Libya:
News and Views [ February 1999 ]


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Sunday: 28 February, 1999: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi appeared to pull back Saturday from a United Nations brokered compromise on the 1988 Pan Am bombing case. In a joint statement issued in Tripoli with visiting Namibian President Sam Nujoma, Qadhafi said the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Netherlands, was the proper venue for a trial on the bombing of a Pan Am passenger jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. The United States and Britain have pushed for the case to be heard by a Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands. [AP]
Sunday: 28 February, 1999: Libya said Saturday it could not accept a time limit set by the United States and Britain to hand over two Libyans accused of blowing up a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. "(Libya) cannot accept that its two nationals appear in court before reaching final agreement on the arrangements that would guarantee them justice,'' a foreign affairs ministry official said in a statement carried by the official Libyan news agency JANA, monitored in Tunis. Those making the demands ``do not really want to conduct a fair trial,'' it said. ``It is not possible to discuss a deadline before an agreement on the arrangement and the guarantees that had been demanded by Libya.'' [Reuters]
Sunday: 28 February, 1999: Namibia's President Sam Nujoma flew out of Libya on Saturday after talks with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, Libyan state radio said. The radio, monitored in Tunis, said Nujoma was seen off at the coastal airport of Sirte, 450 km (280 miles) east of Tripoli, by one of Qadhafi's lieutenants, Abu-Bakr Yunes Jaber. Nujoma's flight to Libya was the latest in a series of trips by African officials to defy a ban on flights to and from Libya over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. [Reuters]
Saturday: 27 February, 1999: The United States and Britain gave Libya a new deadline Friday - one more month to turn over two suspects for trial in the 1988 Pan Am Lockerbie bombing. There was no clear indication what Washington and London were prepared to do if the deadline passed. Both have threatened further sanctions, and the Security Council has agreed to consider such measures. However, permanent members China and Russia have indicated their opposition. The 30-day demand emerged during the council's periodic review of sanctions on Libya. [AP]
Thursday: 25 February, 1999: Libya denied on Wednesday it was putting obstacles in the way of a trial of two Libyans accused of blowing up a Pan Am jet over Scotland in 1988, and accused the United States and Britain of doing so. The official Libyan news agency JANA, monitored in Tunis, said it was not Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi who was blocking a trial of the two men before a Scottish court in the Netherlands. ``How could the West say that someone who acts to check on the necessary guarantees for his citizens was manoeuvring, forgetting that this was a natural right for Libya to secure a fair trial to its sons,'' JANA's diplomatic editor said. [Reuters]
Thursday: 25 February, 1999: Britain said on Wednesday it had gone as far as it could in giving assurances to Libya, which now had to decide whether to surrender two men accused of the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet over Scotland. ``We have clarified all those issues Libya said were issues of concern,'' Derek Fatchett, a minister of state in the Foreign Office told a group of reporters. ``There is no more clarification that can be made. The Libyans know that and know they have to make a judgment. It is up to them,'' he said. [Reuters]
Thursday: 25 February, 1999: The Libyan leader, Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, has ordered an inquiry into an amendment of the law on polygamy. The country's original law allowed a husband to take a second wife only if the first wife agreed, but the amendment, passed by parliament last year, removed the obligation to get the first wife's permission. In an address to a group of women, shown on Libyan television, Colonel Qadhafi said the Supreme Court must open an inquiry as the amendment was a serious social matter. He criticised both the parliament and those women who had accepted the change, and tore up a copy of the bill before walking out. [BBC]

Tuesday: 23 February, 1999: A court in Egypt has ordered the [Egyptian] government to compensate the American wife of a Libyan dissident, Mansour al-Kikhia, who disappeared in Cairo six years ago.
