News and Views

June 1997

28 June 1997: A former Argentine economy minister on Friday charged that Argentinian President Carlos Menem's aides accepted millions of dollars in campaign funds from Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and an alleged mobster. Domingo Cavallo, who has led a high-profile anti-corruption drive since he was fired from the government a year ago, told reporters Menem was not personally aware of the contributions and that Menem or other officials took actions to correct them once they were known. Cavallo told a news conference that al-Qadhafi paid $4 million to unidentified Menem aides in exchange for a promise to sell Libya Argentine Condor missiles. [Reuter]
27 June 1997: The secretary-general of the Arab League formally proposed on Thursday that two Libyans indicted in the 1988 Lockerbie Pan Am bombing be tried by Scottish judges under Scottish law in a neutral country. Esmat Abdel Meguid told Reuters he sent the proposal to the Security Council president in a letter signed by himself and Salim Ahmed Salim of Tanzania, secretary-general of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which approved the move at a summit meeting early this month. [Reuter]
25 June 1997: Rights group Amnesty International criticised Libya on Tuesday for flagrant human rights violations, saying torture and extrajudicial killings of dissidents were rife in Libya. The group said in a faxed statement that disappearances, arbitrary arrests as well as blatant support by Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi for the execution of opponents of his rule were an indication of a sinister human rights situation in Libya. "In Libya, gross human rights violations are taking place not only with total impunity but they are also sanctioned at the highest level, in flagrant violation of the country's solemn obligations under human rights treaties,'' the statement said. [Reuter]
24 June 1997: Libya's permanent representative to the United Nations told the American newspaper "The Washington Post" that Libya is ready to negotiate [about the Lockerbie affair.] Abouzaid Dorda said " ... to those who have said that Libya is not serious, I ask them: Why not put Libya's seriousness to the test by accepting one of the proposals put forward not by Libya but by regional and international organizations, which constitute the majority of the world in numbers and populations? If all of this is not acceptable to the United States, let us both agree on another country, or let the United Nations Security Council decide on another country. "
24 June 1997: The Tunisian newspaper "Le Temps" reported that Libya might recruit hundreds of Tunisian workers for a housing project in Libya to build 60,000 houses.
New Libyan Site : The National Front for the Salvation of Libya

23 June 1997: Libyan coast guard units seized a Japanese fishing boat in the Mediterranean [in Libyan waters] and arrested its twelve men crew. Eleven of the twelve sailors were released after questioning them while the boat captin still in a Libyan prison. Libya said the twelve Japanese sailors enterd Libyan waters without permission and they would not be allowed to leave Libya before they are tried in court. [al-Hayat]
23 June 1997: The summit of eight, meeting in Denver - the United States, said on Sunday that Libya and Iraq must fulfil all United Nations resolutions in full before sanctions against them can be lifted, according to a draft of their final communique. "We stress our determination to reach complete compliance with all resolutions of the United Nations Security Council in relation to Iraq and Libya,'' said the German-language draft of the communique. "Only complete compliance with these resolutions can lead to a lifting of the sanctions.'' [Reuter]
22 June 1997: Arab League Secretary General Esmat Abdulmajeed will be in New York today [Sunday] to hold talks with United Nations Secretary General and Security Council members concerning the UN sanctions imposed on Libya since April 1992. [al-Hayat]
For more details [in Arabic] please click here
22 June 1997: Libyan Secretary of Unity Jum'a al-Fazzani told Arab ambassadors in Libya that the Arab Summit that was suggested by Libya will convene in Cairo on the 12th of July. Officials in Cairo told al-Hayat newspaper that although Egypt is for the Arab Summit no exact date is set for it yet. [al-Hayat and AFP]
For more details [in Arabic] please click here
20 June 1997: The United States displayed film clips, photographs and other items to a United Nations committee on Thursday to show that Libya had tried to import aircraft parts banned under Lockerbie sanctions. But a U.S. source said opposition by Russia, China, Egypt and France barred any move by the Security Council's Libya sanctions committee to launch an inquiry into the incident. Libya has been the target of U.N. sanctions since 1992, including an arms embargo and a ban on international flights, for failing to extradite two men wanted by Britain and the United States in the 1988 mid-air bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland. [Reuter]
20 June 1997: South African President Nelson Mandela said that he is offering that the two Libyan suspects in the Pan Am flight explosion over Lockerbie be tried in South Africa. Salem Ahmed Salem, the Organization for African Unity Secretary General, told Esmat Abdulmajeed, the Arab League Secretary General, trying the Libyans in South Africa will put an end to Lockerbie affair. [al-Hayat]
18 June 1997: The funeral of Hussain Abdallah Ga'uda who passed away last Monday has been set [after al-Jum'a prayer] Friday, 20 June 1997 in Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA .
