News and Views [ April 1999 ]

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Friday: 30 April, 1999: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi said the recent handover of two Lockerbie bombing suspects could lead to direct talks with the United States and Britain, a Saudi Arabian newspaper reported on Thursday. Qadhafi was speaking in an interview published Thursday in the Saudi Okaz newspaper. Asked if the recent handover of the Libyan suspects would lead to talks with the United States and Britain, Qadhafi said this had been agreed with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. [Reuters]
Friday: 30 April, 1999: Libya, which has been trying to mediate in the Kosovo crisis, said on Thursday the Yugoslav government might accept some NATO troops in a peacekeeping force and that the European Union showed interest in its initiative. Libyan Foreign Minister Omar Mustafa al-Muntasser said the Yugoslav government had accepted a four-point Libyan initiative. The official news agency JANA quoted him as saying the plan included setting up a peacekeeping force ``from states of what was previously called Eastern (former Communist) countries, from the Third World, and from some NATO members whose intervention would be accepted by Yugoslavia.'' [Reuters]
Friday: 30 April, 1999: Former White House officials John Poindexter and Oliver North are among nine Americans named in a Libyan indictment related to the 1986 bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi that was circulated at the United Nations on Thursday. President Ronald Reagan, who was not among those indicted, ordered the attack on April 15, 1986, in retaliation for Libya's alleged involvement in the bombing of a West Berlin discotheque that killed two people, including a U.S. serviceman. A 17-page letter by Libyan United Nations representative Abuzed Dorda was circulated as a U.N. document to coincide with the 13th anniversary of the U.S. raid. [Reuters]

Thursday: 29 April, 1999: The United States, in a major shift, will ease its sanctions policy to permit food and medicine sales to Libya, Iran and Sudan so these items are not used as a foreign policy ``weapon'', officials said Wednesday. The decision -- long sought by farm state members of Congress and businesses -- would permit case-by-case consideration of food and medicine sales to Libya, Iran and Sudan rather than banning them outright, officials said. [Reuters]
Thursday: 29 April, 1999: Sri Lanka's tea industry hopes to increase sales to Libya following the lifting of economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations on Libya earlier this month, a leading broking firm said on Wednesday. ``The tea trade in Colombo looks to the possibility of more regularised purchases of tea by Libya as well as an increase in the quantum,'' John Keells Ltd said in its weekly report. Sri Lanka has been the main supplier of tea to Libya. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 28 April, 1999: Libya has handed over to Egypt five suspected Muslim militants, a London-based Egyptian Islamist said on Tuesday. Yasser el-Serri, who runs the Islamic Observation Centre (IOC), a human rights watchdog, told Reuters that the five men had been deported to Egypt in early March, although they had residence visas in Libya. ``The Libyan regime handed over five people who have been staying legally there since 1992,'' said el-Serri, himself on the run from a death sentence for his role in an attempt to kill then Prime Minister Atef Sedki in 1993. He denies involvement. [Reuters]

Tuesday: 27 April, 1999: Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has sent an envoy to Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to ask for his help in resolving the Kosovo crisis, Libya's official news agency JANA said on Monday. JANA, monitored in Tunis, said Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Lilic had made the demand when he met Qadhafi on Sunday night. Oil-rich Libya had been one of Yugoslavia's fuel suppliers, and Lilic's visit to Libya took place shortly after a NATO leaders' summit in Washington over the weekend approved measures to stop oil reaching Yugoslavia. JANA said Milosevic believed Qadhafi ``is a friend to all parties'' and had asked him to go ahead with an initiative to end the conflict. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 27 April, 1999: The British "Sunday Times" daily said in its Sunday editorial said that a new confrontation between Britain and Libya has been emerging following the new developments on the incident of killing a British policewoman outside the headquarters of the Libyan embassy in London in 1984. The BBC on Sunday quoted the paper as saying the British government will exert pressure for Libya to hand over the suspected killer in the incident, but Britain will once again run the risk of disturbing its relations with Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi if it asks Libya about this matter at a time when improvement has been noticed in relations between the two countries following the handing over of the two Libyans suspected of being involved in the Lockerbie incident. [ArabicNews.Com]
Tuesday: 27 April, 1999: South African business stands a good chance of breaking into the highly lucrative trade in oil and natural gas, thanks to President Nelson Mandela's diplomatic breakthrough in securing the trial of two Libyans suspected of bombing a Pan-Am flight over Lockerbie. Trade prospects with Libya, and by extension with Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, have been boosted by the imminent arrival of a committee of trade officials representing Libyan provinces. The committee will invite South African businesses to a trade fair in Tripoli, where the only exhibits will be goods produced in South Africa. [Sunday Times / South Africa]
Tuesday: 27 April, 1999: Libya plans to open 16 new blocks for foreign investment by international oil firms, The Middle East Economic Survey (MEES) said on Monday. ``MEES learns that there are currently 16 open blocks with a total onshore area of around 26,000 sq km and an offshore area of approximately 4,000 sq km,'' the newsletter said. ``It is further understood that 24 more blocks will be opened in the coming period with a total onshore area of around 47,000 sq km and an offshore area of approximately 14,000 sq km,'' MEES said. [Reuters]

