News and Views [ November 2000 ]

Click here for today's news

Thursday, 30 November, 2000: The Spanish-Argentine Repsol-YPF oil consortium announced Wednesday that it had located an oil field beneath the Sahara Desert in Libya that could yield 2.5 billion barrels. "An important crude oil deposit" was discovered at the A-1 well, the first that Repsol-YPF has drilled in the region, located within the NC-186 block of the Saharan Murzuk Basin some 800 kilometers (500 miles) south of Tripoli, the group said in a statement. The NC-186 block encompasses some 4,300 square kilometers (1,660 square miles) and has been drilled in by Repsol-YPF since May 1998, when the Libyan government approved the exploration agreement signed between the consortium and the Libyan National Oil Corporation. [Agencia EFE]
Wednesday, 29 November, 2000: Judges at the Lockerbie trial on Wednesday dismissed a motion to acquit one of the two Libyans accused of the 1988 Pan Am airliner bombing. Throwing out the defence move, Lord Sutherland said: "We are unable to be satisfied there is no case to answer and must therefore refuse Mr Keen's motion." Richard Keen, counsel for Al-Amin Fahima, had argued on Tuesday the prosecutors' case against his client was purely circumstantial and contained no evidence to show he knew of any plan to blow up a plane. Keen moved to have the case dismissed after the prosecution's evidence ended, but Sutherland ruled otherwise. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 29 November, 2000: Judges at the Lockerbie trial are expected to rule on Wednesday whether the case should be dropped against one of the two Libyans accused in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner. Their ruling will follow a defense motion brought on Tuesday that Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima (photo) has no case to answer. Richard Keen, Fahima's counsel, went through the indictment with a fine-tooth comb, saying the prosecutors' case against his client was purely circumstantial and contained no evidence to show he knew of any plan to blow up a plane. If the judges agree with Keen, Fahima will be acquitted without the need to mount a full defense. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 29 November, 2000: There has has been a demonstration in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, by thousands of Nigerians who were deported from Libya last month. They've called on the Nigerian authorities to pay them the twenty-five million dollars they say the Libyan government provided for their resettlement. But Nigeria says no such money was handed over. [BBC]
Tuesday, 28 November, 2000: Libyans Sunday started the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. After the beginning of Ramadan was announced Saturday night, the pace of life abruptly changed. The 42-hour working week is also drastically reduced. Shopping for foodstuffs has stepped up as crowds Sunday thronged vegetable and fruit markets, triggering a marginal increase in prices. By Monday, a six-kg box of sweet potatoes had risen to 1.5 Libyan dinars (about three US dollars) compared to 1.2 dinars the previous day. But the prices of imported fruits remained unchanged. Meanwhile, Libyan television has started broadcasting a series of special programmes for Ramadan, when most activities are shifted to night time. [PANA]
Tuesday, 28 November, 2000: Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah, one of the two Libyans accused of planting the bomb that exploded on board a Pan Am aeroplane over Lockerbie in 1988, could go free this week if his lawyer can show there is insufficient evidence to sustain his trial. As the seven month-long hearing resumes Tuesday at the special Scottish court in the Netherlands, lawyer Richard Keen was expected to ask the panel of judges to throw out the charges against Fhimah on the grounds that there is no case to answer. If the court accepts the plea, Fhimah would be acquitted and released. His co-accused, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, was not expected to make a similar submission, but his lawyer has said he also intends to mount a vigorous defence. After the prosecution concluded its case last Tuesday, legal experts following the trial said the evidence against the two Libyans was mainly circumstantial and unlikely to secure convictions. "There is a wide gap at the centre of the prosecution. The whole case is dependent on proving that the bomb started in Malta and they haven't proved that," said Robert Black of Edinburgh University. [AFP]
Tuesday, 28 November, 2000: Libya's leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has come up with a novel solution to the problem of the U.S. presidential elections. In remarks published on Monday, Colonel Qadhafi suggested the two candidates, George W. Bush and Al Gore, should share the presidency to avoid what he called civil war. The so-called brother leader of the Libyan revolution said whoever gains the most votes should become president and the runner up should be declared vice-president. The maverick North African ruler has also offered his views on western democracy. In a report carried by Libyan television, he said he did not believe in elections. Referring to the U.S., he asked how could 49% of the people accept someone they did not vote for to become president just because he obtained 51% of the votes. [BBC]
Tuesday, 28 November, 2000: Linda McCathern left Monday to visit her twin daughters in Libya. Her Libyan ex-husband fled 12 years ago with their daughters Sarra and Jamelah when they were 5 years old, reports KOIN 6 News. McCathern made history a few years ago when Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi arranged a reunion in Libya and met with her, says the TV station. McCathern will head to Libya despite the U.S. state department's extended restrictions on travel by Americans to Libya. McCathern says that she will ask the Libyan leader for visitation custody rights with the girls. She hopes that they will be able go to college in America. [Yahoo]

Monday, 27 November, 2000: Muslim countries are preparing for the fasting month of Ramadan. Islam's holiest month, during which Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual relations from dawn until dusk, begins on Sunday in Libya, Monday in the Palestinian territories, Iraq and the Gulf states, and on Tuesday in Iran. According to Islam's lunar calendar, Ramadan's beginning and end are determined by the appearance of the new moon. [AFP]
Monday, 27 November, 2000: Somali President Abdulkasim Hassan is in Tripoli on an official visit that will feature bilateral talks with Libyan leader, Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. Hassan was received by Mustapha Kharroubi, a member of the Libyan revolution. It is Hassan's second visit to Libya in three months. In September, the Somali leader signed a reconciliation agreement at Sirte, 450km east of Tripoli, with Hussein Aidid, leader of the Somali National Alliance. [PANA]
Sunday, 26 November, 2000: Libya will be the next major foreign employer providing employment for Sri Lankan skilled and unskilled workers in the year 2001, Libyan Ambassador in Sri Lanka Abdulkarim Ali AbdulKarim told the Daily News yesterday. He said discussions on this matter will be held with Sri Lankan labour officials before the end of this year. [Daily News]