18 June 1997: The Arab Organisation for Human Rights said on Wednesday that human rights in the Arab world worsened in 1996 because of a "triangle of violence'' caused by foreign aggression, internal conflicts and the war between governments and Moslem militants. Algeria topped the list of casualties from the war between governments and armed Islamic groups in 1996, but dozens died in similar conflicts in Egypt and Libya, the group added. [Reuter]
18 June 1997: Intending to send a message of displeasure for Egypt's "emerging ties'' with Libya, a United States Senate subcommittee on Wednesday agreed to a foreign aid package with no money set aside for Egypt. [Reuter]
17 June 1997: Hussain Abadallah Ga'uda passed away on Monday [16 June 1997] in the city of Stillwater, Oklahoma in the United States. Hussain Ga'uda was 28 years old. He left behind a 5 years old daughter. His funeral will be held in Oklahoma, U.S.A.
New items added to: Libyan Music page and Tunes from Libya page

16 June 1997: Russian Parliament's lower house voted overwhelmingly Friday to permit trade and other contacts with Libya as long as they don't violate U.N. sanctions. Parliament's hard-line lower house, the Duma, voted 266-6 in favor of legislation proposed by the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party. Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky has repeatedly condemned the U.N. sanctions, which include a ban on air travel to Libya and a reduction of its diplomatic missions abroad. [AP]
16 June 1997: Turkey, which recalled its ambassador in Libya last week, said in an official statement that it wishes Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's ouster and that the Libyan people should replace him with a leader that can build good relations with world community. Col al-Qadhafi last week said that the Turkish army is controlled by the Jews. [AFP and al-Hayat]
16 June 1997: The Egyptian newspaper "Akhbar al-Yawm" reported that Libya to invest $200 million in the Egyptian Toskha project.
16 June 1997: The Egyptian newspaper "al-Ahram" reported that Egyptian Industry Minister Soleiman Reda said President Hosni Mubarak's trip to Libya had important economic results. In the framework of the agreement to increase industrial cooperation the Libyan side has decided to study eight big industrial projects proposed by the Egyptian side for joint investment -- four steel projects, two fertiliser projects, a synthetic fibre project and a sugar beet project. The total cost of the eight projects would be $650 million.
14 June 1997: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has returned to Cairo after a two-day visit to Libya for talks on the Middle East peace process and Libya's relations with the West. The official Egyptian news agency says he and Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi also discussed trade and joint ventures at their meeting in the Mediterranean port of Tubruq. The official Libyan news agency Jana reported Mubarak's arrival and departure without further comment on the topics discussed. [UPI]
14 June 1997: Turkey has recalled its ambassador to Libya after sharp criticism by Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi of Turkey's month-long incursion into northern Iraq and military cooperation with Israel, a Foreign Ministry statement said on Friday. "It has been decided that our ambassador in recalled because of the continuing and recently totally offensive remarks by Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi about our country and our armed forces,'' the statement said. [Reuter]
A new item added to the Libyan Music page in "Libya: Our Home" page
Ahmad Fakroun and Nasser al-Mezdawi music in Cyborg's Libyan Musicians Page
and More of Mohammad al-Zwawi's cartoons in Isam Ali's Page

12 June 1997: In a speach in the Libyan city of Derna Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi Wednesday attacked the Turkish army for its incursion against Kurdish bases in northern Iraq and its military cooperation with Israel, saying it was ruled by Jews. "The Jews who rule the Turkish army made it (take a stand) against the Arabs,'' al-Qadhafi said. [Reuter]
12 June 1997: Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi said on Wednesday all Arab heads of state welcomed his call for an Arab summit. Al-Qadhafi's envoys toured Arab states at the end of May and early in June to invite leaders to a summit intended to discuss what Tripoli called challenges of the next century for the Arabs. Al-Qadhafi speaking at a rally in the eastern coastal city of Derna, did not say when the summit would take place or where. Last week diplomats in Kuwait said Gulf states had turned down the call. [Reuter]
