News and Views [ September 2001 ]

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Sunday, 30 September, 2001: King Abdullah of Jordan told U.S. President Bush on Friday that most Arabs and Muslims were standing with the U.S. in the "fight against evil." Bush welcomed the Arab monarch's backing and said he assured the king "that our war is against evil, not against Islam." Another Muslim country, Libya, which the U.S. State Department considers a sponsor of terrorism, was credited by a U.S. official with providing some intelligence on the al-Qaida. [AP]
Saturday, 29 September, 2001: Libya's National Oil Corp. said on Friday that it would meet shortly with U.S. oil firms barred by Washington since 1986 from operating in Libya. Ahmed Abdulkarim, head of NOC told Reuters that he would meet in Vienna over the next day or two with officials from Conoco, Marathon, Amerada Hess and Occidental. "We are studying our old commitments together and we are doing okay with a very common understanding and common ground," Abdulkarim said. Late on Friday, Conoco said the meeting would take place on Monday, October 1. "It's part of the ongoing dialogue we've had over the years (with Libya's National Oil Corp.),'' said Conoco spokesman Carlton Adams. Earlier this month, Tripoli gave U.S. companies one year to return to Libya or run the risk of having their operating licences revoked. [Reuters]
Saturday, 29 September, 2001: Spain on Friday relayed to the United States expressions of support from key Muslim states, some of which have been hostile to the US, for Washington's campaign against terrorism. Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Pique, who toured the Middle East and South Asia this week with a European Union team, said he was passing on the states' views in a meeting with President Bush's national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of State Colin Powell. "We have found a great consensus and political agreement to create this broad international coalition against terrorism, including from countries about whom we had some doubts in the past, for example: Pakistan, Iran, Libya or Syria," Pique told a news conference. [Reuters]
Saturday, 29 September, 2001: Toro Kingdom spokesman Prince Philip Winyi yesterday rubbished allegations that the Queen mother, Best Kemigisa, has a "special relationship" with the Libyan leader, Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. Winyi said the kingdom officials and the Queen mother were pursuing relations between Libya and the kingdom but not a private affair between Kemigisa and Qadhafi. Winyi's response follows media reports that Qadhafi had bought two houses for Toro Queen mother and the child King Oyo Nyimba Iguru. Reports said Qadhafi had bought a US$1.2m house for the royal family in London and another in Kololo. Winyi said the only concrete promise Qadhafi made was to build the palace at a cost of about US$4m. [New Vision]
Friday, 28 September, 2001: A Libyan charity organization headed by the son of Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi said Thursday that it offered financial assistance to the victims of the Sept. 11 suicide attacks in New York and Washington. An official of Qadhafi Charity Organization told UPI that an amount of money was transferred in coordination with the U.S. Red Cross to help the victims of the attacks. The official did not disclose the amount of Libyan financial aid. He also said the organization offered to take care of children whose parents were killed in the attacks. He said he hoped the US "resorts to reason and solves the problem with patience," noting that U.S. movements in Aghanistan might have negative humanitarian impact on the Afghan people. [UPI]
Friday, 28 September, 2001: The U.S. administration has received intelligence on Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization from Libya, Syria and Sudan, according to a senior U.S. official who declined to give specifics on the intelligence assistance provided by Libya, Syria or Sudan, whose representatives held high-level talks with a U.S. delegation last week in London. Some analysts wondered whether the Bush administration was making an overture to Libya when President Bush this week froze the assets of 27 groups and individuals suspected of involvement in terrorism, including the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. That group, which opposes the rule of the mercurial Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, had not previously been listed in U.S. government publications, including a report to Congress on terrorist groups published the day before the attacks. [Boston Globe]
Friday, 28 September, 2001: The head of Libya's OPEC delegation, Ahmed Abdulkarim told reporters he hoped non-OPEC producers will not take advantage of OPEC's output curbs to seize market share. "We hope that the non-OPEC producers will not take advantage of the current situation," he said on the sidelines of the OPEC meeting on Thursday. [Reuters]