Sunday: 25 April, 1999: A Libyan airliner landed at the Damascus airport Saturday, its first flight to Syria since U.N. sanctions were suspended. The plane carried 18 Libyan airline and airport officials who will discuss with Syrian authorities the resumption of regular commercial flights to Damascus, scheduled for Tuesday. Syrian Arab Airlines began commercial flights to Tripoli, Libya, on Monday, following its old schedule of twice-weekly flights. It also has plans to fly to Benghazi. Several international airlines have resumed flights to Libya after U.N. sanctions imposed on Libya in 1992 were suspended April 5. [AP]

Saturday: 24 April, 1999: Niger's new military ruler Major Daouda Malaam Wanke met Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to brief him about recent events in Niger, the official Libyan news agency JANA said on Friday. The agency, monitored in Tunis and in a despatch from the Libyan coastal city of Sirte did not specify when or where the meeting took place. It was the first trip abroad by Major Wanke, president of the ruling National Reconciliation Council, since he took power in Niger after the April 9 killing of President Ibrahim Bare Mainassare by members of the presidential guard. [Reuters]
Saturday: 24 April, 1999: Russia is planning to supply Libya with its S-300 air defence missile complexes, the head of the company that makes them said in a newspaper interview published on Friday. ``I won't make any secrets ... Now that the United Nations' sanctions against Tripoli are gone Libya will be the first on our list,'' Yuri Rodin-Sova, head of S-300 maker Defence Systems, told Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily. ``We will propose setting up an air defence infrastructure in Libya, based on S-300PMU1 and S-300PMU2. The system will also have modernised older versions of Russian air defence complexes as its elements. It will be cheaper for Libya.'' [Reuters]
Friday: 23 April, 1999: U.N. Security Council members welcomed on Thursday a peace accord signed in the Libyan coastal town of Sirte last Sunday by some of the countries involved in a regional conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). ``The members of the council welcome the efforts of African leaders convened in Sirte upon the initiative of Colonel Qadhafi in contributing towards a lasting solution of the conflict in the DRC,'' a statement read to reporters by council president Alain Dejammet of France said. [Reuters]
Friday: 23 April, 1999: Libya's state airline made its first scheduled overseas flight on Thursday since the lifting of U.N. sanctions imposed over the Lockerbie bombing, an airline spokesman said. ``Scheduled flights resumed with a flight to Amman on Thursday,'' said the spokesman for the state Libyan Arab Airlines (LAA) contacted from Tunis. ``We plan two scheduled flights per week for Amman, one from Tripoli and the other from Benghazi,'' he added. He said a flight to Rome was planned for Friday but the full schedule for flights to Italy had not yet been completed. Commercial flights to other countries were also being considered, he said. [Reuters]
Friday: 23 April, 1999: Senior U.S. oil executives broke bread with Libya's top policy makers over dinner in Geneva this week on the eve of an energy conference but there was little else for the Americans to chew on. Shackled by their government's sanctions against Libya, the Americans could only watch as Europeans, South Koreans and Canadians dealt out calling cards and negotiated hard deals. The timing of the conference, soon after the suspension of U.N. sanctions against Libya, attracted hundreds of oil and gas executives. Organisers said registrations swelled from just under 200 to more than 400 after April 5, when the United Nations suspended the 1992 sanctions after Tripoli handed over two suspects for trial over the 1988 Pan Am airline bombing. [Reuters]

Thursday: 22 April, 1999: Libya has unveiled plans to become a major gas hub in the next millennium with pipeline links to its North African neighbours and major trading partner Italy. Libyan oil and gas officials attending a conference which ended in Geneva on Tuesday invited foreign investors to help develop Libya's huge and as yet untapped gas reserves, described by one delegate as the country's sleeping giant. Italy's Agip, which is leading the charge to develop Libya's gas potential, says discovered gas reserves are estimated at 54.3 trillion cubic feet. Production from these reserves at the end of 1998 reached 17.51 trillion cubic feet. [Reuters]
Thursday: 22 April, 1999: The leaders of Libya and Liberia have issued a joint statement expressing their commitment to resolving the civil war in Sierra Leone, Libyan state-run television reported on Wednesday. The statement was released at the end of a three-day visit by the Liberian President Charles Taylor to Libya. [Reuters]
Thursday: 22 April, 1999: Bulgaria is stepping up diplomatic efforts to secure the release of seven Bulgarian medical workers, detained in Libya more than two months ago, Bulgarian Foreign Ministry spokesman Radko Vlaikov told a news conference. Initially, 19 Bulgarian medical workers had been detained in early February in connection with an investigation into how children in a hospital in Benghazi where they worked became infected with the HIV virus that causes AIDS. Twelve of the workers were later released. [Reuters]
Thursday: 22 April, 1999: Deutsche Lufthansa said on Wednesday it was resuming its regular flights to Tripoli after both the United Nations and the European Union lifted their sanctions on Libya. The airline said in a statement it would operate five flights a week connecting Tripoli and Frankfurt, with the first flight scheduled on Thursday, April 22. Lufthansa had been operating scheduled flights to Tripoli from 1964 until April 1992 when a U.N. embargo on air traffic was imposed after Libya refused to hand over suspects in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet. [Reuters]
LLHR: "Abdel Basit al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Fheimah have rights Too"
Arabic | | English