Saturday, 25 November, 2000: The United States extended a ban on U.S. passport holders traveling to Libya by one year on Friday. U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had taken into account violence in the Middle East region and an increase in anti-American sentiment there as a whole in taking the decision. ''She determined that questions remain about the safety of American citizens in Libya,'' Reeker said. Holders of U.S. passports have been barred from using them for travel to Libya since Washington cut diplomatic ties with Tripoli in 1981. Hundreds of Americans work in Libya's oil industry despite the ban. Reeker cited reports of internal violence in Libya which had killed 50 people and wounded hundreds more and anti-Israeli and anti-U.S. protests since the recent unrest in the Middle East as reasons for keeping the ban in place. [Reuters]
Saturday, 25 November, 2000: Libya was again held responsible Thursday for Imam Musa Sadr’s disappearance, with Higher Shiite Council President Mohammed Mehdi Shamseddine requesting that the controversial case be taken to the International Court of Justice. “Imam Sadr and his two comrades are the victims of the Libyan system, and their case is the responsibility of this system. They entered Libya upon an official invitation and never came back,” said Shamseddine, whose speech was read by his deputy, Sheikh Abdel-Amir Qabalan. Shamseddine demanded that the Lebanese government present the missing Amal founder’s case to the International Court of Justice at The Hague. “We demand that the international justice take action to uncover the fate of Imam Sadr,” he said. Qabalan spoke for Shamseddine at the opening session of the Fifth Common Terms Conference. [Daily Star]
Saturday, 25 November, 2000: The executive bureau of the Council of Arab energy ministers concluded a three-day meeting in Tripoli Thursday with call for a joint Arab strategy in the area of electrical energy. The tenth meeting of the bureau was attended by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya and a representative of the Arab league secretary general. The meeting decided to establish a team of experts to study the implementation of the connection of electrical networks in the Arab world. It also decided to accelerate the process of harmonising the technical vocabulary, standards, criteria and specifications in the Arab world's electricity sector. The secretary of the Libyan People's General Committee, Embarek el-Shamekh, urged Arab electricity authorities to search for alternative energy sources, including solar energy, instead of solely relying on gas and oil. He also urged Arab countries to consolidate links with African countries, which have substantial energy potentials. [PANA]

Friday, 24 November, 2000: The Kuwait-based Arab Economic and Social Development Fund said on Wednesday that it has granted Libya a loan of 25 million Kuwaiti dinars (81 million dollars) to help finance development projects. A statement by the fund said the interest rate of the loan is 5. 4 percent and its repayment period is 22 years with a five-year grace period. [Xinhua]
Thursday, 23 November, 2000: The United Nations Security Council began an urgent meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss the escalating violence in the Palestinian territories. The meeting was held in response to a request of Libya, the current chairman of the Arab group at the U.N. In a letter to the council president, Libya's permanent representative to the U.N. Abuzed Dorda (photo) said the " deteriorating situation is a threat to the stability of the whole region." Dorda said massive retaliatory raids carried out Monday by Israel in the Gaza Strip "reflect the continued determination of the occupation forces to use military force in an unacceptable manner." [Xinhua]
Thursday, 23 November, 2000: A delegation of the British Council of Energy Industries (CEI) is visiting Libya to explore the setting up of partnerships with Libyan companies and enterprises. The delegation, led by Micheal Bovey, chairman of the overseas committee of the CEI, comprises 20 managers wishing to set such partnerships with their Libyan counterparts. The CEI is said to be the biggest British commercial association of its kind, made up of engineering contractors, manufacturers, importers and exporters operating in the petrol, gas, petro-chemical and chemical industries. The association also has consultants in energy production, transmission and distribution, environmental and water protection, and the processing of waste water as its members. The visitors return home Thursday. [PANA]
Thursday, 23 November, 2000: The new Libyan minister of justice and general security, Abdulrahman al-Abbar, Wednesday accused the international press of blowing out of proportion, the events that occurred in Libya last September between young Libyans and immigrant workers from sub-Saharan Africa. In his first official comment on the matter, al-Abbar said "what happened was in fact only a dispute between young Libyans and African immigrant workers" which the international press "blew out of proportion in an alarming and abusive manner." The minister said the dispute, which could have happened in any country, was exploited by "invisible hands" with the sole purpose of aborting the African union project initiated by Libyan leader, Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. Al-Abbar said the Africans who left Libya following the events did so on their own free will without any form of constraint. "A few hundred of the two million Africans decided to return home," he said. [PANA]
Thursday, 23 November, 2000: Libya is going to invest 50 million dollars in the rebuilding of the Russian Minsk Automobile Works, a spokesman for the works told PRIME-Tass on Wednesday. The money is planned to be spent on purchasing new production equipment and on improving the competitiveness of the automobiles. A business plan for using the investments will be drawn up by specialists of the Minsk Automobile Works before December 15. After it is approved by the Libyan side, the financing will be started early next year. The project will be implemented for ten years. The repayment of the money will begin two years after the opening of the credit line. Most probably, the credit will be repaid with automobile deliveries. It has not been decided yet what types of the automobiles will be delivered to Libya. [Itar-Tass]
Wenesday, 22 November, 2000: U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is weighing a decision on whether to extend restrictions on travel by Americans to Libya. The deadline to decide is Friday. Under U.S. law, Albright could extend the travel ban for a year, choose a few months' extension or drop it entirely. A brief extension or an end to the 19-year-old restriction would be seen as an attempt to warm relations with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. Last year, Britain, which usually shares the tough stand the United States takes against terrorism, renewed full diplomatic relations with Libya. [AP]
Wenesday, 22 November, 2000: Olympic bid officials ``did everything in our power'' to obtain U.S. travel visas for a Libyan International Olympic Committee (IOC) member's sons, according to internal documents obtained from the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC). The bid leaders pressured the State Department and ``our own political leaders'' to admit the sons of Bashir Attarabulsi (photo). One son, Sami Attarabulsi, was rejected because he was a member of the Libyan military, which was considered hostile by the United States. The other son, Suhel Attarabulsi, got a visa after considerable diplomatic effort in 1994. He received $60,000 from the bid committee to attend Utah schools. The latest batch of documents released by Salt Lake organizers shows that SOLC's Tom Welch and Dave Johnson ran the bid committee like a travel agency for IOC delegates. Welch and Johnson await trial on federal charges of leading a decade-long bribery conspiracy. [AP]