Friday, 28 September, 2001: Morocco's King Mohammed on Wednesday met Ali al-Triki, Libya's Minister for African Unity, to discuss bilateral ties and international issues, the official MAP news agency said. Al-Triki delivered a message from Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to the king, MAP said. Al-Triki earlier this month visited Algeria and Tunisia. [Reuters]
Thursday, 27 September, 2001: OPEC representatives reached an agreement late Wednesday about how much crude oil they would supply to a precarious world economy, but declined to announce their decision until after formal talks take place Thursday. After the end of Wednesday's informal talks at a downtown hotel, Venezuelan Oil Minister Alvaro Silva and Libya's oil minister Ahmed AbdelKarim Ahmed both said OPEC is unlikely to change production levels at this week's meeting. In Caracas, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he'd call for an emergency meeting of heads of state from the cartel if needed to defend prices. [AP]
Wednesday, 26 September, 2001: President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi surprised many for his readiness to condemn the U.S. attacks [and] Libyan officials hinted they were disappointed that their softened stance had not been as publicly appreciated in the West as in the case of Iran. Qadhafi called the attacks "horrifying" and urged international Muslim aid groups to join other international aid agencies in offering assistance to the United States "regardless of political considerations or differences between America and the peoples of the world." [CNN]
Tuesday, 25 September, 2001: U.S. President Bush Monday issued an executive order to freeze the financial assets of 27 individuals and organizations believed to have funded violence around the globe. The 27 individuals and organizations that are on a list of alleged terrorism supporters are: 1. Al-Qaida/Islamic Army ... 9. Libyan Islamic Fighting Group ... 17. Ibn Al-Shaykh al-Libi ... 27. Mamoun Darkazanli Import-Export Co. [MSNBC]
Tuesday, 25 September, 2001: Egyptian President Mubarak said Monday that he backed the United States in its "war on terrorism" but that Washington had yet to come up with proof of who was behind the deadly September 11 attacks. "We haven't got any proof," he told reporters after talks in Paris with French President Chirac. He also warned against drawing parallels between bin Laden and other traditional foes of Washington such as Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. "Let's concentrate on terrorist acts, it's not a question of dispersing things and adding blame to Iraq, Syria or Libya," he said. "These countries did not participate in these terrorist acts." [Reuters]
Monday, 24 September, 2001: Egyptian President Mubarak embarked on a European tour Sunday as Egypt balks at joining a US-led coalition against terrorism over fears that the US "friend or foe" policy will backfire. Mubarak is trying to revive his long-touted idea for a UN conference on terrorism which would produce a convention binding on all signatories. Egyptian analyst Salama Ahmed Salama said such a conference would "agree on certain rules and define what terrorism is," compared to a coalition that Washington may use to advance its own interests. He warned of the risks of Egypt's joining a campaign that could divide the Arabs into camps, such as putting Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Libya on one side for harboring terrorists. [AFP]
Sunday, 23 September, 2001: Libyan judges put off a verdict in the case of seven foreigners accused of injecting 393 children with the AIDS virus, saying Saturday that they needed more time to study defense arguments. The six Bulgarians and one Palestinian face the death penalty if convicted of murder and conspiracy. They are accused of injecting the children with HIV. "The court decided to continue studying the rebuttals presented by the defense lawyers due to the size and importance of the case," the head of the three-judge panel said, according to Othman el-Bezanti, the lawyer defending the Bulgarians. A verdict is expected at the next hearing, set for Dec. 22, el-Bezanti told the Associated Press by telephone from Libya's capital, Tripoli. [AP]
Sunday, 23 September, 2001: Britain's Defense Ministry played down Sunday reports in the British press that the country's crack special forces were already inside Afghanistan. "We never discuss special forces or operational matters," a spokesman told Reuters. "We are currently in our planning phase to decide what help we can offer to the Americans." The Sunday Express said the SAS had deployed troops to Sudan, Libya and Iraq as well as in Afghanistan where the paper said they were looking for factories making chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. [Reuters]

Saturday, 22 September, 2001: Daewoo Engineering and Construction said yesterday it received a $9.5 million installment for proceeds in arrears from Libya Wednesday. The Korean company received the first installment of $9.25 million July 30. Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi promised to make the payment in March when he met with the building firm's top executive. Daewoo has a total of $230.6 million in uncollected proceeds for projects carried out in Libya. The company said it would receive $9.5 million monthly for the next 21 months. Since beginning operations in Libya in 1978, Daewoo has completed $8 billion worth of projects. In March, Lee Jung-ku, Daewoo's overseas division president, met with the Libyan leader and was told Daewoo would be paid the proceeds in arrears and be assigned a $450 million hospital renovation project. [The Korea Herald]