Mr Kikhia was a former Libyan foreign minister and ambassador who defected to the United States nearly twenty years ago. Reports from the United States have quoted Washington officials who said the Central Intelligence Agency had convincing evidence that Mr Kikhia was abducted by Egyptian agents and taken back to Libya, where he was executed. The appeals court in Cairo said today that the Interior Ministry must pay thirty-thousand dollars 100,000 Egyptian pounds to Mr Kikia's widow, Baha' al-Amri. [BBC]
Tuesday: 23 February, 1999: Libya has raised reservations about U.N. sanctions and prison arrangements in an exchange with the United Nations on the surrender of two men accused of blowing up a Pan Am jet over Scotland in 1988, diplomats said on Monday. U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said Libya's foreign minister, Omar Mustafa al-Muntasser, had responded over the weekend to ``clarifications'' Annan gave on behalf of Britain and the United States about a trial of the two Libyans before a Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands. ``There were still some elements that he was requesting clarification on,'' Eckhard said, without elaborating. ``We are studying that letter.'' [Reuters]
Tuesday: 23 February, 1999: United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan by Friday is scheduled to report to the Security Council on his exchanges with Tripoli on the possible surrender for trial in the Netherlands of two suspects accused of Pan Am Flight 103 explosion over Lockerbie. The council on Friday is scheduled to review sanctions imposed against Libya. The United States intends to ask the council to tighten the embargoes unless Tripoli responds this week on the surrender of the two accused. But diplomats believe there is little chance of any new sanctions, particularly an oil embargo that Washington has attempted unsuccessfully in the past. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 23 February, 1999: Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on Sunday telephoned Presidents Abdou Diouf of Senegal and Alpha Oumar Konare of Mali to discuss the conflicts which are tearing Africa apart and thwarting the development efforts of states on the continent. Over the past two weeks, Col. Qadhafi has held similar discussions on African conflicts with the presidents of Nigeria, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Chad. [PANA]

http://libyafc.mtn.org/muntada/music/allah_yarham.ram


Monday: 22 February, 1999: Libya said on Sunday it had urged all its students studying in European countries to come home for fear of what it calls a looming nuclear world war over the Balkans. Libyan state television, commenting on reports that NATO warplanes were poised for action in Yugoslavia over Kosovo, said there were ``signs that a nuclear world war will start at any time as a result of this Western colonialist tyranny. ``All Libyan students in Europe are invited to return urgently to Libya,'' said the television, monitored in Tunis. [Reuters]
Monday: 22 February, 1999: Libya said on Sunday it was having a good laugh at suggestions that its government might be undermined by prosecutors' questions and arguments if two suspects face trial for the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing. ``The diplomatic editor of the Libyan news agency JANA laughed at those media that still believe that Libya has a regime similar to that of other societies,'' JANA said. ``The Libyan popular system is stronger than any system in the world, and therefore cannot be weakened and doesn't need any protection whatever. '' The agency, monitored in Tunis, was commenting on reports that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan sent a letter to Libya on Wednesday with clarifications over the arrangements for a trial of two Libyan suspects by a Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands. [Reuters]
Sunday: 21 February, 1999: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi said the arrest of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan by Turkish agents in Kenya was cowardly and would only fuel the Kurdish fight for independence. ``The least that can be said about this operation is that it is cowardly and vain and that your fight, brother Kurds, will continue to independence, inevitably,'' Qadhafi said in a statement carried on Saturday by the Libyan news agency JANA. [Reuters]
Saturday: 20 February, 1999: Libya has raised some questions about a letter that United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan sent to Tripoli in hopes of clearing the way for the trial of two suspects in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, a U.N. spokesman said Friday. ``The Libyan ambassador, Ambassador (Abuzed) Dorda, has made some preliminary observations on the secretary-general's letter. We are now studying those,'' U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard told reporters. He did not say what issues Dorda had raised but said they were ``presented orally and informally.'' Another source said Libya wanted assurances that sanctions against it would be lifted, not merely suspended. [Reuters]

