues," an official Libyan source said earlier Wednesday. The two countries have decided to have regular two-way visits, according to the foreign ministry's political deputy secretary, Saad Mojbar, who also met the British diplomat. [AFP]
Tuesday: 2 May, 2000: Libya has hit out at the US Senate for recommending continuing the 20-year ban on US citizens travelling to Libya. It says Washington is the "main loser" in the affair. "We are surprised that one country should forbid its nationals to go to another when all constitutions and international laws recognise the right of citizens to free movement," the statement said. It accused "certain parties in the American Congress of wanting to poison the relations of the United States with the rest of the world." It said the US consular mission which visited Tripoli in March had been able to see for itself that Libya "is much safer than some places in the United States." [BBC]
Tuesday: 2 May, 2000: The Libyan narcotics services has arrested three young citizens in Tripoli on charges of drug trafficking, the local daily, Al Fajr Al Jadid, reported. It said the accused allegedly met in March in Turkey with a Tanzanian drug trafficker who gave them 3 kg of heroin to be sold in Libya. The drug, which comprises 32,000 doses, was seized from one of the suspects at the Tripoli International airport upon arrival. [PANA]
Tuesday: 2 May, 2000: Laying turtles will soon be released on Libyan beaches, environmental associations behind the plan have announced. The associations have urged coastal residents, especially those living along sandy beaches, to ensure their cleanliness, refrain from driving on the beaches and erecting fences against "natural enemies". They also called on trawlers and boat owners to be careful when sailing near sandy beaches. [PANA]
Letters: 1 May, 2000 Al-Alfiya athalitha To: Mr. Al Lebe
To: Ibn Souq al-Jum'a Primeval scriptures Get to the point!

Monday: 1 May, 2000: In Africa, the 25 teams that won first-round games were drawn into five groups. The winners of each qualify for the World Cup. Libya is in group A and will play:
Libya vs. Cameroon16-18 June, 2000Cameroon vs. Libya20-22 April, 2001
Angola vs. Libya26-28 Jan, 2001Libya vs. Angola29 June - 1 July, 01
Libya vs. Togo23-25 Feb, 2001Togo vs. Libya13-15 July, 2001
Zambia vs. Libya9-11 March, 2001Libya vs. Zambia27-29 July, 2001

Monday: 1 May, 2000: Libyans are certain that two compatriots facing trial over their suspected involvement in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing will be found innocent, and hope all sanctions against the country will then be lifted. "We are quite sure of the innocence of our compatriots, especially since the available evidence and the witnesses prove it," Deputy Foreign Minister Hassuna Shaush told AFP. "The Lockerbie affair is now in the past, and is currently in the hands of the court," said Shaush, calling for sanctions to be completely lifted. [AFP]
Monday: 1 May, 2000: The Western powers could have brought the Lockerbie bombing suspects to trial years earlier if they had been more flexible in their diplomacy, according to a study of the impact of UN sanctions. The study found that sanctions imposed on Libya by the UN Security Council in March 1992 "were initially very effective in establishing a bargaining framework". But the United States and its allies "adopted a take-it-or-leave-it approach and the dispute dragged on needlessly for years," added the study which was published last week by the International Peace Academy in New York in response to a call from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for "smarter, more effective sanctions." [AFP]
Monday: 1 May, 2000: Defence lawyers for the two Libyans accused in the Lockerbie affair hint they will try to prove Syrian backed Palestinian extremists were the perpetrators, in an act of revenge on behalf of Iran for the destruction of an Iranian airliner by a U.S. warship six months earlier. Iran vowed the skies would "rain blood" after the USS Vincennes shot down an Iran Air flight in July 1988, killing 290. It was widely assumed at first that Tehran ordered the destruction of the Pan Am airliner, with Syrian-sponsored help. Shifting suspicion for one of the most shocking acts of modern terrorism back onto Damascus or Tehran could deal a serious blow to their improving relations with the West. [Reuters]
Monday: 1 May, 2000: Former Egyptian U.N. Ambassador Nabil Elaraby will be one of five U.N. appointed observers attending the trial of two Libyans accused of bombing a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, killing 270 people, a U.N. spokesman has said. In addition to Elaraby, who is an international law expert and represents the Arab League, the other observers are: Mrs. Hairat Balogun, a Nigerian lawyer representing the Organisation of African Unity and the Non-Aligned Movement; M.H. Beerenboom, of the European Commission; and Dr. Hans Koechler and Robert Thabit, both of the International Progress Organisation, a Vienna-based group that promotes cultural exchanges. Thabit has also served as a lawyer for Libya's U.N. mission in New York. [Reuters]
Monday: 1 May, 2000: Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has donated a brand new sleek BMW car to Ughanda's First Lady Mrs. Janet Museveni. The light green BMW, model 740, was flown to Entebbe from Tripoli around October last year. Mr. Abbas Misurati of the Libyan embassy in Kampala confirmed the reports on Tuesday. He said the Left Hand drive BMW was a personal donation from Qadhafi. "It was a gift from our leader to the wife of President Museveni," he said. He did not give its price but acknowledged it was imported from the manufacturers in Bavaria, Germany. Sunday Vision has, however, established that Janet's BMW is the latest model and said to be worth about US $100,000 without taxes. [New Vision]
Letters: 14 April, 2000 Min ajel Kalima Hurra Al-Qadhafi wal Farar
To: al-Saoukny wa Kabawan A Reply to "Welcome" Self Observation
Saif al-Gadhafi: Read This A Reply to Kalimat Haq To the Zwarian Citizen

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