Friday, 21 September, 2001: A Libyan court is expected to announce on Saturday its verdicts in an unprecedented trial of six Bulgarian medics and a Palestinian doctor charged with deliberately infecting hundreds of Libyan children with HIV. The defendants, detained in Tripoli in early 1999, are accused of intentionally infecting 393 children at the Benghazi hospital where they worked with blood products contaminated with the HIV virus. The indictment said the infection was part of a conspiracy by foreign intelligence forces to undermine Libyan security. All the defendants pleaded not guilty, as did nine Libyans who face similar charges. Officials and defense lawyers said on Thursday they were already mulling an appeal against possible death sentences. [Reuters]
Friday, 21 September, 2001: Though Afghanistan is now in the cross-hairs, several Arab countries risk becoming targets in the US-led war on terrorism, analysts said. Iraq, Somalia, Sudan as well as Libya and Syria could face diplomatic and financial pressure or even military action sometime in the next five years, once the United States completes the first phase of its campaign, experts say. While Afghanistan was "definitely phase one" of a five-year campaign, phase two would include Sudan, Somalia and Iraq, as well as possibly Libya and Syria, according to Charles Heyman, a former British Army major who is now an editor of Jane's World Armies. [AFP]
Friday, 21 September, 2001: Without prior notice, the Libyan authorities deducted 30 percent of salaries of Iraqi staff at Libyan universities and institutions. The Libyan authorities have cited the latest strengthening in the value of the Libyan dinar as a pretext for the sudden cut in salaries, Iraqi professors arriving in Jordan said. The unexpected cut of 30 percent will make it hard to make ends meet even in an oil-rich country like Libya, the professors told Iraq Press. They said the slash reduced salaries to an average of 400 Libyan dinars a month (approx. 160 dollars) - hardly enough to meet the daily needs of a family of four for a full month. [Iraq Press]
Friday, 21 September, 2001: United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan received today a message for the President, Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan, from his Libyan counterpart Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. The message was delivered to Sheikh Hamdan by Libyan ambassador Abdul-Hamid Farahat. [WAM]
Friday, 21 September, 2001: New ambassadors of Canada Philip Kinnon, of Denmark Jorgen Relmers, of Libya Ali Maria and of Brazil Gesario Neto in separate meetings with Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi each submitted their credentials Wednesday. According to the Press and Information Bureau of the Foreign Ministry, the diplomats voiced their countries' readiness to upgrade ties with Iran. [Tehran Times]
Thursday, 20 September, 2001: The proposed honorary doctorate law degree to be awarded to Libyan leader, Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi by Makerere University in Uganda has reportedly run into trouble with the University's top administrators sensing moves of possible rejection by the Senate. A top University official told The Monitor yesterday that the issue, which has threatened to raise controversy within the University, would be finalised at the Sept. 24 Council meeting and would be brought to the Senate only for unanimous approval. Qadhafi is supposed to be awarded the degree at the 40th graduation congregation of the University next month. [The Monitor]
Wednesday, 19 September, 2001: U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell called Sudanese Foreign Minister Osman Mustafa and took note of Sudan's offer of cooperation in combatting terrorism, U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. Boucher also said a U.S. official visited Cuba's diplomatic mission in Washington and asked for whatever information Cuba may have about the terrorist attacks. The U.S. also has said it is willing to explore the possibility of Iran joining a broad international coalition to fight terrorism. Iran, Sudan and Cuba are on the State Department's list of nations that support or sponsor terrorism. The U.S. also has reached out to Syria, another nation on the list. The other three, which have not been consulted, are Libya, Iraq and North Korea. [AP]