Tuesday, 21 November, 2000: A defence lawyer in the Lockerbie trial accused prosecutors of failing to link his client directly and irrefutably to the bombing Monday. As the prosecution ended its seven-month long presentation, Richard Keen, a lawyer for one of the two Libyan suspects, said he would depose a "submission of no case," because there was no proof his client was guilty. If the judges accept his submission, Al-Amin Fhimah [photo] would be effectively acquitted and released. His co-defendant, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, would remain in jail awaiting a verdict. A legal expert from Edinburgh University working for the defence, Robert Black, said that despite presenting hundreds of witnesses, the prosecution had failed to conclusively prove the Libyans guilt. [AFP]
Tuesday, 21 November, 2000: Scottish prosecutors on Monday concluded their case in the trial of two Libyans accused of blowing up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988. During hearings Monday, prosecutors called as a witness former ABC News correspondent Pierre Salinger, who interviewed the defendants in 1991, and who concluded that they didn't carry out the attack. Having Salinger testify fit in with the prosecution's strategy of preempting witnesses who might favor the defense. The journalist was asked about the circumstances of the interviews but grew angry when the court refused to let him identify who he believed were the culprits. [AP]
Tuesday, 21 November, 2000: The Côte d'Ivoire national team came from a goal down at home to win their first match against Libya in the African Nations Cup qualifiers on Sunday in Abidjan. Côte d'Ivoire move to second in Group seven of the Nations Cup qualifiers on goal difference, but are tied on three points with Libya. Côte d'Ivoire play their next match against Sudan on April 14, while Egypt will clash with Libya in a North African duel. [African Soccer Magazine]
Tuesday, 21 November, 2000: The secretary of the people's general committee for African unity Ali al-Tureiki and Liberia's foreign minister Munir Qabtan on Sunday in Tripoli discussed bilateral relations and means of strengthening bilateral cooperation. Talks dealt with the situation in the African continent and cooperation means which strengthen the march of economic integration among the African peoples. [ArabicNews.Com]
Monday, 20 November, 2000: The Lebanese prime minister, Rafiq al-Hariri, has begun a visit to Libya. The official Libyan news agency quoted him as saying on arrival that he wanted to tighten relations between the two countries. The visit co-incides with a call in the official Libyan newspaper, Jamahiriya, for the expulsion of all Lebanese living in the country to prevent threats to Libyan security. The newspaper urged the authorities to use Mr Hariri's visit to facilitiate their departure. A Shi'ite leader in Lebanon, Sheikh Abdel Amir Qabalan, said earlier this month that Libya's silence over the mysterious disappearance of the Lebanese Shi'ite Imam Mussa Sadr on a trip to Libya more than twenty years ago could encourage violent acts against it. [BBC]
Sunday, 19 November, 2000: The sister of Amal Movement founder Imam Musa Sadr met with Lebanese Foreign Minister Mahmoud Hammoud Friday to ensure that her brother’s disappearance in 1978 was still a top government priority. Rabab Sadr said she wanted to make sure that the government was continuing to press for information on the whereabouts of her brother. Musa Sadr and two of his aides disappeared in 1978 while on a trip to Libya. "The government can’t be flexible on this matter,” she said. Libya withdrew its ambassador from Beirut after Parliament, prompted by Amal leader and Speaker of the House Nabih Berri, refused to invite him to the new Parliament’s inaugural session. Berri and Shiite clerics accuse Libya of holding Sadr, while the Libyans maintain that he disappeared after departing from Tripoli on a flight bound for Italy. “I believe that Imam Sadr is in Libya and that the Libyan government is responsible because it hasn’t been able to prove that he’s not there,” Sadr said. [Daily Star]
Sunday, 19 November, 2000: Jordan's prime minister Ali Abu al-Ragheb will leave today for Libya in a visit which will last for three days. Jordanian sources said Abu al-Ragheb will convey, during this visit, a message from King Abdullah II to President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on bilateral relations between the two states in various economic, political and social areas and about conditions in the region especially developments in the Palestinian territories. [ArabicNews.Com]
Saturday, 18 November, 2000: The Lockerbie trial has heard about a German police operation in which radio cassette recorders were discovered while a flat was being searched. They were not seized by officers during the raid in October 1988 and later disappeared, the trial was told. Prosecutors accuse two Libyans of using a Toshiba Bombeat recorder packed with explosives to blow up Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988, killing 270 people. The defence blames Palestinian groups for the bombing and tried on Friday to show that a bomb could have originated in Germany, rather than at Malta airport as the prosecution alleges. [BBC]
Saturday, 18 November, 2000: Comorian President Col. Ansoumani Azali late Wednesday held his first round of discussions in Tripoli with the Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. Azali paid tribute to Qadhafi for his efforts to restore peace in various trouble spots in Africa, including the Comoros. He said his island nation could learn lessons from the Libyan experience of running a government by the people, adding that the Comorian islands had also "decided to do away with centralisation." The Comorian military regime, which seized power in a coup d'etat, has been ostracised by the OAU, which has imposed sanctions on Moroni. The junta leaders are still not allowed to participate in the OAU meetings, including the July 2000 summit in Togo. [PANA]
Friday, 17 November, 2000: A Libyan secret service agent alleged by the prosecution to have gathered explosives and detonators used to bomb Pan Am Flight 103 has been questioned at the Lockerbie trial. Mansour Omran Ammar Saber is named as one of the "others" in the indictment against the two Libyans accused of carrying out the bombing in December 1988. The Crown says Mr Saber and other Libyan agents provided the explosives, detonator and timer. Alan Turnbull, for the prosecution, referred in particular to one incident in February 1988, when Saber was arrested at Dakar airport in Senegal. He was said to have been beaten unconscious and held in custody for four months after explosives and timers were discovered, allegedly in his baggage. The witness denied all knowledge of the explosives. [BBC]
Friday, 17 November, 2000: The Libyan government has said that it may give Korea's Dong Ah Construction an advance payment of US$300 million to help the floundering builder complete a waterway project there, a Korean finance-economy ministry source said Friday. He said that Libya had conveyed its intention to Korea through the Korean embassy in Libya, adding that the government plans to determine the exact nature of the proposal when its working-level negotiating team goes to Libya to consult on the matter on Nov 19-20. The proposed $300 million comes from reserves the Libyan government has secured any defects that emerged after the completion of the project. The reserves therefore can be paid during the third quarter of 2003, when the waterway begins test operations. A construction-transportation ministry source meanwhile said that the Libyan government wants the $300 million to be used inside Libya, implying that Libya will directly pay costs related to subcontractors and the workers Dong Ah employs for the project. [Asia Pulse]