11 June 1997: Libya, which is under a United Nations air embargo, has offered Libyan pilots to Kuwait Airways Corp (KAC) to beat a strike by Kuwaiti pilots and engineers, a newspaper reported on Wednesday. Al-Rai al-Aam newspaper reported that the offer was made by Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. The United Nations placed an air and arms embargo against Libya in 1992 over the alleged involvement of two Libyan agents in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Scotland. [Reuter]
11 June 1997: In an advertisement in the American newspaper "New York Times" on Sunday, the Libyan Mission to the United Nations said the United States should treat the Libyan suspects the way it treated Timothy McVeigh, whose trial for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing was moved to Denver, Colorado, to ensure it would be fair. McVeigh was convicted earlier this month of bombing the federal building in Oklahoma City. "We think that the United States should deal with all cases on an equal basis, and accept moving the trial of the two Libyan suspects to a neutral country. For a fair and just trial cannot be guaranteed in either the U.S.A. or the U.K. where it would be surrounded by hostility and intimidation,'' the ad said. The United States on Tuesday rejected Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's appeal for two Libyan suspects in the Lockerbie Pan Am bombing to be tried in a neutral country. [Reuter]
11 June 1997: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is due to leave for Libya on Thursday for two days of talks with Libya's Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and other officials on trade cooperation, government sources said on Wednesday. They said Mubarak would attend the meetings of the joint Egyptian-Libyan committee which is due to discuss setting up a free trade zone between the two north African countries and other joint projects.
11 June 1997: Coup leaders in Sierra Leone hinted Tuesday at a crackdown on the media and sought to counter reports they had turned to Libya for military support. In its morning broadcast, Koroma's Armed Forces Revolutionary Council denied local newspaper reports Monday that coup leaders had dispatched a delegation to Libya to seek military backing from Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. [AP]
8 June 1997: Libyans remember, this week, what happened 13 years ago this week when some Libyans were tried and sentenced to death after been accused of helping the [opposition] National Front for the Salvation of Libya militants [al-Jabha al-Wataniya li Inqath Libya mujahideen] who tried in May 1984 to overthrow Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's regime. Some of those killed were students who have just returned to Libya after finishing their studies abroad. For more details (in Arabic) please click here
8 June 1997: The Fighting Islamic Group - Libya [al-Jama'a al-Islamiya al-Mukatila - Libya] magazine "al-Fajr" in its latest issue [Muharram 1418] published the names of the FIGL members who were killed during the group's operations against Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's government forces. For more details (in Arabic) please click here
8 June 1997: A letter was mailed this week from Libya's United Nations mission in New York to the relatives of the victims of the Pan Am jet which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988. The unsigned letter offers to "guarantee our [Libyans] full and immediate cooperation with the United States and the United Kingdom'' if they accept any of Libya's previous offers to discuss the case. Ramadan Barg, a diplomat of the Libyan mission in the U.N. said the Libyan government was "just trying to get the facts through'' and wanted to inform victims' families of the efforts it has gone through. The letter declares Libya is "ready to enter serious negotiations ... regarding the procedures leading to a trial'' of two Libyan intelligence agents indicted in the United States on charges related to the bombing that killed 259 people on the plane and 11 people on the ground. Relatives of the victims say they're dismissing the letter as a "propaganda ploy'' to get the United Nations to lift various sanctions against Libya. [AP]
7 June 1997: Libyan Foreign Minister Omar al-Muntasser on Friday began a week long visit to South Africa. Al-Montasser, on his second visit to Pretoria in a year, will sign a general cooperation accord on Monday with South African Foreign Minister Alfred Nzo. "The purpose of the visit is to identify areas of cooperation between the two countries with a view to enhancing bilateral trade and socio-political relations,'' the foreign ministry in Pretoria said in a statement. [Reuter]
6 June 1997: Egyptian government geologists have struck gold in a range of hills on the border with Libya in what the chief geologist called a world class discovery. Gaber Naeim, chairman of the Geological Survey of Egypt, told "al-Akhbar" newspaper Thursday that some of the gold was inside Libya and that Egypt had agreed with the Libyan authorities on joint exploitation of the deposits on the border. [Reuter]