Tuesday, 18 September, 2001: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has appealed for a united Arab and Muslim position to "fight terrorism," in a letter to the Arab League on recent attacks on the United States, Arab diplomats said Monday. In the letter, which League chief Amr Mussa received Sunday night, Qadhafi discussed "intensifying Arab and Islamic efforts to reach agreement on a united position to fight terrorism," said one diplomat. He also discussed the "repercussions" on Arabs and Muslims living in the US after the hijacked airliner attacks on trade and military landmarks in New York and Washington. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher meanwhile visited Libya with a message for Qadhafi from President Mubarak about cooperation on the terrorist attacks against the US, Egyptian television said Monday. [AFP]
Tuesday, 18 September, 2001: Austrian oil and gas group OMV said on Monday that it has ordered heightened vigilance for its activities in Libya. An OMV spokesman said the company has contingency plans which can be implemented if necessary. This follows evacuation of foreign staff from Pakistan due to fears of a backlash against foreign nationals if the U.S. launches retaliatory strikes against Afghanistan. With terrorist attacks from Libya in the past, such as the bomb in the aeroplane over Lockerbie, OMV decided to be alert, the spokesman said. [Dow Jones]
Tuesday, 18 September, 2001: One of the hottest items in the U.S. capital these days is a map of Afghanistan, the Central Asian country believed to be harbouring the prime suspect behind last week's devastating U.S. attacks. Map store owners said on Monday their stock of maps of landlocked Afghanistan sold out within days of last Tuesday's attacks. Lavisfiere said maps on other "trouble spots" linked to bin Laden, such as Sudan and Libya, had also sold out. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 18 September, 2001: Uganda's National Democrats Forum (NDF) has opposed the attempt to award an Honorary Doctorate of Law of Makerere University to Libyan Leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. A statement signed by Ibrahim Kasozi, the chairman of NDF Youth League, called upon President Museveni and Makerere University administration to avoid history repeating itself when Makerere awarded Idi Amin Doctorate of Law of Makerere University. "Qadhafi recently made irresponsible utterances that Museveni should rule forever and revolutionaries should not be subjected to elections," said the statement. [New vision]
Monday, 17 September, 2001: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has called for an international conference on terrorism, saying past calls to that effect from Libya and Egypt had remained unheeded. Qadhafi was speaking at a public rally in Soloug, 30 miles south of Benghazi. The event marked the 70th anniversary of the death of nationalist hero Omar al-Mukhtar, who was captured by the Italian occupying forces in 1931 and hanged in Soloug. "We must convene an international conference to study the roots of terrorism...and reach a consensus on the definition of terrorism, because, for instance, Israelis accuse Palestinians of terrorism and vice versa. So what is terrorism?" Qadhafi said. [Reuters]
Monday, 17 September, 2001: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has warned the United States that it could fall into a Soviet-style quagmire in Afghanistan if it retaliates there for devastating terror attacks on New York and Washington. Qadhafi said the US had the right to respond militarily to the unprecedented attacks in which thousands are feared to have died. But he urged restraint in the fight against terrorism. "The United States has the right to seek revenge," Qadhafi said at a public rally in the small town of Soloug, 30 miles south of Benghazi. Ordinary Libyans have expressed sympathy with the victims of Tuesday's attacks and strident anti-Americanism seems no longer the norm in Libya. A person at Sunday's rally who started to shout anti-American slogans was immediately booed and shouted down by the crowd. [Reuters]
Monday, 17 September, 2001: In the wake of terrorist attacks in the United States, several Caribbean politicians Saturday criticized a recent aid-seeking trip to Libya taken by several of the regions' leaders. "I think that with the attacks on the U.S., whether Libya is involved or not, people will start looking askance at us in the Caribbean," said John Compton Saturday. The opposition leader and former prime minister of St. Lucia added that American tourists might also begin to avoid the region. In Dominica, opposition leader Edison James also warned that the Libya trip could now make the United States look on the region suspiciously as it assembles allies in its campaign against terrorism. [AP]
Monday, 17 September, 2001: Eastern Caribbean banana exporters have rejected an offer from Libya to purchase all the islands' fruit at high prices because they are not producing enough, the islands' main banana exporting agency said on Thursday. The agency said also that selling to Libya would damage the region's market in Europe. The Libyan proposal to buy bananas, made as part of a package that includes access to a $2bn development fund and $21m in loans, was also rejected by one of the region's leaders. There were no indications, however, that the countries listed by Libya as aid beneficiaries are rejecting the offer of money. [The Financial Times]