Thursday: 18 February, 1999: United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan sent a letter to Libya Wednesday with clarifications about arrangements for the trial of two suspects in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland. His spokesman Fred Eckhard said the letter had been ``signed by him and picked up'' by Libya's U.N. ambassador Abuzed Dorda. Annan, in answer to queries earlier said, ``We have offered clarifications and answered some of their (the Libyans') questions and I hope that the understandings contained in the letter will be sufficient for us to move forward.'' [Reuters]
Thursday: 18 February, 1999: The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry says Libya has released fifteen of nineteen medical workers who were detained last week after a number of children in a hospital in Benghazi were found to have been infected with the HIV virus. On Monday, Bulgaria demanded the release of the workers, who the Libyan authorities said were taken into custody for routine questioning and AIDS testing. Reports from Sofia say Bulgaria is sending a delegation to Libya tomorrow to secure the release of the four workers still under detention. [BBC]
Wednesday: 17 February, 1999: Five Bulgarian nurses at the Paediatrics wing of the University hospital in Benghazi have been arrested in connection with an enquiry on infants infected with the HIV virus which causes AIDS. In a statement Tuesday in Tripoli, the People's General Committee for Justice (Ministry of Justice) said several doctors and nurses in the paediatrics section of the hospital had been interrogated over the incident. These arrests were made following allegations made by a Libyan monthly magazine [La] which reported in its [ November ] edition that several children were infected with the AIDS virus after they were admitted to the paediatrics service of the Benghazi hospital. In its January edition, the magazine also said that the number of children infected with the incurable disease had increased dramatically. The Secretary of the People's Committee for health, Dr Solaiman al-Ghemari, was dismissed recently by the People's General Congress following the revelations by the magazine. [PANA]
Wednesday: 17 February, 1999: Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa said on his return from Libya on Tuesday that a deal on handing over for trial the two suspects in the Lockerbie airliner bombing could be reached within days. ``During the next days an agreement on the remaining details may be concluded,'' Moussa told reporters after briefing President Hosni Mubarak on his previously unanounced visit to Tripoli. ``Guarantees (demanded by Libya) are not an obstacle to settling the problem,'' Moussa said. ``There are continued negotiations and there is continued progress.'' Libyan state radio said on Tuesday Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi held talks on Monday with Moussa, who handed him a message from Mubarak. The radio, monitored in Tunis, gave no other details. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 17 February, 1999: United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Tuesday that contacts continued with Libya and others over plans for the trial of two Libyan suspects in the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing. Libya confirmed over the weekend that it was willing to hand over the suspects for trial before a Scottish court in the Netherlands, but diplomats said Tripoli first wanted certain written assurances. Asked whether he had provided Libya with those assurances, Annan told reporters: ``We are in discussion. We are in touch with them and I would hope that within the next week or so we will have a clearer indication of what is happening.'' [Reuters]
Wednesday: 17 February, 1999: United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in his contacts with Tripoli over the Lockerbie trial, has promised that prosecutors would not attempt to embarrass or implicate the Libyan government, diplomats said Tuesday. Any trial in the Netherlands of the two accused of the 1988 bombing of Pan American airliner over the Scottish village of Lockerbie would be a criminal one to determine the guilt or innocence of the suspects and not a political prosecution. ``The prosecution team cannot have as its objective to get at the Libyan regime,'' said one envoy close to the talks. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 16 February, 1999: Twelve years ago tomorrow, while Libyans were celebrating "Eid al-Mailood", Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's revolutionary committees [RC] executed nine young Libyans accused of murdering Ahmed al-Werfalli, a known member of the RC, in Benghazi in August 1986. On the 17th of February 1987, six of the accused were publicly hanged in Benghazi's sports arena. The other three were executed in their military barracks. More details