Wednesday: 21 April, 1999: The European Union on Tuesday suspended sanctions against Libya, in line with a similar move by the United Nations two weeks ago after the handover of two Libyans accused of bombing a Pan Am jet in 1988. The EU said in a statement it would decide whether to lift the sanctions definitively after studying a U.N. report, due in 90 days, on whether Libya has met all the conditions set out for an end to the measures. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 21 April, 1999: A delegation from Moroccan parties and organisations visited Tripoli to congratulate Libya after the United Nations lifted sanctions against it, Libya's state-run television reported on Tuesday. The television said the delagation arrived at Tripoli airport on Monday night aboard a Royal Air Maroc aircraft (RAM). RAM last week said it would resume scheduled flights to Libya on April 26. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 21 April, 1999: Senior Libyan oil officials said Tuesday that U.S. oil companies forced to quit Libya in the 1980s would not lose acreage when Tripoli introduces international bidding for oil licenses from next year. ``Nobody is going to lose acreage if they have existing agreements,'' Ibrahim Baggar, head of exploration at Libya's National Oil Corporation, said on the sidelines of a Libyan oil and gas conference. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 21 April, 1999: Congolese rebel faction leader Jean-Pierre Bemba said on Tuesday he would continue his armed struggle despite a peace deal signed in Libya between his main backer Uganda and President Laurent Kabila. The agreement, which calls for a ceasefire, the deployment of African peacekeepers and the withdrawal of foreign troops, was brokered on Sunday by Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and signed by Kabila and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 21 April, 1999: Swissair will resume flights to the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on May 2, an airline spokesman said Tuesday. The Swiss national carrier is the latest of several airlines to resume flights to Libya after U.N. sanctions imposed on Libya in 1992 were suspended April 5. Swissair will fly from Zurich to Tripoli three times a week, spokesman Jean-Claude Donzel said. It also plans a twice-weekly service to the eastern port Benghazi starting June 12. [AP]
Wednesday: 21 April, 1999: A former U.S. assistant secretary of state visited Libya on what local media organizations on Monday called a goodwill visit after Libya turned over two suspects in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jetliner. Libyan television and Egypt's Middle East News Agency hinted that Herman Cohen was visiting Tripoli in an official capacity. But Cohen said his visit to Tripoli on Saturday and Sunday was on private business for non-American clients. The trip ``had nothing to do with the U.S. government,'' Cohen said. [AP]
The Organizing Committee for the April Demonstration's latest communique
Arabic | | English