Friday, 17 November, 2000: Several Arab first ladies, including Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's wife Soha, will meet in Cairo Saturday for the first summit for Arab women aimed at supporting the new Palestinian uprising. Though first called to debate the condition of women in Arab societies, the summit is now to "show solidarity with the Al-Aqsa intifida which has become the Arab world's most important event," an Arab League official said. Safeya al-Qadhafi, wife of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, had been expected to attend, but Libya will now be represented by a delegation led by Salma Shaaban Abdel Jabbar, deputy minister for social affairs, an Arab League official said. [AFP]

Thursday, 16 November, 2000: Libya is looking to local and foreign private investors to take on a larger role in its $35-billion, five-year development plan as it continues to liberalize its state-run economy, government officials said on Wednesday. Prime Minister Mubarak al-Shamikh and eight other cabinet ministers stressed that Libya was determined to open up its long-isolated economy to the free market. The ministers spoke at a government-sponsored foreign investment conference, the first of its kind in Libya. The two-day event on Tuesday and Wednesday gathered representatives from more than 270 foreign companies, mainly from Europe but also from Japan, Canada and South Africa. The officials said thousands of state-owned businesses had been totally or partially privatized in recent years and the government had enacted free-market-oriented legislation to attract foreign investment in key sectors like oil and gas, telecommunications, roads and fisheries. [CNN]
Thursday, 16 November, 2000: Burgeoning Middle East violence threatened to steal the limelight Thursday at a Euromed meeting of EU ministers and their Mediterranean counterparts that was to have dwelt on regional cooperation. Two Arab participants in the conference that opened Wednesday night -- Syria and Lebanon -- boycotted the meeting of EU ministers and their Mediterranean counterparts in protest against the presence of Israel. However Libya, a non-Euromed member with "special guest" or observer status did a last-minute turnabout and sent a six-member delegation headed by its foreign minister, Abdurrahman Shalgam. [AFP]
Thursday, 16 November, 2000: The Sudanese Minister of Justice Ali Othman has stressed the consent of the Libyan government to maintain a comprehensive settlement for the Sudanese who were affected by the confrontations which took place in the Libyan al-Zaweyah district and vowed to restore them back their rights. In a statement to the Sudanese daily al-Rai al-Am issued on Monday in Khartoum, and the statement was made from his residence in Tripoli, Libya, the Sudanese minister added that on Sunday he made a round of talks with his Libyan counterpart Mousa al-Attar dealt with bilateral relations and means of developing them in all fields especially in the area of justice. The Sudanese minister added that the two sides discussed al-Zaweyah incidents and conditions of the Sudanese workers who were affected by them. [ArabicNews.Com]
Thursday, 16 November, 2000: A Palestinian convicted of a bomb attack in Copenhagen in 1985 has told the Lockerbie trial of two Libyans that he had played no part in the blowing up of Pan Am 103. Mohammed Abu Talb admitted on Wednesday he was "not innocent" of the bombing of a Danish synagogue, but he insisted he was telling the truth when he denied taking part in Lockerbie. The key prosecution witness is serving a life sentence in a Swedish jail for the Copenhagen incident. Under questioning from defence counsel Richard Keen QC, the Palestinian refused to confirm that he was guilty. But he finally conceded: "I was not innocent." [BBC]
Thursday, 16 November, 2000: Russia and Libya are striving to develop cooperation and make it more versatile. This was confirmed during a meeting at the Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vassily Sredin and head of Libya's diplomatic mission in the Russian capital Saleh Abdallah Saleh. The Libyan diplomat conveyed the message of Secretary of the Supreme People's Committee for External Relations and International Cooperation Abdel Rahman Shalgham addressed to Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, Tass learnt from the Russian Foreign Ministry. [Itar-Tass]
Wednesday, 15 November, 2000: Chevron Chief Executive Officer David O'Reilly on Tuesday said he wanted to see an early review of United States' sanctions on Iran and Libya which are preventing some western oil investment in the two countries. "We would like to see a review," he told reporters at a conference in London. "The reality is we will have to wait until the new administration decides (what to do)." U.S. oil firms have been stung by a series of unilateral sanctions and extra-territorial measures against Iran and Libya. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 15 November, 2000: Lockerbie trial Defence lawyers have started questioning a Palestinian man who they accuse of the Lockerbie bombing. Mohammed Abu Talb - who is serving a life sentence in a Swedish jail for bombing offences - has already denied he was involved in the attack on Pan Am Flight 103. Two Libyans are on trial for the atrocity - but they have blamed Talb and nine other people. On Tuesday, under questioning from defence QC Bill Taylor, Talb said he was in jail for bombing offences - but denied he was guilty. Talb was jailed for life in 1989 after being convicted of the bombing of a Danish synagogue in 1985. But he told Mr Taylor: "I was convicted although I was not there and did not admit the crime." [BBC]
Wednesday, 15 November, 2000: Libya and Sudan Tuesday in Tripoli signed a co-operation agreement on justice, as one of the highpoints of a three-day visit by Sudanese Justice Minister Ali Muhamed Othman. The Secretary of Libyan People's General Committee (Ministry) for Justice and General Security, Abdulrahman Abbar, signed the accord with Othman. It provides for the consolidation of co-operation between Tripoli and Khartoum by laying emphasis on the exchange of experiences, the training of specialised senior personnel and the development of co-operation in the area of legal research and studies. Welcoming the agreement, Othman stressed the urgent need to strengthen co-operation between the two countries in other areas. [PANA]

Tuesday, 14 November, 2000: Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi Sunday had a telephone phone conversation with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan over ways to equip the envisaged neutral African peace-keeping force to be deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The deployment of the force was called for in the final declaration of the recent two-day mini-African summit, which ended in Tripoli Wednesday, after examining the situation in the DRC. Annan reiterated the UN's total support for the resolutions adopted by the Tripoli summit to restore peace in the DRC and in the Great Lakes region. He also commended Qadhafi for the efforts he was making towards the restoration of peace in the Great Lakes region. [PANA]
Tuesday, 14 November, 2000: The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) selected a new secretary general Sunday, but put off a decision on oil production policy until winter demand becomes clearer. Ending a year-long wrangle that at times threatened OPEC unity, oil ministers chose one of their own, Venezuela's Oil Minister and current OPEC President Ali Rodriguez, to succeed holdover Secretary General Rilwanu Lukman. The agreement ends an internal dispute that pitted OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia against Iran, each of which nominated candidates for secretary general. Iraq and Libya further complicated the issue by offering "compromise" nominees of their own. [Dow Jones]