Tuesday: 16 February, 1999: The Bulgarian authorities have urged Libya to free nineteen Bulgarian doctors and nurses, who were detained last week after a number of children in a hospital in the city of Benghazi were found to have been infected with the HIV virus. Libyan diplomats say the nineteen were taken into custody -- along with medical workers of other nationalities -- for routine questioning and AIDS tests. Four other Bulgarians who were arrested are reported to have been released. [BBC]
Tuesday: 16 February, 1999: Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa arrived in Tripoli on Monday and reiterated Egypt's support for the ending of sanctions on Libya through a solution to the Lockerbie affair, Libyan state radio said. The radio, monitored in Tunis, said Moussa arrived aboard an Egyptian aircraft and was welcomed at Tripoli airport by Libyan Foreign Minister Omar Mustafa al-Montasser. ``Egypt insists on the need to reach a solution to the Lockerbie affair in order to lift sanctions imposed on Libya,'' the radio quoted Moussa as saying on arrival. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 16 February, 1999: United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is expected to write to the Libyan leader, Col. Qadhafi, within the next 24 hours to clarify whether he is accepting proposals to bring the two Lockerbie suspects to trial. The move comes after hopes grew at the weekend that Libya could be on the verge of handing over the two men to be tried under Scottish law at a unique third-country court in The Netherlands. In a statement backed by similar responses from mediators in South Africa and Saudi Arabia, Libya said:"Positive results have been reached towards a settlement of the so-called Lockerbie issue." [BBC]
Monday: 15 February, 1999: Pressured to send two suspects in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jetliner to face trial before Scottish judges, Libya's Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi may be heading for a double victory: an end to U.N. sanctions and an acquittal of the suspects. Legal experts believe it will be tough to prove that the men - alleged intelligence agents who worked for Libyan Arab Airlines in Malta - actually built and planted the radio bomb that blew up Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. ``It may be quite difficult for (prosecutors) to establish that the bomb did in fact start in Malta,'' Robert Black, professor of Scots law at Edinburgh University, said in an interview Sunday. [AP]
Monday: 15 February, 1999: African club competition preliminary round, second leg matches played at the weekend:
African Champions League:
Al-Mahalli (Libya) 3 Cotontchad (Chad) 0 (al-Mahalli won 3-2 on aggregate.) [Reuters] For more details, please visit SportScheduler
Sunday: 14 February, 1999: Libya has confirmed that progress has been made on a possible Lockerbie trial. It has also called for sanctions against it to be lifted. The announcement followed statements by mediators from South Africa and Saudi Arabia that "everything has been resolved" in talks to secure Libya's agreement to hand over for trial two Lockerbie bombing suspects. A Foreign Ministry statement on Saturday noted "positive results" following "great efforts" by Saudi Arabia and South Africa, Libyan news agency Jana reported. A statement from South African President Nelson Mandela's office said "common understanding was reached on all outstanding issues on this matter," after envoys held talks with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. [BBC]
Sunday: 14 February, 1999: Libya, which Saturday confirmed it was willing to hand over the suspects in the 1988 airliner bombing over Lockerbie, wants a written agreement on the deal before any surrender takes place, diplomats said. Any agreement, before being shown to the Libyans, would have to be approved by the United States and Britain. ``So don't expect anything to happen quickly,'' one highly placed source said Saturday. He said most aspects of the deal had already been put in writing and it was not immediately clear if any new conditions had been attached. [Reuters]