Tuesday: 20 April, 1999: Libya's budget, in deficit by 6.5 percent of gross domestic product last year, should swing into surplus in 2000 and the following years, an International Monetary Fund official said on Monday. Garbis Iradian, senior economist at the IMF's Middle Eastern department, told a Libyan oil and gas conference medium-term plans by the Libyan government to curb spending, correct anomalies in the exchange rate and tailor the budget to lower oil prices would bring the transformation. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 20 April, 1999: The Libyan dinar is still overvalued and further devaluations are likely on the road to a unified exchange rate, Libyan Economy and Commerce Minister Abdulhafidh Zleitni said on Monday. ``We all agree that the Libyan dinar is overvalued and there is a lot more to do,'' Zleitni told Reuters in an interview. ``We have a long term policy not to borrow and incur no long-term debts, which is one of the reasons for the strength of the dinar.'' This policy had put pressure on the central bank, already squeezed by low oil export receipts last year, as it sought to satisfy domestic demand for hard currency, he said. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 20 April, 1999: British Aerospace executives have visited Libya to discuss the country's civil aviation needs though no specific project is on the cards and more visits are planned, Peter McDonald, British Aerospace business director, integrated programmes, said on Monday. He would not comment on recent press reports that his company has been discussing a $9.6 billion deal with Libya to provide new Airbus aircraft, train staff and revamp its airports. ``We have been looking at Libya as an opportunity for some time and waiting for the sanctions to be lifted,'' he said on the sidelines of a conference on Libyan oil and gas. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 20 April, 1999: Libya on Monday invited foreign companies to invest in its refining sector and help it upgrade its refineries in order to maximise the production of gasoline and reverse a massive shortfall in the product. The Chairman of Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC), Hammouda el-Aswad, told an oil and gas conference in Geneva that Libya had ambitious plans to revamp its refining sector. He outlined a programme which includes producing lighter products and building a new 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery in Sebha, southern Libya. ``I would like to extend an invitation to all competent international companies to participate in the following activities,'' Aswad said before listing the projects open to foreign investment. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 20 April, 1999: Liberian President Charles Taylor arrived in Libya for talks with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, Libyan state-run television reported on Monday. The television report, monitored in Tunis, showed images of Taylor's arrival on Sunday night at the airport of Sirte, some 450 km (280 miles) east of Tripoli. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 20 April, 1999: Congolese rebels and their main ally Rwanda on Monday played down a peace accord signed in Libya at the weekend by Congo's president and three other African nations, saying any deal was meaningless without the rebels. Libyan Television reported on Sunday that President Laurent Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni -- whose troops are backing rebels in their fight against Kabila -- had signed an accord at a mini-summit arranged by Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 20 April, 1999: With two bumps and a round of applause, an EgyptAir Airbus 320 roared into Tripoli Sunday night on the airline's first direct flight into the Libyan capital since U.N. sanctions were imposed seven years ago. Tripoli's governor and Libyan aviation officials greeted the flight from Cairo, Egypt, serving up cake and soft drinks beneath a portrait of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to the 130 arriving journalists and Egyptian lawmakers, airline and aviation officials. The airport, kept up throughout the lengthy hiatus of international travelers, was quiet Sunday night - only one Libyan Air Airlines plane was parked at the gates. Journalists were not allowed to leave the VIP lounge and returned to Cairo early Monday on the same plane. [AP]
Monday: 19 April, 1999: Uganda President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Democratic Republic of the Congo President Laurent Kabila signed a peace agreement in Libya on Sunday, Libyan state-television said. ``We have made important steps towards establishing peace,'' Kabila said in a statement before leaving Libya. Libyan television, monitored in Tunis, said the accord established a ceasefire, the deployment of African troops in the conflict area and the withdrawal of ``foreign troops.'' [Reuters]
Monday: 19 April, 1999: Libyan leader, Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, Saturday met with Presidents Laurent Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda in the Libyan northern town of Sirte, the official JANA news agency reported Sunday. It said Qadhafi separately received Kabila and Museveni before their meeting which was also attended by Gen. Abou Bakr Younes Jaber and Dr Ali al-Triki, deputy secretary for African affairs. [PANA]
Monday: 19 April, 1999: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and Jordan's King Abdullah told Palestinian President Yasser Arafat Saturday they would back a delay in his plans to declare a Palestinian state, Jordan's Petra news agency said. It said Abdullah and Qadhafi expressed their support ``for their Palestinian brothers in their choice, even if that necessitates a delay in the announcement of their independence for the present.'' The three leaders met Saturday in Libya's Mediterranean city of Sirte. [Reuters]
Sunday: 18 April, 1999: Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic telephoned Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and asked him to help resolve the Kosovo crisis, Libyan state-television said on Saturday. The television report, monitored in Tunis, said Milosovic told Qadhafi that NATO's intervention in Kosovo had ``nothing to do with defending anyone'' and quoted the Yugoslav leader as saying Yugoslavia was resisting the attacks by the Western allies. [Reuters]
Sunday: 18 April, 1999: King Abdullah of Jordan flew to Libya on Saturday for talks with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi following the suspension of a U.N. air embargo on Libya. Witnesses said the king was accompanied by Prime Minister Abdul-Raouf al-Rawabdeh and royal court chief Abdul-Karim al-Kabariti. [Reuters]
Sunday: 18 April, 1999: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has made an unexpected trip to Libya where he was greeted by Libyan officials, the official Libyan news agency JANA said on Saturday. The agency, monitored in Tunis, said Arafat arrived on Friday night at the coastal Libyan airport of Sirte, some 450 km (279 miles) east of Tripoli. It gave no other details. [Reuters]
Sunday: 18 April, 1999: Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Democratic Republic of the Congo President Laurent Kabila arrived in Libya on Saturday for talks with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, Libyan state-run television reported. The television, monitored in neighbouring Tunisia, showed images of Museveni and Kabila greeted by Libyan officials at the airport of the Libyan coastal city of Sirte, 450 km (280 miles) east of Tripoli. [Reuters]
Friday: 16 April, 1999: African leaders meeting in Libya as members of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States COMESSA have issued a statement deploring the recent assassination of Niger's president, Ibrahim Bare Mainassara. The Niger delegation was barred from taking part in the summit, and was criticised for its apparent unwillingness to conduct a murder inquiry. The statement said the killing was unacceptable and had set a dangerous precedent. [Reuters]
Friday: 16 April, 1999: Tunisian transport officials said on Thursday domestic airliner Tuninter had been given the go-ahead to fly between Tunisia and Libya after the suspension of U.N. sanctions on Libya. The flights are expected to resume soon. Analysts said the route, one of the most profitable operated by Tunisian flag carrier Tunis Air before sanctions were imposed in 1992, raised Tuninter's chances of finding a buyer. [Reuters]
Friday: 16 April, 1999: Egyptian commercial airlines are about to resume scheduled flights to Libya after U.N. sanctions against Tripoli were lifted following the handover of two Libyan suspects in the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing. ``We know that the facilities in Libya are capable of meeting our aircraft,'' Mohammad Rayan, chairman of Egypt Air, told a news conference Thursday. Industry officials are attracted to Libya's business market and tourism potential, but airliners were waiting for air service agreements to come through. ``After we sign that, everything will happen very fast,'' said one. [Reuters]
Friday: 16 April, 1999: Italian delegation arrived in Libya for talks aimed at boosting bilateral cooperation, Libyan state television, monitored in Tunis, said on Thursday. The delegation included foreign ministry officials and Italian industrialists who are expected to sign joint venture accords with Libyan primary industries. The visit follows one on April 6 by Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini who met officials including Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. [Reuters]
Thursday: 15 April, 1999: Morocco's state-run airliner Royal Air Maroc (RAM) will operate on April 26 its first flight to Libya since the lifting of the United Nations ban, a Moroccan official said on Wednesday. ``The RAM company will resume its passengers and cargo flights to Libya on April 26. We scheduled two flights a week to Tripoli until June 23. Then we will examine the possibility of increasing the flights frequency,'' the official told Reuters. He said flights would be operated with Boeing 737-400 aircrafts every Monday and Wednesday. [Reuters]
Thursday: 15 April, 1999: A Libyan airliner landed in Jordan on Wednesday, ending a seven-year break in flights between the two countries brought by U.N. sanctions over the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing. Libyan Arab Airlines flight 2821, carrying aviation and airline officials from Tripoli and Benghazi, landed at Amman's Queen Alia Airport at 5:00 p.m. (1500 GMT). Passengers were welcomed with flowers, kisses and ceremonial cake as they disembarked from the Boeing 727 airliner. Pilot Mohammad Bureiki said the airline was planning to resume full commercial flights to Jordan in two weeks with twice-weekly flights. Jordanian officials said Royal Jordanian airlines would be flying to Libya from April 20. [Reuters]
Thursday: 15 April, 1999: Libyan Foreign Minister Omar Mustafa Al-Muntaser will attend a meeting of European Union and Mediterranean countries this week as an observer, the German foreign ministry said on Wednesday. Libya was invited to join the ``Euro Med'' meeting in Stuttgart on Thursday and Friday by EU president Germany as a ``special guest,'' a Foreign Ministry spokesman told Reuters. ``According to present plans, the special guest from Libya will be its foreign minister,'' he said. [Reuters]
Thursday: 15 April, 1999: Two Libyan suspects in the 1988 Pan Am jet bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, were formally committed for trial today. The legal formality, carried out in a brief hearing at this deserted U.S. air base where the two men will be tried, clears the way for the trial to begin in 110 days under Scottish law. But a spokesman for Scotland's government said lawyers for the suspects may still ask for a delay to give them extra time to ready their defense, making a late July trial start unlikely. Scottish officials said last week they didn't expect the trial to begin for another six months to a year. Once it gets under way, the trial itself could take another year or more, legal experts say. [AP]
Thursday: 15 April, 1999: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi met with five African leaders who supported him during Libya's seven-year isolation due to U.N. sanctions, a news agency reported Wednesday. The presidents of Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali and the Central African Republic, as well as the prime minister of Niger, are in Libya to attend the two-day Sahel and Saharan summit starting Wednesday. Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir also plans to attend the summit, which will discuss ways to boost economic ties among the north African states and their southern neighbors. [AP]