Sunday, 16 September, 2001: The Interpol on Saturday denied releasing any confidential information about Osama bin Laden, the main suspect in organizing Tuesday's deadly attacks in the US. Two warrants dated 1998 and 2000, which were publicly available, were released at a press conference in Madrid on Friday. The organisation said in a statement the warrants made available at the press conference were wrongly described as "confidential" in press reports. A number of Interpol warrants, known as "red notices", are publicly available on the organisation's website, including one related to bin Laden. A 1998 warrant charged that bin Laden was involved in the 1994 murder of two Germans in Syrte, Libya. The file said Libya had demanded his extradition. The other warrant was drafted at the request of the US government. [AFP]
Sunday, 16 September, 2001: Hawks in the British government play down fears that an air strike on Afghanistan or Sudan would lead to an ugly reprise. Privately, they recall Ronald Reagan's decision to bomb the Libyan capital Tripoli in 1986. The raid, which had the then prime minister Thatcher's full backing, was deeply controversial in the UK at the time and it was widely feared it would provoke further terrorist retaliation. However, there was no military response. The Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, who was almost killed by the raid, was seen to retreat before the new, assertive America. But George Galloway, the MP for Glasgow Kelvin, believes that this is a false analogy as Libya was a country with a government, while the US is now facing widespread resentment by guerrilla forces who could take refuge anywhere. [The Scotsman]
Saturday, 15 September, 2001: Belarus and Libya should give a new impetus to thier relations, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Friday at a meeting with Secretary of the Libyan Defense Committee Abubaker Younes Jaber. Abubaker Younes heads an official Libyan delagation, who has arrived in Belarus on Friday. During the meeting the two sides discussed issues of the bilateral cooperation in trade, economics and science. [Itar-Tass]
Friday, 14 September, 2001: Libya said Thursday that it will organize a blood drive for the victims of the terrorist attacks in the United States to show sympathy with the American people. The International Charity Organization -- run by Seif el-Islam, the son of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi -- announced the blood drive and expressed "warmest condolences" for the families of those who perished in the attacks at the World Trade Center in New York and at the Pentagon. The organization said it was engaged in intensive contacts with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the French Red Cross to assist the American Red Cross in "rescuing the poor American victims who were severely affected by the horrific attacks." [UPI]
Friday, 14 September, 2001: A leading Libyan charity said on Thursday it has postponed a cultural event in sympathy with the families of victims of Tuesday's suicide attacks in New York and Washington. The Qadhafi International Charity Organization -- headed by Seif el Islam, a son of the Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi -- said it had suspended the event scheduled next week in Paris to focus on efforts to gather aid and blood for the U.S. victims. The event was due to have taken place in the Paris-based Arab World Institute next Thursday. [CNN]
Thursday, 13 September, 2001: Libyans, whose country was attacked by U.S. missiles in 1986, expressed sympathy today with innocent American victims of suicide attacks in New York and Washington. Residents in the Libyan capital Tripoli said people were glued to television and radio sets to follow news developments of the terror attacks. "Most people were saddened by television footage of innocent people screaming and running through the streets of New York. People in my neighbourhood showed sympathy with innocent Americans," said Hassan Guaoud, a shop-owner reached by telephone. "Like most Arabs, many Libyans believe America was the target because of its support to Israel, although they were outraged by the losses of innocent lives." A European diplomat admitted he was surprised by the reaction of Libyans in the streets despite heavy and constant government propaganda against the U.S. "According to the information I have there was no display of joy among Libyans after the attacks. The reaction was rather decent and people were moved by the scenes of death and havoc," the diplomat said. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 12 September, 2001: Revulsion at the stunning terrorist assault against the United States brought Washington's traditional foes Tuesday together with its closest allies, as world governments vowed to catch the attackers. Even Syria, Iran and Libya -- who have in the past been accused by Washington of sponsoring terrorism -- condemend the attacks. Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi offered to send humanitarian aid. "It is our human duty to stand side-by-side with the American people despite our political conflict," he said. [AFP]