Sunday: 14 February, 1999: Britain said on Saturday that efforts to bring to trial two Libyan suspects in the 1988 airliner bombing over the Scottish town of Lockerbie ``could be approaching the end game.'' Foreign Secretary Robin Cook sounded a note of unusual optimism about reports of a breakthrough in the diplomatic standoff between Britain, the United States and Libya. ``I am not going to let out any sigh of relief until the two suspects land in the Netherlands. However, I am more encouraged than before that we could see justice done in a court trial,'' Cook said in a statement. [Reuters]
Sunday: 14 February, 1999: The United States State Department reacted skeptically Saturday to news that a deal had been reached to bring to trial the suspects in the 1988 airline bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, saying it could not confirm the reports. State Department deputy spokesman James Foley said the United States had not heard from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Washington's sole link to talks aimed at trying the suspects, and said he was not ready to conclude that a deal had been reached. [Reuters]
Sunday: 14 February, 1999: Saudi Arabian diplomats told U.N. officials that Libya had agreed to a deal to bring two Libyan suspects to trial in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, a U.N. spokesman said Saturday. Saudi officials told U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Friday that the Libyans had accepted a U.S.-British offer, which would include the transfer of the suspects from Libya to the Netherlands, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said. [AP]
Saturday: 13 February, 1999: British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook is making a new attempt to end the deadlock surrounding the trial of the Lockerbie bombing suspects. Mr Cook said the UK would guarantee the human rights of the suspects by allowing UN monitors access to them should they be found guilty of the bombing, and serve their sentences in a Scottish jail. Libya is currently reluctant to hand over the two men, Lamen Fhaimah and Abdel Basset al-Megerhi, as it believes their human rights would be placed in jeopardy should they be imprisoned in the UK. The offer put forward by the foreign secretary has the United States backing, and is part of a deal presented to Libyan leader Colonel Qadhafi by the South African envoy Jakes Gerwel who visited Libya this week for new talks on the dispute. [BBC]
Friday: 12 February, 1999: A Saudi-owned newspaper said Thursday an agreement was near for Libya to hand over two suspects to face trial over the 1988 Lockerbie airline bombing. ``Informed sources spoke to Asharq al-Awsat of an imminent settlement of the Lockerbie crisis. The sources said an announcement of the settlement was imminent and expected any minute unless unforeseen obstacles emerged,'' the paper said. ``The sources refused to give details, but expected an imminent official Libyan statement,'' Asharq al-Awsat added in its report. [Reuters]
Friday: 12 February, 1999: South African envoy Jakes Gerwel has met Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi in a fresh bid to break the diplomatic stalemate over the Lockerbie airliner bombing, diplomats said Thursday. ``Gerwel was in Libya from Monday to Wednesday when he flew to London before heading back to South Africa,'' a North Africa-based diplomat told Reuters. He said Gerwel, who is President Nelson Mandela's chief of staff, had met al-Qadhafi but would not elaborate on the results of the talks. Gerwel met British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook Monday before his trip to Tripoli. [Reuters]
Friday: 12 February, 1999: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has urged African states to hold an extraordinary summit to discuss conflicts raging in the central and eastern regions of the continent, Libyan state radio reported on Thursday. The radio, monitored in Tunis, said al-Qadhafi made the call in telephone conversations with several African heads of state including South Africa's Nelson Mandela and Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, who holds the rotating presidency of the Organisation of African Unity. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 10 February, 1999: The United Nations on Monday approved flights for Libyans to travel to Saudi Arabia for the annual pilgrimage to the Muslim holy sites of Mecca and Medina. The United Nations has banned air travel in or out of Libya since 1992 to force it to turn over two suspects in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jetliner over Lockerbie, Scotland. But the Security Council's sanctions committee on Libya has made an exception for the pilgrimage, or hajj. The committee on Monday authorized direct flights on non-Libyan airlines. To ensure the flights are used for this purpose, the committee said planes would be inspected before leaving Libya and after returning. It said all flights would require prior approval. [AP]