Wednesday: 14 April, 1999: Representatives of British Airways Plc held talks with Libyan transport ministry officials about resuming flights between Britain and Libya, the Libyan state-run television said on Tuesday. The television, monitored in Tunis, said the delegation had arrived in Tripoli late on Monday aboard a special flight. British Airways said last week that subject to government approval, it planned to resume flights between London and Tripoli for the first time in 15 years, following the lifting of a United Nations air ban on Libya. [Reuters]
The NFSL's Report on Human Rights Violations in Libya 1969 - 1998

Tuesday: 13 April, 1999: There's been a ceremony in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, to mark the completion of a massive history of Africa, sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO. The eight-volume work, which runs to thousands of pages, spans three million years of African history and has taken nearly three hundred and fifty African scholars almost three decades to complete. The ceremony was attended by the Libyan leader, Colonel Qadhafi -- who helped finance the project -- the head of UNESCO, Federico Mayor, and scholars from across Africa. Mr Mayor is the first senior UN official to visit Libya since the UN air embargo was lifted last week. [BBC]
Tuesday: 13 April, 1999: Libya will be invited to attend a meeting of European Union and Mediterranean countries this week as an observer, the European Commission said on Monday. The invitation by EU president Germany marks a step out of international isolation for Libya and comes days after it handed over two men suspected of bombing a U.S. airliner over Scotland in 1988. Commission spokesman Bosco Esteruelas said Libya would be present at the ``Euro Med'' ministerial conference in Stuttgart, Germany, on Thursday and Friday. The conference is designed to strengthen economic and political ties between the regions. [Reuters]
Monday: 12 April, 1999: Libyans in the United States held a demonstration last Saturday (10 April) in front of the Libyan mission to the United Nations in New York, USA. The demonstration which lasted for three hours (10:00 AM to 1:00 PM) was a protest against Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's abuse of human rights in Libya. The April Demonstration Organizing Committee said that the demonstration was a success. Please click here for more photos.
Monday: 12 April, 1999: The general manager of Libya's national airline said Friday his firm expected to start international air flights within the next two weeks after the suspension of U.N. sanctions on Libya. Mohammed Ibssim, who is on a three-day visit to Egypt, said he was visiting Arab countries to study their markets and negotiate with other airlines on possible services that could be provided to Libya. Ibssim said Libyan Airlines was planning to upgrade its services and fleet, composed of 27 Boeing 727 and Fokker planes, and additional airport equipment. He said the fleet had been strongly affected by the sanctions. [Reuters]
Monday: 12 April, 1999: Following the lead of the United Nations, Switzerland suspended sanctions against Libya on Friday after the surrender earlier this week of two suspects in the Lockerbie bombing case. The sanctions were suspended ``until further notice,'' the Economics Ministry said. The U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions in 1992 in a bid to force Tripoli to surrender the two men for trial on charges they masterminded the 1988 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. Switzerland, because of its historic neutrality, is not a member of the United Nations. But the country slapped its own sanctions on Libya in 1994. [AP]
Friday: 9 April, 1999: Libyans in the United States will be demonstrating tomorrow Saturday in front of the Libyan mission to the United Nations in New York. The Libyans are demonstrating to protest against the human rights abuses of human rights by Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's regime. The Organizing Committee for the April Demonstration said that "the April demonstration will be held as planned at 10:00 AM on Saturday, 10 April, 1999." Please click on the following for details: Arabic | English | Italian
Friday: 9 April, 1999: The United States says it will soon hold its first official talks with Libya since breaking off diplomatic relations in l98l. The State Department spokesman, James Rubin, told reporters in Washington that the meeting would not be about bi-lateral relations -- it would also involve the British ambassador at the UN, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, and the Secretary General, Kofi Annan. Britain broke off diplomatic relations with Libya in 1984, but has agreed to restore consular relations following the hand over of the two suspects wanted in connection with the bombing of an American airliner over Lockerbie in Scotland in 1988. [BBC]
The Libyan Movement for Change and Reform's communique in
the 23rd anniversary of 7 April