Monday, 13 November, 2000: Environmental and water issues will henceforth be taught in Libyan primary schools, sources announced during a scientific conference in Benghazi. The participants expressed regrets that a local school curriculum has played no important role thus far, in fostering environmental culture among the youths of the country. In a statement, Ibrahim Houidi, secretary general of the newly established Libyan Federation of the "Friends of Nature", a non-government organisation, said the conference was essential because it will help increase awareness among Libyans about the importance of improving their environment. [PANA]
Monday, 13 November, 2000: The Secretary of Libya's Committee for African Unity, Ali Triki, held talks late Saturday in Tripoli with Rwandan adviser for Foreign Affairs, Amir Ismail. The talks were on the outcome of the African mini-summit in Tripoli on the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The 7-8 November summit was initiated by 'Mathaba' International, a non-government organisation for peace, justice, freedom, and progress. The summit approved the immediate deployment of an African neutral force in the DRC. The force would try to restore peace in the region by disarming the Congolese belligerents and ensuring security at the Rwandan and Ugandan borders. [PANA]
Sunday, 12 November, 2000: Al-Arish authorities in Egypt said that 20 Palestinians who were expelled from Libya are now detained at Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza strip. The same sources added that Tripoli's authorities informed five Palestinian families living in Libya since a long time to " return back to their country " without any explanation. [ArabicNews.Com]
Sunday, 12 November, 2000: Ministers from the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries will hold informal bilateral talks on Sunday, OPEC President said Saturday. Ministers are meeting to consider the current market situation and assess winter oil demand. They will also examine what steps OPEC may need to take now, ahead of a decline in demand at winter's end. Ministers are also scheduled to discuss the issue of selecting a new secretary general for OPEC, but the matter may not be settled at this time, as four countries - Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iran and Iraq - have all put forward candidates for the post, which must be unanimously decided. [Dow Jones]

Saturday, 11 November, 2000: A Palestinian prisoner has told the Lockerbie trial of two Libyans that he was at home looking after his children on the night of the Lockerbie bombing. Mohammed Abu-Taleb is one of the men alleged by the defence to have carried out the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over the Scottish town in December 1988. But, giving evidence after a series of adjournments at the trial in the Netherlands, he denied any involvement. Abu-Taleb is in prison in Sweden for bomb outrages against Jewish and American targets. His evidence has been described as a "spoiler" by the prosecution to destroy claims made by the defence teams. [BBC]
Friday, 10 November, 2000: Libya's Ambassador to the United Nations, Abuzed Dorda, said Libya is a better example of democracy, "not the ridiculous model of the United States." He was one of about a score of speakers in the General Assembly on what has become the annual debate on "the necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba." The measure passed 167-3. "We're told that Cuba is not democratic and should emulate United States' democracy, that Cuba should base itself on the Florida model," Dorda said. "That's scandalous. "We are witnessing it here in the United States," he said. "We can see from the elections that we are the democracies, not the ridiculous model of the United States." The Tripoli envoy was referring to three nations under U.S. embargo -- Cuba, Iraq and Libya -- which he mentioned earlier in his remarks. [UPI]
LibyaOnLine.Com - a New Look and New Additions

Thursday, 9 November, 2000: The United States is weighing the lifting of a ban on the use of US passports for travel to Libya ahead of this month's deadline for a decision to either drop or continue the restriction, a senior U.S. State Department official said Wednesday. The annual decision on whether to renew the 19-year-old ban forbidding Americans from using their US passports to enter Libya is due November 24 and the official said the department was studying the implications of removing it. "It is something we are now thinking about," the official said. He said the decision would be based on a number of criteria, including the status of the ongoing Lockerbie bombing trial of two Libyan intelligence agents and the report of a team of US diplomats who visited Tripoli in March to review the security situation there. "Are we waiting for the conclusion of the Lockerbie trial? The answer is no," the official said. [AFP]
Thursday, 9 November, 2000: A top Shiite cleric said Wednesday Libya's continued failure to disclose the fate of a fellow cleric, who disappeared on a trip to Tripoli in 1978, encouraged "kidnapping" operations to secure his return. Imam Musa Sadr and two companions traveled to Libya on an official visit and promptly disappeared in August 1978. Libya maintains that the three men flew to Rome after their visit to Libya, but an Italian inquiry a year later determined that other people using their identities had made the trip. "It seems that some Arab regimes only understands the language of the terrorist Israeli state, it is as if they are telling us: kidnap in order to regain your detainees," said Mufti Abdel Amir Kabalan, vice-president of the Higher Shiite Council. "We are about to lose our patience ... so do not force us to raise our swords against the crime of kidnapping of Imam Sadr and his companions, which is similar to what Israel commits against our detainees." Kabalan called on the "Libyan regime to show courage ... and reveal the truth about the fate of Imam Musa Sadr and his companions before it is too late." [AFP]
Thursday, 9 November, 2000: The prosecution in the trial of two Libyans accused of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing suffered a setback Wednesday when the Crown Court put one of its key witnesses on hold pending procurement of a secret document "believed to be in Syria." Presiding Judge Lord Sutherland ruled the long-awaited testimony of Mohammed Abu Talb, a Palestinian serving a life term in Sweden for bomb attacks in Europe, would have to await the outcome of a "letter of request" for a document "believed to be in Syria."He also ruled that any testimony related to Talb and a 1988 German police investigation code-named "autumn leaves" would also have to await arrival of the complete document. The "letter of request" procedure ordered by Sutherland when the trial resumed Wednesday means a formal request will be made via the British government to Syria which will then decide whether to cooperate and try to locate the document. The diplomatic procedure could take months, according to legal sources. [AFP]
Thursday, 9 November, 2000: A summit of African leaders in Libya agreed Wednesday to send a force of "neutral" African nations to the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) in a bid to end that country's civil war, a senior Libyan official said. The Libyan minister for African Unity, Ali Triki, said the force, whose composition he did not spell out, would be charged with "disarming" rebel groups active in the country and to guarantee the security of (the country's) borders. At the same time, he said Uganda and Rwanda committed themselves to withdrawing their troops from the DRC prior to the withdrawal of all other foreign forces from the country. [AFP]