6 June 1997: Two German businessmen have been charged with supplying materials to Libya for the manufacture of chemical weapons, a court in the western German town of Moenchengladbach said on Thursday. The men, arrested last August, are charged with violating laws on foreign trade and arms control for allegedly supplying high-tech components worth millions of marks to a Libyan poison gas plant between 1990 and 1993, the court said in a statement. The court statement did not mention the exact destination of the components the two men are accused of supplying. [Reuter]
5 June 1997: The Libyan affiliate of the Agip oil company held a seminar on oil spill prevention and management in Libya, the company has announced. [OPECNA]
5 June 1997: Libya on Wednesday gave Niger a 40-seat Antonov-26 troop transport plane to replace a C-130 which crashed in April, officials said. Libya, whose planes are banned from flying abroad under U.N. sanctions, also delivered military uniforms and transmission equipment worth two billion CFA francs ($3.4 million) to its southern neighbour. Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi visited Niger last month. The Niger army's only military transport plane crashed near Niamey last April. [Reuter]
5 June 1997: The Organization for African Unity ministers meeting in the capital of Zimbaboie called for lifting of sanctions against Libya. The sanctions were imposed against Libya on April 1992 by the United Nations which accuses two Libyans of masterminding the PanAm explosion over lockerbie, Scottland. [AFP]
5 June 1997: A French business mission is in Libya for talks with Libyan officials and businessmen on boosting economic cooperation between the two countries and to look at prospects for implementing Libyan strategic projects, Libyan television reported on Tuesday night. The mission, which includes "the biggest French industrial firms and agencies,'' started talks on Tuesday with a meeting attended by Libyan Planning, Economy and Trade Minister Abdel Hafidh al-Zlitni and France's envoy in Tripoli, Libyan television said. French reports earlier said that the mission was the biggest for a dozen years and that the initiative had come from the French business organisations Conseil National du Patronat Francais (CNPF), Chambre de Commerce Franco-Arabe and Chambre de Commerce Franco-Libyenne. The television quoted the French mission's head as reaffirming his "country's hope to reinforce and boost ties with Libya in the economic, trade, tourism and investments fields.'' [Reuter]
4 June 1997: African leaders gathered in Zimbabwe on Monday for a three-day summit. Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi was among African leaders who were expected to attend, but had not arrived by mid-morning. Al-Qadhafi last week said that he would fly to Zimbabwe to attend the Organization for African Unity summit. [Reuter]
4 June 1997: A three-day Organisation of African Unity summit began in Zimbabwe on Monday is expected to discuss among other issues the row between Libya and the West over the Lockerbie bombing. OAU ministers have proposed three alternatives to resolve the issue; trial of the two Libyans accused of being behind the bombing in a neutral country chosen by the U.N. Security Council, trial at the International Court of Justice in The Hague or trial at The Hague by a special criminal tribunal. [Reuter]
4 June 1997: The Maltese newspaper "The Times" reported that Maltese Foreign Minister George Vella told the Maltese Parliament that following talks between the two countries [Libya and Malta,] Libya had started paying off debts to Maltese companies.
4 June 1997: Libyan envoy Mustafa al-Kharroubi started a Gulf tour to rally support for an Arab summit in Tripoli, Cairo or Mecca. Al-Kharrubi was quoted in Kuwait as saying that prospects for holding a summit to mark next month's birthday of the Prophet Mohammad were "good.'' Yemen President Abdullah Saleh told al-Kharroubi that he is in favor of the Arab summit, but some Gulf Arab states have turned down the Libyan call for an Arab summit , Gulf official sources said on Tuesday. [Reuter and al-Hayat]
New items in "Libya: Our Home" site: |Libyan music| and |Libyan postage stamps|

1 June 1997: Libya and Egypt have signed an economic, trade and investment cooperation protocol under which they hope to jack up the volume of bilateral trade from $155 million to $1 billion. The Libyan side was headed by Industry Secretary Moftah Azzoza. The Egyptian delegation led by Industry Minister Sulaiman Reda. The two countries have also signed an agreement on joint prospecting for gold, iron and other strategic metals used in the electronics industry. [UPI]
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