Thursday: 8 April, 1999: Libyan Airlines celebrated the suspension of a U.N. air embargo by bringing home Muslim pilgrims from Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, while British Airways prepared to start up service to the Libyan capital. The Libyan national carrier made its first international flight since Monday's suspension of the U.N. air embargo by flying to Malta and back, state-run Libyan Television said in a broadcast monitored in Cairo. A later flight brought back 159 pilgrims who had finished the hajj in Saudi Arabia. Libya had been violating the embargo every year since 1994 to fly its citizens to the annual pilgrimage in Mecca - most recently with a March 18 flight. [AP]
Thursday: 8 April, 1999: Libya's energy minister Abdullah Salem al-Badri wasted no time on Wednesday in inviting U.S. oil firms to return to Libya two days after U.N. sanctions were suspended. ``We invite U.S. firms which were our associates in the past to return to the Jamahiriya (Libya) and continue production,'' Badri told Reuters in a telephone interview from Tunis. ``Our doors are open to talk with them and to facilitate their operations and their return to Libya,'' he added. [Reuters]
Thursday: 8 April, 1999: Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini said after a meeting with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi that Italy will support Libya's participation at the dialogue between the European Union and Mediterranean countries following the handover of the two Lockerbie suspects. ``The handover opens the way to closer relations between our two countries and between Libya and Europe, especially in the Euro-Meditterranean dialogue of the (so-called) Barcelona process,'' Dini told the Libyan television monitored in Tunis on Wednesday. [Reuters]
Thursday: 8 April, 1999: Libya's surrender of two suspects in the Pan Am 103 bombing could put Scottish prosecutors on the trail of others in Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's government suspected of terrorism, a senior Clinton administration official said Wednesday. In securing the handover of the two suspects, the Clinton administration gave assurances to Libya it was not seeking to overthrow the government in Tripoli, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The assurances reflected a consistent policy of the Clinton and Bush administrations that the United States was not trying to undermine Qadhafi's regime, the official said. [AP]
Wednesday: 7 April, 1999: Today marks the 23rd anniversary of the Libyan students day of 7 April 1976, when many students in the University of Tripoli and the University of Benghazi, following Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's call for cleansing the schools from anti-revolution elements, were arrested after a fight with pro-government elements which answered al-Qadhafi's call and attacked the universities and established the Revolutionary Committees which took control of the two schools. For more details, please click on the following:
The Libyan students movement documents
The April 1999 demonstration organizing committee's announcement:
| Arabic | English | Italian |

The Libyan National Democratic Grouping's communique in
the 23rd anniversary of 7 April

Wednesday: 7 April, 1999: France on Tuesday welcomed Libya's surrender of two men suspected of blowing up a U.S. airliner in 1988 and said it expected Tripoli to settle a row with Paris over the 1989 bombing of a French plane over Africa. France wants Libya to pay damages to relatives of passengers of UTA flight 772, which was blown out of the sky over the west African state of Niger. All 170 people aboard were killed. Paris also wants Tripoli to punish six Libyans sentenced in their absence in France for the bombing. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 7 April, 1999: Syria asked the European Union on Tuesday to invite Libya to a meeting of EU and Mediterranean states next week following the suspension of U.N. sanctions imposed against Tripoli over the Lockerbie bombing. Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara issued the call during talks with Miguel Angel Moratinos, the EU's Middle East envoy, officials said. Libya has been barred from the so-called Barcelona process of cooperation between the EU and Mediterranean states because of the sanctions. The next meeting of the Euro-Mediterranean forum is due to be held in Stuttgart, Germany, on April 15. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 7 April, 1999: A dispute between Libya, the U.S. and Britain rumbled on at the World Court on Tuesday, despite the surrender of two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing and the suspension of U.N. sanctions against Libya. A spokeswoman for the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the U.N.'s top court, said it was up to Libya to drop a complaint against the U.S. and Britain over their handling of the 10-year hunt for the suspected bombers of Pan Am Flight 103. ``Libya brought the case so it is up to Libya to withdraw it,'' the spokeswoman said. ``Libya is a sovereign state. As such, the court will not approach Libya.'' [Reuters]
Wednesday: 7 April, 1999: Russia Tuesday hailed the suspension of U.N. sanctions against Libya and praised Tripoli for handing over for trial two suspects in the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing in which 270 people died. ``The suspension of sanctions against Libya creates favorable prospectives for the final normalization of the situation surrounding that country,'' a Russian Foreign Ministry statement said. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 7 April, 1999: Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini arrived in Tripoli Tuesday on the first flight into Libya after the suspension of a U.N. air ban, saying he saw a new role for the former Italian colony in the Mediterranean region. ``I am very pleased to have arrived by air with no difficulties encountered or time wasted. Therefore, I am very happy to be here in Libya today,'' the Libyan news agency quoted Dini as saying on arrival. ``I believe that peace, development and cooperation in the Mediterranean region cannot take place without Libya's participation,'' Jana, monitored in London, quoted Dini as saying. [Reuters]