Thursday, 9 November, 2000: Russian Minister for Emergency Situations Sergei Shoigu arrived in Libya on a visit on Wednesday. In the airport he was welcomed by deputy secretary of the Supreme People's Committee for Foreign Relations and International Cooperation Faraj Milad. Shoigu will take part in a session of the Russian-Libyan intergovernmental commission on scientific, technical, trade and economic cooperation. He is a co-chairman of the commission. He is also expected to hold talks with secretary of the Supreme People's Committee for Foreign Relations and International Cooperation Abdel Rahman Shalgam, who is also co-chairman of the commission. [Itar-Tass]
Thursday, 9 November, 2000: Twenty-seven Sudanese youths hoping to find work in Libya died of thirst after losing their way in the Libyan desert, a newspaper reported on Wednesday. The privately owned Akhbar al-Youm said the men had been traveling from Dongola in northern Sudan to Kufra in southeastern Libya when the driver of their vehicle got lost. When their water supplies ran out, the driver set out alone to search for water. Libyan authorities found him, but by then all but one of the passengers had perished, the daily said. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 8 November, 2000: Private talks are taking place as the defence team in the Lockerbie trial seeks more time to investigate new evidence. The case was due to resume in open court on Tuesday but was delayed by a meeting in the judges' chambers. The court resumed in the afternoon officially to adjourn until Wednesday. Lawyers for the two Libyans accused of bringing down Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988 are understood to be arguing for another adjournment. They are said to be blaming a lack of co-operation by the German police as they investigate evidence believed to relate to their contention that Palestinian extremists were behind the bombing. [BBC]
Wednesday, 8 November, 2000: Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, will not take part in the summit of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), scheduled to be held in Qatar 12-14 November, official sources disclosed in Tripoli. Qatari Foreign Affairs Minister, Hamad Al-Thani, arrived in Tripoli Sunday in connection with the summit. He was received by Gen. Mustapha al-Kharroubi, to whom he handed a message from the Emir of Qatar. The Libyan leader was quoted as saying in an interview on the Arab Middle East Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) satellite television Friday, that he would not take part in the meeting. He said the summit, which would be similar to that of the Arab League held in Cairo, "will not lead to anything new". [PANA]
Wednesday, 8 November, 2000: African heads of state will meet in Tripoli Tuesday "in an attempt to find a peaceful solution to the war" in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Libya's minister of African unity said. The minister, Ali el-Triki, said the "heads of state are going to try to establish coordination among those countries that have intervened in this war." The presidents of Senegal, Angola, Zimbabwe, the DRC, Namibia, Uganda, Mali and Rwanda will participate in the summit, which will be chaired by Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. [AFP]
Wednesday, 8 November, 2000: Libya cherishes its relations with China and tries to promote Sino-African cooperation, said Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi when meeting a delegation from the Communist Party of China (CPC) November 6 in Tripoli. Reports quoted Qadhafi as saying Libya highly evaluates the recent Beijing forum on China-Africa Cooperation, which he described as a full success. The delegation arrived in Libya Sunday. It held talks with Secretary of Foreign Affairs Abdul-Rahman Shalgam and other senior officials. [People's Daily]
Wednesday, 8 November, 2000: A Foreign diplomat was caught at Entebbe International Airport on Saturday with 22 parrots which he was trying to smuggle out of Uganda. Sources said the parrots were found in a fruit box on a Libya-bound chartered plane. The smuggling and trafficking of parrots contravenes both Ugandan and international wildlife conservation laws. This is the highest number of parrots ever confiscated from a single smuggler. [New Vision]
Tuesday, 7 November, 2000: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has dismissed a French court ruling that he could be prosecuted in France over the 1989 bombing of an airliner in which 170 people died. Qadhafi called the ruling an act of spite. In his first direct comment on the October 20 decision, Qadhafi told the London-based and Saudi-funded MEBC television the French court's ruling was inspired by racism . His remarks were rebroadcast by Libyan television on Sunday. "This issue, which I heard from France, is racist because the complainant is a Zionist woman," Qadhafi said. "Consequently, from the premise of the hatred of Zionism for Qadhafi, they resort to this out of spite," he said. The Libyan leader was apparently referring to Francoise Rudetski, who heads the SOS-Attacks group which defends victims of "terrorist" attacks and has pushed for Qadhafi to be prosecuted. [CNN]
Tuesday, 7 November, 2000: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has promised to track down those responsible for killing black African migrant workers during a recent wave of vigilante attacks. Qadhafi accused hidden forces of trying to derail his plans for a United Africa and said the trials of the killers would be open to the international press. "There must be hidden hands behind this issue which are against the African union," he said. "They conspired against the African project... One has to admit that it is indeed a serious blow aimed at derailing the African project and the Libyan leadership of Africa." Qadhafi said. [BBC]
Tuesday, 7 November, 2000: The Lockerbie trial in the Netherlands is to resume on Tuesday after a series of adjournments to investigate new evidence. Defence lawyers for the two Libyans say the evidence relates to their contention that the bomb was planted by Palestinian extremists. The trial of the two accused, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi and al-Amin Fhimah, began last May at the former military base of Camp Zeist, but under Scottish law. Only one other major witness is expected to give evidence to complete the prosecution case. He is Abu Taleb, a member of a Palestinian militant group serving a prison sentence in Sweden for a different bomb attack. [BBC]
Tuesday, 7 November, 2000: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi received numerous solidarity messages from the grassroots levels of the Libyan People's Congresses and abroad following the revival of a case involving the 1989 bombing of a French UTA DC8 over Niger. In their messages, various Libyan and non-Libyan associations denounced what they saw as "an attempt by French judge Bruguiere to deliberately tarnish the name of Qadhafi in an affair with which he has no link." The messages, published in the local media, said the re-opening of the UTA affair was dictated upon the French judiciary by "Zionist circles" irritated by Qadhafi's support for the Palestinian cause and his refusal to allow imperialist control over the people's potential resources. [PANA]