Wednesday: 10 February, 1999: Libyan Foreign Minister Omar Mustafa al-Montasser said on Tuesday the two Libyan suspects wanted for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing must serve any prison sentence in Libya if found guilty and not in Scotland, as demanded by Britain. Montasser was commenting on a statement by British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook on Monday that there was ``no alternative to the two accused, if convicted following a fair trial in a Scottish court, serving any sentence imposed in Scotland.'' ``There is no alternative to serving any sentence in Libya,'' Montasser told Reuters in Tunis. ``If we were to accept that they be jailed in Scotland, we would have accepted such a trial years ago,'' he added. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 10 February, 1999: Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen on Monday held talks on the Lockerbie issue, the Middle East and the Iraqi crisis, Tunisian state television said. The television quoted Cohen as saying the discussions touched on Iraq, the region and on Tunisia's security. It said President Ben Ali, who a few hours earlier also held talks with Libyan Foreign Affairs Minister Omar Mustapha al-Montasser, reiterated Tunisia's desire for peaceful solutions to both the Iraqi and Lockerbie issues. ``President Ben Ali reiterated Tunisia's position calling for an honourable solution to this (Lockerbie) issue, preserving all parties' rights and accelerating the lifting of the embargo, and contributing to the containment of the tension in the region,'' the television said. [Reuters]

Tuesday: 9 February, 1999: South African envoy Jakes Gerwel will travel to Libya this week to try to persuade Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to hand over two men accused of carrying out the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jumbo jet, Britain said Monday. ``He is not going to negotiate on our behalf,'' a Foreign Office statement said. But Britain welcomed his efforts to persuade Libya to hand over the suspects for trial in the Netherlands. British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook held talks on the Lockerbie suspects with Gerwel in London Monday. Cook emphasized that there was ``no alternative to the two accused, if convicted following a fair trial in a Scottish court, serving any sentence imposed in Scotland.'' The Foreign Office statement added: ``Their rights of consular access and respect for Islamic culture would be protected, they would not be manipulated or used in any way to undermine the Libyan government.'' [Reuters]
Monday: 8 February, 1999: Libya on Sunday declared a three-day period of mourning for Jordan's King Hussein and Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi urged new King Abdullah to break ties with Israel. Libyan state television, monitored in Tunis, read out a government statement saying flags would fly at half-mast in the country and television would broadcast in black and white during the three days of mourning. Al-Qadhafi conveyed condolences to King Abdullah and said he hoped the new Jordanian leadership would change its policy towards Israel after the "sins'' of King Hussein. [Reuters]

Sunday: 7 February, 1999: Libya is "very close" to making a final decision on whether to hand over the two Lockerbie bombing suspects for trial, it was claimed last night. Lord Steel, the former [Scottish] Liberal leader, who met Libya's foreign minister, Omar al-Muntassir, earlier this week, said an announcement would be made by the end of the month. Lord Steel visited Tripoli with a former Conservative MP, Sir Cyril Townsend. They said they were optimistic a clear-cut decision would be reached.
[The Scotsman]
Sunday: 7 February, 1999: The Libyan leader, Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, has said he hopes Crown Prince Abdallah of Jordan will reconsider Amman's close relations with the United States and Israel. A Libyan news agency statement said Libya hoped the new generation would radically rethink Jordan's policies and rejoin the ranks of the Arab world. Libya was critical of the l994 peace treaty King Hussein signed with Israel, but reopened relations with Amman last year after signing a series of economic cooperation accords. [BBC]
Sunday: 7 February, 1999: Malawi and Libya Thursday signed a pact aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation in agriculture, economics, investment and housing sectors. A protocol of the accord which also calls for the establishment of a joint Libyan-Malawian bank in Blantyre, Malawi, was signed by Libya's secretary for Foreign Affairs, Omar al-Muntassir, and Malawian foreign minister, Mapopa Chipeta. [PANA]

Thursday: 4 February, 1999: Negotiations over two Libyans suspected