Tuesday: 6 April, 1999: U.N. Security Council sanctions against Libya were suspended Monday after Secretary-General Kofi Annan officially confirmed the two Libyans accused of the 1988 Pan Am jet bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, had arrived in the Netherlands. Council President Alain Dejammet of France said members noted that conditions for suspending the sanctions ``had been fulfilled,'' adding: ``The measures have therefore been effectively suspended.'' Council resolutions called for the sanctions to be suspended automatically once Annan stated in writing that the two accused were in Dutch custody, ready for trial before a Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands. [AP]
Tuesday: 6 April, 1999: The suspension of United Nations sanctions against Libya on Monday opens the way for the U.S. to lift its unilateral sanctions, which have barred American oil companies from Libya's oil industry for a decade, diplomats and lobbyists said. Though the State Department, through its spokesman, said on Monday that the U.S. would not lift its unilateral sanctions, which pre-date the U.N.'s, until its specific conditions were met, U.S. diplomatic sources said it was a move in the right direction. Furthermore, Congress has been showing signs that it no longer fervently supports unilateral sanctions in general, which may help open the door for U.S. oil companies in Libya, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 6 April, 1999: Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini will fly to Tripoli on Tuesday following Libya's handover of two men accused of blowing up a U.S. airliner over Scotland in 1988, diplomatic sources in Rome said on Monday. The Foreign Ministry was unable to confirm Dini's trip but a senior diplomatic source said ``He will be going to Libya tomorrow (Tuesday).'' Italy said earlier on Monday that the handover of the two Libyan suspects to Scottish judicial authorities in the Netherlands paved the way for Libya, a former Italian colony, to be fully reintegrated into the international community. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 6 April, 1999: Even though Libya has turned over suspects involved in the bombing of a Pan Am airliner, the United States won't lift sanctions it has in place prohibiting oil trade with the country, the U.S. State Department said on Monday. While U.N. sanctions have been suspended now that Libya turned over the suspects in the bombing, the U.S. government's unilateral sanctions will not lifted at least for now, State Department spokesman James Rubin told reporters. ``We need to have additional concerns alleviated (by Libya) before we will address modifying our sanctions,'' Rubin said. [AP]
Tuesday: 6 April, 1999: Two Libyans suspected of the 1988 bombing of a U.S. airliner over the Scottish town of Lockerbie touched down at Valkenburg military airbase near The Hague Monday, a Reuters photographer at the scene said. The gray four-engined U.N. jet carrying Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima touched down at the airport around 1345 GMT, having flown from Tripoli. [Reuters]
Monday: 5 April, 1999: Libya Monday confirmed it had handed over the two suspects in the Lockerbie bombing to the United Nations for trial in the Netherlands. ``The two were made available to the U.N. this morning,'' a Libyan official contacted by Reuters from Tunis said. [AP]
Monday: 5 April, 1999: Libya handed over two suspects today for trial in the 1988 Pan Am airliner bombing that killed 270 people. The suspects, accompanied by U.N. representative Hans Corell, left Libya shortly after a ceremony at Tripoli's international airport, Egypt's Middle East News Agency said. ``In a historic moment awaited by the world, the two Libyan suspects in the Lockerbie case were handed over to be flown to the Netherlands for trial before a Scottish court,'' the news agency said. [AP]
Monday: 5 April, 1999: Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Monday he hoped justice would be done in the 1988 mid-air bombing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, now that Libya had surrendered for trial two suspects accused of the deed. ``It's been a long wait. The secretary-general is pleased with these results and hopes that justice will be now be done,'' chief U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said shortly after Libya surrendered to the United Nations the two men accused of the mid-air bombing. [Reuters]

Monday: 5 April, 1999: A Western journalist travels to Libya for an exclusive interview with Colonel Mu'ammar Qaddafi and finds a country struggling to modernize. Tired of suffering under the U.N. embargo, Libya may be ready to hand the suspected Lockerbie bombers over for trial. After being pariahs for over a decade, most Libyans seem eager to reenter the international community. [Foreign Affairs]
LNDG's response to Milton Viorst's article in Foreign Affairs magazine