Wednesday, 12 September, 2001: New evidence has emerged which could throw doubt on the conviction of Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi over the Lockerbie bomb blast. A security guard at Heathrow Airport told police that Pan Am's baggage area was broken into on December 21, 1988, 17 hours before the airline's Flight 103 took off for New York, according to The Mirror newspaper. As the plane passed over the small Scottish town it was ripped apart by a bomb. The newspaper says security guard Ray Manly reported the break-in at the time and was interviewed by anti-terrorist officers the following month. But his evidence was lost, the newspaper says, and formed no part of January's trial at a Scottish court sitting in Camp Zeist, Holland, which saw al-Megrahi jailed for a minimum of 20 years for his part in the outrage. [ANM]
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Tuesday, 11 September, 2001: Libya is reported to have offered to buy all the bananas produced in the Caribbean region at above market prices. Caribbean officials say the proposal was made by the Libyan leader, Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, when he hosted a controversial visit to Tripoli just over a week ago by the prime ministers of several Caribbean islands. It is by no means the first apparently philanthropic gesture that he has made recently. The three leaders who made the trip - from St Vincent, Grenada and Dominica - have confirmed that the Libyan Government has promised them a $21m package of grants and loans. A Libyan delegation is due to arrive in the Caribbean later this month to make arrangements. [BBC]
Tuesday, 11 September, 2001: Hyundai Engineering and Construction (HEC) said yesterday it is seeking to win a $500 million oil plant project in Libya. The company said it is highly likely to be selected for the project because it is in a strategic alliance with the client's subsidiary. Launched by Agip, an Italian oil exploration firm, the project calls for construction of the WAFA plant in an oil field in western Libya. If selected, HEC will take charge of execution, while Agip's unit will be responsible for engineering and the supply of construction materials. HEC said net gains from the Libyan project would amount to some $50 million. [The Financial Times]
Monday, 10 September, 2001: Libya on Sunday vehemently denied a US Central Intelligence Agency report claiming Tripoli is trying to develop weapons of mass destruction. Libya "categorically denies the American allegations," foreign ministry spokesperson Hassuna Shaowesh told AFP. "We're used to the Americans making this kind of false reports to cover up their plot against the Libyan people." "The US is quiet when it comes to Israel's arsenal of such weapons, but they make a big fuss about countries that don't have them," he said. The report, which focuses on weapons activities in the latter half of 2000 and was delivered on Friday to the US Congress, said Libya along with Iran and Syria were among nations most eager to develop weapons of mass destruction. [AFP]
Sunday, 9 September, 2001: An independent inquiry must be held into the death of a Libyan exile detained in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), human rights group Amnesty International said in a statement received on Saturday. Amnesty also noted that the whereabouts of four other Libyans reportedly arrested in the UAE this year remain unknown. The London-based body said the wife of Abdullah Abu al-Qasim al-Ghazal had been told by police in Abu Dhabi that her husband had committed suicide in detention and to collect his body for burial. The 39-year-old, who left Libya in 1989 to avoid arrest because of his religious activities, was detained on August 31 at a mosque in the emirate of Ajman, one of the seven members of the UAE federation. The other Libyans whose fate is unknown were named as Ahmad Ramadhan Hussain, also arrested on August 31, Ahmad Mohammad Ali Akak and Ali Bashar, both arrested on July 3, and Ali Amish, reportedly arrested around May. [Sapa/AFP]

Human Rights Solidarity : Press Release

Amnesty International : New Concern : Death In Custody ( UAE )

Saturday, 8 September, 2001: The U.S. Department of Commerce has suspended the export privileges of an Internet service company for sending computer technology to Libya and Syria. The department, in a Friday news release, said it learned InfoCom Corp. had made the shipments while authorities were investigating the company for allegedly terrorist ties. The export suspension lasts for six months but can be renewed. Federal agents on Wednesday began searching InfoCom's headquarters as part of the terrorism investigation. Agents removed boxes, but would not say what they contained. InfoCom attorney Mark Enoch said federal agents would not find any evidence of criminal activity and the company had no links to terrorist groups. [AP]