of carrying out the Lockerbie bombing have been taking place in Tripoli, British diplomatic sources said Wednesday. Saudi envoy Prince Bandar Bin Sultan has travelled to the Libyan capital to try to clinch a deal for the handover of the two men accused of blowing up Pan Am flight 103 over the Scottish town 10 years ago, killing 270 people. The Guardian newspaper quoted senior British sources as saying Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi was now convinced United Nations sanctions on Libya would effectively be removed once the two suspects -- AbdelBasset al-Megerhi and Lameen Fhimah -- were surrendered. United States officials have made it clear the talks are the last chance before the sanctions screw is tightened further. [Reuters]
Thursday: 4 February, 1999: Libyan National Oil Company President Hamoud al-Asuad said Wednesday all possibilities were open for the March 23 scheduled OPEC meeting and that Libya maintained its position for further production cuts to boost sagging prices. Speaking to reporters outside the presidential Miraflores palace in Caracas, Venezuela, he said, ``Our position is always the same. We are looking for a good return for this oil and it is our right to ask for it.'' He accompanied Libyan Revolutionary Council member Col. Mustafa al-Kharrubi to a meeting with Venezuelan President Huo Chavez, who started a five-year term in office Tuesday. Asked if Libya would support production cuts at the March meeting, al-Asuad replied, ``All possibilities are open and we will see what can de done to achieve that.'' [AP]
Wednesday: 3 February, 1999: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has invited Sierra Leone's President Ahmad Kabbah and jailed rebel leader Foday Sankoh to Libya for talks to end fighting in their country, the Libyan news agency JANA said on Tuesday. ``A high-ranking delegation from Nigeria arrived yesterday with the hope that parties in conflict in Sierra Leone would meet under the sponsorship of Libya,'' al-Qadhafi said in a speech on Monday, according to a JANA report monitored in Tunis. ``I have sent an invitation to our brothers and friends in conflict -- President Tejan Kabbah and the chief of the other party, Sankoh,'' he added, at a dinner attended by Malawi's President Bakili Muluzi. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 2 February, 1999: Libyan leader Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi is already consulting contractors involved in the construction of the Jonglei canal in Sudan, the independent newspaper, al-Shams, reported Sunday in Tripoli. The paper wrote that al-Qadhafi's interest in the project was motivated by its economic potential. The proposed Jonglei canal in southern Sudan is expected to enable the utilisation of flood water from the river Nile for economic use. The 200-km canal will facilitate the evacuation and draining of 1.8 billion cubic metres of water per annum from Malakal town, 750 Km south of Khartoum. [PANA]
Tuesday: 2 February, 1999: Malawi's President Bakili Muluzi flew to Libya on Monday, the latest in a string of African leaders to defy a U.N. air ban imposed on flights to and from Libya over the 1988 Lockerbie disaster. Libyan state television monitored in Tunis showed Muluzi arriving at Tripoli airport where he was greeted by AbuBakr Yunes Jaber, one of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's lieutenants. He then went into talks with al-Qadhafi to ``discuss African issues,'' the television said. In June last year an Organisation of African Unity summit called on its members to ignore the U.N. embargo for humanitarian, religious or diplomatic flights. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 2 February, 1999: African club competition preliminary round, first leg matches played at the weekend:
African Champions League:
ASC Ndiambour (Senegal) 4 Invincible XI (Liberia) 0
AS Kaloum (Guinea) Real Banjul (Gambia) disqualified
Cotontchad (Chad) 2 al-Mahalli (Libya) 0
El Nguema (Equat. Guinea) Santana (Sao Tome e Principe) W
Notwane (Botswana) 1 Lesotho Defence Force (Lesotho) 1. [Reuters]
For more details, please visit the SportScheduler home page.
Monday: 1 February, 1999: Russia has denied United States press reports that its chemical weapons and the technology to make them were finding their way abroad, to such places as Libya, Iraq, North Korea or Serbia. "The escape or transfer of chemical weapons to third countries is out of the question," Itar-Tass news agency quoted the head of Russia's nuclear, chemical and biological protection forces, Gen. Stanislav Petrov, as saying Thursday. "Russia totally complies with international undertakings and Russian scientists are helping no one to produce such weapons," he said, in response to a New York Times report on Jan. 22. [AFP - Russia Today]
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