Monday: 5 April, 1999: The British foreign secretary, Robin Cook, says he's confident the Libyan government will hand over the two Lockerbie bombing suspects. Mr Cook said the Libyan government had committed itself to handing over the suspects before next Tuesday. The foreign secretary was speaking as about a hundred Scottish police and prison officers prepared for the arrival of the two men in the Netherlands. [BBC]
Monday: 5 April, 1999: Scottish prosecutors arrived in the Netherlands Sunday for an expected trial of two Libyans accused of the 1988 bombing of an airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland. But details of the handover of the suspects in Libya to a United Nations team were still shrouded in secrecy. Scottish prosecutors Norman McFadyen and Jim Brisbane landed at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport in the early afternoon. They left the airport without speaking to reporters. [Reuters]
Monday: 5 April, 1999: Arab and African dignitaries began arriving in Libya on Sunday to witness the handover of two suspects in the 1988 Pan Am bombing, a sign their extradition is imminent. A delegation led by Ahmed Ben Heli, the Arab League's assistant secretary-general, flew Sunday to Tunisia. From there, the delegates were driven to the Libyan capital, Tripoli. ``It is good news for the Libyans - indeed, for all Arabs - that this quandary is finally over,'' Ben Heli told The Associated Press before leaving Cairo, where the Arab League is based. [AP]
Sunday: 4 April, 1999: Final preparations for the handover of the Lockerbie bombing suspects are underway before their trial in the Netherlands begins. The handover is expected to take place on Sunday, and the Arab League, South Africa and several other countries are sending delegates to Tripoli to witness it. The suspects will be escorted by the United Nations chief legal adviser, Hans Corell, who left his New York home to escort them on Friday. [BBC]
Sunday: 4 April, 1999: Libya has provided passports to two suspects in the 1988 Pan Am bombing, a sign their promised handover was under way, Arab diplomats said Saturday. The move followed reports that the chief U.N. legal counsel, Hans Corell, had left for Europe on Friday on his way to Libya to arrange for the handover. Lamen Khalifa Fhaimah and Abdel Basset Ali al-Megerhi are to be tried under Scottish law in the Netherlands. The diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said both men have received their passports, which were taken from them by the Libyan government following their 1991 indictment by a U.S court. [AP]

Saturday: 3 April, 1999: The chief United Nations legal counsel left for Europe Friday on his way to Libya for the handover of two suspects accused of the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, that cost 270 lives, U.N. sources said. Hans Corell, in charge of the surrender of the two men, would board a special aircraft, possibly in Italy, to bring the two suspects from Libya to the Netherlands where they were to stand trial before a Scottish court. Some 100 Scottish policeman are in the Netherlands awaiting their arrival. [Reuters]
Saturday: 3 April, 1999: United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he is still hopeful Libya will keep its promise and hand over two suspects in the 1988 bombing of an American jetliner by April 6. ``I think we've done lots of work, and I believe that there are signs that everybody's acting in good faith, and that they will be turned over,'' Annan told reporters at U.N. headquarters. Details of the turnover are being kept strictly confidential - so much so that the United Nations isn't expected to announce it has taken place until after the men have left Libya. [AP]
Friday: 2 April, 1999: A leading figure in the campaign to bring two Libyans suspected of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing to justice has said that they could be handed over this weekend. But the UK Foreign Office has cautioned against being too optimistic about "rumours" from Libya. Responding to speculation about a possible trial date, Dr Jim Swire said: "If I was a betting man I would say Saturday." But the Foreign Office said that suggestions the two men were about to be handed over were "rumours" and that UK officials would not know anything "until the UN tells us something". A spokesman said it was a matter for the UN and Dutch and Libyan authorities. [BBC]
Friday: 2 April, 1999: The courtroom is being prepared on a former U.S. air base in The Netherlands, and British police are on standby to receive the suspects. Three Scottish judges soon will be appointed. By Tuesday, if the Libyan government keeps its word, two Libyans wanted for the bombing of a Pan Am jet over Scotland, should arrive in the Netherlands for one of the most unusual trials ever. The case marks the first time the U.N. Security Council has imposed sanctions on a sovereign state to force it to surrender two of its citizens for trial abroad. [AP]
Friday: 2 April, 1999: Women's rights groups on Wednesday accused the Vatican and some Muslim countries of trying to water down proposals on sex education and reproductive health. Five years after a landmark U.N. population conference, more than 170 countries have been assessing the ambitious goals they set in Cairo in 1994 and trying to come up with new proposals to implement them. Libya is one of the countries that either object to reproductive rights for girls and women or to language requiring their governments to follow the Cairo program. [CNN]
Friday: 2 April, 1999: Shrouded in secrecy, the countdown has begun for the surrender this weekend of two Libyans accused of the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, diplomats said on Thursday.
U.N. legal counsel Hans Corell, in charge of the handover, is expected to leave for an undisclosed destination in Europe late on Thursday or Friday, before travelling to Libya, which has pledged to surrender the two men by April 6. After reaching Libya, possibly from Italy where the United Nations had once readied a plane for this purpose, Corell would fly with the two men directly to the Netherlands where Dutch police would take them into custody. They would then be ``extradited'' to Scottish police, on standby in the Netherlands. The two are to go on trial before a Scottish Court, sitting at Camp Zeist, a former military base, near Utrecht. [Reuters]
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