Tuesday, 7 November, 2000: The president of Liberia, Charles Taylor, has held talks with Libyan leader, Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, on the conflicts in West Africa in which Liberia is accused of involvement. Libyan television said the two leaders meeting in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, discussed the tensions between Liberia and Guinea but gave no details. [BBC]
Tuesday, 7 November, 2000: Malian President Alpha Oumar Konare left Bamako Monday afternoon on a two-day working and friendly visit to Libya, where he will have talks with Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, official sources said. Libya and Mali ratified the treaty setting up the African Union, along with Senegal and Togo. The talks between the two leaders will focus on the African Union, the strengthening of relations between the two countries and the incidents which recently broke out in Libya between Libyans and black sub-Saharan nationals living there, including Malians, the sources said. Several thousands people from Nigeria, Chad, Mali, Niger, Ghana and others were recently sent home from Libya after the deadly clashes which left several people dead. Press reports said the Libyan authorities have expressed the intention to prosecute Libyans involved in the fighting. No Libyan, however, has been arrested for the crimes committed against the sub-Saharan nationals. [PANA]

Monday, 6 November, 2000: A Libyan court postponed on Saturday for the seventh time the trial of six Bulgarian medical staff accused of deliberately infecting hundreds of Libyan children with the HIV virus, Bulgaria said. Five nurses and a doctor were detained by Libyan authorities more than 20 months ago and could face the death penalty if convicted. "This is the last possible postponement," state radio quoted Othman al-Byzanti, the Libyan defense lawyer hired by the Bulgarian government earlier this year, as saying. The two months until the new trial date would be enough for the defense to prepare, he has told Bulgarian journalists in Libya's capital Tripoli. The six medics are charged with intentionally infecting 393 children in a Benghazi hospital where they worked with blood products contaminated with the HIV virus that causes AIDS. The 1,600-page indictment also says this was part of a conspiracy aimed at destabilizing the security of the Libyan state. Eight Libyans and a Palestinian face similar charges. The defense has requested that international medical experts be invited to testify at the court. [Reuters]
Monday, 6 November, 2000: By now, it is obvious that there is a link between the recent rumours about a United States military base being set up in Nigeria and the sensationalised account about alleged killings of Nigerians in Libya last month. The whipping up of anti-Libyan feelings amongst Nigerians would ensure a break-up of the historic alliance for the liberation and unity of Africa between the two great nations. In this latest attempt, the US had hoped that a mass hysteria and sense of insecurity following exaggerated reports about killings of Nigerians in Libya would soften the ground for the acceptance of a US military base in the country. This exposes the delusion of some Western strategists who believe that the great majority of African people could be swayed into accepting occupation by foreign forces under any guise. [Weekly Trust]

Sunday, 5 November, 2000: Russia's Minister for Emergency Situations Sergei Shoigu will fly to Tripoli on Wednesday to take part in the 4th session of the intergovernmental commission on scientific, technical, trade and economic cooperation between Russia and Libya. The sides are expected to discuss a draft programme of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries up to the year 2010, and a wide range of issues pertaining to oil and gas, nuclear energy, transport, agriculture and banking, as well as humanitarian mine-clearing in Libya. The commission will also consider Russia's participation in an international tender for the right to build the land section of the Libya-Italy gas pipeline, the modernisation of the Tajura nuclear research centre and the construction of motorways and airports. During the visit, Shoigu is scheduled to meet Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. [Itar-Tass]

Saturday, 4 November, 2000: France said on Friday that it is maintaining the plan to host a ministerial conference of European Union (EU) and Mediterranean countries from November 13 to 14 in Marseille despite the high tension in the Middle East. The spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry, Francois Rivasseau, said that all the countries bordering the Mediterranean have been invited, including Libya which is to attend with "a special status of invited guest." He added that so far no country has turned down the invitation. Some Arab countries could boycott the conference because of the presence of Israel. [Xinhua]
Saturday, 4 November, 2000: Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on Thursday received Iraq's foreign minister Muhammad al-Sahaf. Present at the meeting was the secretary general of the people's general committee for African unity in Libya Ali al-Tureiki. Al-Sahaf conveyed to Qadhafi a message from the Iraqi leadership pertaining to conditions Iraq is passing as a result of the siege imposed on it and the grave conditions in the occupied palestinian territories, escalated as a result of the continued Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people. [ArabicNews.Com]
Saturday, 4 November, 2000: Morocco and Libya Thursday signed two agreements for the promotion and guarantee investment and for environmental conservation. The agreements were signed in Casablanca, where the 5th session of the two countries' joint high commission is taking place. According to a statement issued by the joint meeting, the agreements were signed by Moroccan Prime Minister Abderrahmane Youssoufi and his Libyan counterpart Embarek Abdellah Echamekh, who has been visiting Morocco since Wednesday. In October, Libya had given Morocco a tender worth 56 million dollars to provide equipment for Sirte airport. [PANA]
Saturday, 4 November, 2000: Kenyan President Daniel Moi on Friday dismissed plans to launch an African Union, saying the continent was not ready and should first solve its numerous conflicts. "We must first sort out our problems," Moi said. He also questioned the purpose of the African Union, proposed by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in July as a watered-down version of a grandiose plan by Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi for a "United States of Africa." 31 of Africa's 56 states have signed a treaty to establish the union, which would replace the OAU, but so far only Mali, Libya, Senegal and Togo have ratified it. [AFP]
Saturday, 4 November, 2000: A delegation of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) left Beijing Friday for a good-will visit to Syria, Libya and Yemen. The delegation, led by Vice-Chairman of CPPCC National Committee Yang Rudai, is visiting the three nations at the invitation of the Progressive National Front of Syria, the People's General Leading Center of Libya and the Consultative Council of Yemen. [Xinhua]
Friday, 3 November, 2000: Delegates from Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan and Libya met in a three-day symposium in Tripoli about the "AIDS challenge in northern Africa." The organisers of the meeting, also attended by the UN Development Programme, said that it was aimed at exploring areas of regional co-operation, exchange of information and the consolidation of joint efforts" to combat the pandemic. The meeting was organised by the African Centre for Applied Research and Training for Social Development in conjunction with the assistance of the development centre for the north African sub-region. Speaking at the opening of the symposium, the centre's president Ahmed Fitouri, said it would furnish delegates with new information and statistics on AIDS. He added that the meeting was expected to create higher awareness about the pandemic and suggest a mechanism for co-ordination of AIDS information among participating countries and the entire continent. [PANA]