Friday, 7 September, 2001: Russia's deputy foreign minister, Vasily Sredin, received on Thursday Libyan Ambassador to Russia Saleh Abdallah Saleh, said a report by the Russian Foreign Ministry information and press department received by Itar-Tass. The two sides exchanged opinions on the development of bilateral cooperation between Russia and Libya in different spheres. They considered, in particular, preparations for the fifth session of the bilateral inter-governmental commission on trade, economic and scientific cooperation. [Itar-Tass]

Thursday, 6 September, 2001: Tooro's queen mother, Best Kemigisa, participated in the commissioning of Libyan cadet officers at the national military academy in Tripoli on Friday. The kingdom's minister of Information said that "The queen mother was among a few guests called forward by the Libyan leader to commission the cadets." The Ugandan delegation at the ceremony included the Minister of Protocol, a musician, Miss Uganda, and Ziper models. [New Vision]
Wednesday, 5 September, 2001: Senegal has recalled its ambassador to Tripoli following an alleged attempt to smuggle 100 young women to Libya. Dakar also says it will limit transit visas for Libyan nationals and has reduced the staff in its Tripoli embassy to a minimum. Last Tuesday, the 100 so-called "models" were apprehended at Dakar airport as they attempted to board a charter plane. Two French nationals of Senegalese origin have been charged with organising "the international prostitution racket". Some Senegalese officials have suggested that the Libyan diplomats in Dakar might have been involved in getting Libyan visas for the women. [BBC]
Wednesday, 5 September, 2001: The United States warned Libya Tuesday against revoking permits of US oil companies banned from operating there, responding to a threat from Tripoli that firms risk losing their licenses if they do not return within the year. The US State Department said making good on the threat would hurt chances for any rapprochement with the US, the desire for which was most recently expressed by Libyan Foreign Minister Abdel-Rahman Shalgam. "Prejudicing the interests of US companies in Libya would make it more difficult to develop the kind of relationship with the US that Foreign Minister Shalgam says he wants," said department spokeswoman Eliza Koch. [AFP]
Wednesday, 5 September, 2001: Five Caribbean countries are getting $23 million in aid from Libya, St. Vincent and the Grenadines' Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said Monday. Gonsalves told a news conference St. Vincent and the Grenadines was benefiting from an immediate grant of $1.5 million, as well as a soft loan of $3 million. The money will go towards contruction of a national stadium, Gonsalves reported. Gonsalves said Antigua and Barbuda was getting a grant of $1 million from Libya for its National Sports Council. [EFE]
Wednesday, 5 September, 2001: The third World Conference Against Racism [WCAR] must formally declare that slavery and the slave trade practiced against the Africans are the worst forms of human rights violations, Ali Traiki, Libya's secretary for African Unity, said Tuesday. "The parties responsible must apologize to the people of Africa and they must satisfactorily compensate the peoples in Africa," Treiki said while addressing the WCAR at the Durban Convention Center. Referring to the ongoing tensions in the Middle East, Traiki said: "The Palestinian people were expelled from their land. They are daily exposed to killings for political reasons. What could be more racist than what is happening in Palestine? " The international community must join hands to put an end to the violence in the region, he added. [Xinhua]
Tuesday, 4 September, 2001: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has said he wants to turn a page on the past and normalise relations with the United States and Britain. An Italian foreign ministry official confirmed Italian media reports on Monday that Foreign Minister Renato Ruggiero discussed the subject with Qadhafi and Libyan Foreign Minister Abderrahman Shalgam during meetings in Tripoli on Sunday night. The reports in Italian media quoted Ruggiero as saying the two Libyan leaders wanted a "breakthrough" in relations with Washington, London and Europe. "Qadhafi strongly supported this political policy (of opening up) which would certainly lend prestige to Libya's international status," Ruggiero said. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 4 September, 2001: Libyan leader Colonel Qadhafi is proposing that Libya halts temporarily the spending of oil export revenues in a bid to curb corruption. "We must freeze the oil wealth until we agree on ways to spend it fairly because there is mismanagement of public funds," Qadhafi told a meeting of the Peoples General Congress. "There are some who became rich through illegal ways and this has caused hatred against them in society," Qadhafi said. "I propose that the oil wealth stay frozen until we figure out how to prevent misappropriation of public funds. Each of us has enough clothes and savings to draw from until we agree on how to spend the oil wealth to the benefit of all the people," Qadhafi said. [Reuters]
Monday, 3 September, 2001: If U.S. firms do not return to oil fields they were forced to abandon because of sanctions against Libya, they will lose their rights to the fields, Libya's foreign minister said Sunday. At the same time, Abdel-Rahman Shalgam expressed, in some of the most direct terms ever, Libya's desire to reconcile with the U.S., which maintains a unilateral embargo imposed on Libya in 1986. "Libya desires a resolution with America," Shalgam told reporters. Shalgam's remarks came a day after Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi railed against the U.S. in a speech marking the 32nd anniversary of his rise to power. [AP]
Monday, 3 September, 2001: Italian Foreign Minister Renato Ruggiero said on Sunday he welcomed the increase in trade between Libya and Italy and called for even closer links with Tripoli. Speaking after meeting his Libyan counterpart, Abdel-Rahman Shalgam, Ruggiero told reporters commercial ties between the two countries were "very important", adding that Italy took in 40 percent of Libya's exports and Libya absorbed 25 percent of Italy's sales abroad. Libyan sources said Ruggiero and Shalgham had discussed plans to supply Italy with Libyan gas via a pipeline under the Mediterranean Sea estimated to cost five billion dollars. [AFP]
Monday, 3 September, 2001: Arabs and Jews should learn to accept each other and coexist in a democratic, non-racist state, Libya's Foreign Minister Abdel-Rahman Shalgam said on Sunday. "Arabs should take bold decisions and so should the Jews," Shalgam told reporters following a meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Renato Ruggiero. "Fifty-two years have passed since the Israeli-Palestinian crisis began, but it feels like it started only 52 hours ago." "Arabs and Jews have no other alternative but to coexist," Shalgam said. [AP]
Monday, 3 September, 2001: A high-level Bulgarian delegation has departed for Libya, where six Bulgarian health workers face charges of deliberately infecting hundreds of Libyan children with the virus that causes Aids. The delegation, which was invited to Libya to take part in celebrations of the anniversary of the revolution that brought President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to power, is headed by the chairman of the Bulgarian parliament, Ognyan Gerdzhikov. [BBC]
Sunday, 2 September, 2001: Celebrations are taking place in Libya to mark the 32nd anniversary of the coup that overthrew the monarchy and brought Colonel Qadhafi to power. The streets of Tripoli are decorated with streamers, lights and flags, as well as numerous portraits of the colonel. Several African heads of state - including the presidents of Sudan, Chad, Benin and Zimbabwe - are in Tripoli for the celebrations, which are expected to last several days. [BBC]
Sunday, 2 September, 2001: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi told the final session of the General People's Congress as well as several African leaders, that the world powers were unable to fight the new types of rebellion because of technological changes, including the Internet revolution. "We no longer wage war with the old weapons. Now they can fight you with electrons and viruses," Qadhafi said in a speech under a sprawling tent as the meeting was relayed live on Libyan television. "The crazy world powers that have invested huge amounts of money in weapons of mass destruction have found themselves unable to fight the new strain of rebellion," he said. [AFP]
Sunday, 2 September, 2001: Colonel Qadhafi told the General People's Congress that the school system in the age of the Internet should be modernized to allow today's generation to begin specializing in their majors around the age of 14, after intermediate school, instead of waiting for university. Qadhafi said he learned how to use the Internet in 1998, two years after its introduction in the country. Toward the end of his speech, he pulled out a sheet of paper listing yearly incomes in different countries and said he would like to have the personal income in Libya rise from $5,000 a year to about $24,000. He asked the congress members to come up with an economic plan on how to hike salaries and, at the same time, save money. [AP]

Saturday, 1 September, 2001: Russian President Putin and Libya's leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi will meet in Moscow, a high-ranking source in the Kremlin administration told Itar-Tass on Friday. He said "probably, this will happen before the end of the year." "And meanwhile intensive work is going on to prepare this meeting in Moscow," the source said. [Itar-Tass]
Saturday, 1 September, 2001: The Ukrainian-Libyan economic commission will have its second session in January 2002 to discuss gas and oil projects, First Vice-President of the Ukraine-Libya Friendship Association Oleg Dubish said at a press conference on Friday. The Ukrneft Company is considering the development of oil fields in Libya under a resolution of the commission's first session, he said. An official representative of the Libyan embassy in Ukraine has said that Libya is interested in the development of military-technical cooperation with Ukraine because the majority of Soviet-made armaments in Libya were manufactured in Ukraine. [Itar-Tass]
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