Friday, 3 November, 2000: The fifth session of the Moroccan-Libyan high commission is meeting this week under the chairmanship of Moroccan premier Abderrahmane Youssoufi and Secretary of the Libyan general popular committee, Mbarek Abdallah Echamekh. The Libyan official arrived in Casablanca on Wednesday on a visit meant "to consolidate bilateral and Maghreban relations and to unite Arab, Maghreban and Arab-African ranks." Echamekh said upon arrival to the airport heading a Libyan delegation. [ArabicNews.Com]
Friday, 3 November, 2000: Free enterprise is under siege by the government and courts in the United States but improving elsewhere, according to conservative Heritage Foundation's survey of 155 countries released Thursday. The annual report ranked Hong Kong as the world's freest economy, followed by Singapore, Ireland, New Zealand and Luxembourg. The United States fell one place to sixth, and was followed by Britain, the Netherlands, Australia and Bahrain. The Foundation also identified the countries with the least economic freedom, including Zimbabwe, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Laos, Iran, Cuba, Iraq, Libya and North Korea. [Agencia EFE]
Friday, 3 November, 2000: Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri tackled the tension in Lebanese-Libyan relations Wednesday, and sought ways to solve the outstanding political crisis with Libya’s Ambassador to Lebanon, Mahmoud Maria. “We discussed ways to overcome the slight tension which currently prevails in Lebanese-Libyan relations in the hopes that these relations will return to normal soon,” Maria told reporters. The Libyan government summoned its ambassador after he was repeatedly snubbed by Speaker Nabih Berri, whose Amal Movement accuses Libya of holding Shiite Leader Musa Sadr. Sadr and two others disappeared in Libya in 1978. He said Hariri told him that Lebanon regarded its relationship with Libya as “normal and characterized by respect and love, so must remain as such.” Maria said that he would leave for Libya soon to deal with the matter and hoped his departure would only be temporary. [Daily Star]
Thursday, 2 November, 2000: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi said Libya is ready to develop bilateral cooperation with Belarus. He met Belarussian President Lukashenko in Tripoli on Wednesday. "There are no obstacles for cooperation between our countries. We have the right to determine ourselves what meets our interests and this makes our cooperation more reliable and solid", Qadhafi said. The Belarussian president arrived in Tripoli on Tuesday night. [Itar-Tass]
Thursday, 2 November, 2000: The Lebanese Amal Movement on Tuesday called for closing the Libyan Embassy, expelling its ambassador, and severing relations with Tripoli, while calling for intensive efforts to uncover the fate of Shiite religious leader Imam Musa Sadr and his two companions. The imam disappeared while on a visit to Libya in 1978. Amal said in a statement that the Libyan regime was trying to win over the sympathy of the people, “but all Lebanese will not be deceived by such attempts.” It expressed surprise that some Lebanese “participated in the Libyan designs aimed to ignore the case still outstanding between the Libyan regime and the Lebanese people, namely the disappearance of the imam and his two companions.” [Daily Star]
Wednesday, 1 November, 2000: South Korean civil engineering giant Dong Ah Construction prepared Tuesday to file for court receivership, leaving doubts about many international projects. The shock waves from any collapse of Dong Ah could hit a giant waterway in Libya and projects in 10 other countries. Creditor banks decided Monday to recommend ending financial support for Dong Ah. Dong Ah officials said they feared a giant project in Libya would suffer just as the firm was about to start the third phase after finishing the first two, which have been worth 10.2 billion dollars. There are five phases in all. "We are concerned about possible claims from the Libyan government if our company cannot go ahead with the project," a Dong Ah spokesman said. [AFP]
Wednesday, 1 November, 2000: The Lockerbie trial of two Libyans has been adjourned for another week to allow inquiries to continue into new evidence which could be highly significant to the outcome of the case. The Scottish Court in the Netherlands reconvened for a short time on Tuesday before rising again. The adjournment will give the defence team more time to investigate a dossier of material handed to the prosecution by an unnamed government on 4 October. William Taylor QC, representing Abdelbaset al-Megerhi, told the judges another week was needed to continue the investigation. He said this included inquiries into allegations of links between the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 and a country in the Middle East not so far linked to the case. Lawyers in Tripoli were now opening lines of inquiry in "another Middle Eastern state" in an attempt to secure access to evidence there. Inquiries were also going on in "another European country", which has so far been unconnected with the Lockerbie inquiry. These required the assistance of Serbo-Croat translators, he disclosed. [BBC]
Wednesday, 1 November, 2000: A weeklong Arab Maghreb Youth Festival opens Wednesday in Tripoli, the Libyan capital. The organisers say students from the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) countries of Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia, will be joined by government delegates. Student unions from Arab and African countries, and international youth organisations are also expected to take part in the cultural event. [PANA]
Wednesday, 1 November, 2000: The possible recall of Libya’s ambassador to Lebanon could threaten agricultural deals, the Lebanese Jounieh and Kesrouan Traders’ Association said Monday. Sami Abrani, the head of the Association, singled out Lebanon’s apple exports to Libya as being under threat as the political wrangling between the two countries worsens. Last week Libya indicated that it would withdraw ambassador Ali Mahmoud Maria from Lebanon following the move by House Speaker and Amal leader Nabih Berri to exclude him from the new Parliament’s first plenary session, to which all other ambassadors were invited. Abrani said the dispute between the two countries had led the Libyan government to withhold millions of dollars in outstanding payments to Lebanese farmers. The dispute is also delaying apple shipments ready to leave Beirut for Libya. Abrani said that thousands of tons of apples were now in storage “and will soon perish” if they aren’t exported soon. [Daily Star]
Wednesday, 1 November, 2000: Anglo-Dutch consumer products giant Unilever Plc has signed a distribution deal with a Tunisian firm to market its products in Libya and Tunisia, an official said on Tuesday. "The accord provides for Ulysse Trading & Industrial Companies UTIC to become the exclusive distributor of Unilever products on the Libyan and Tunisian markets," said the senior official from UTIC, a private conglomerate owned by local businessman Taoufik Chaibi. The distribution deal was announced on Tuesday following the visit of Jeffrey Charles Fraser, Unilever head for North Africa, to the Middle East and Central Asia. [Reuters]
To send me the latest news or views please click here:
Back to: Libya: Our Home