News and Views

July 1997

30 July 1997: Western intilligence sources told "al-Hayat" newspaper that Libyan authorities have been exchanging information with their Western counterparts for some time and that lead to disovering many Libyan anti-government groups before they succeeded in hurting the Libyan government. [al-Hayat - Wednesday 30 July 1997]
For more details [in Arabic] please click here
30 July 1997: In its annual report on U.S. trade barriers, the European Union Commission highlighted what it said was an "unwelcome new development'' -- a tendency of U.S. states to impose limits on foreign firms that do business in countries with questionable human rights records. Chief among the EU complaints was the trend towards extraterritoriality -- the imposition of U.S. foreign policy goals on non-U.S. businesses. The most prominent examples have come at the federal level with the Helms-Burton law on Cuba and the D'Amato law on Libya and Iran. [Reuter]
30 July 1997: Final medals table at the Pan-Arab Games [Beirut, Lebanon] [Reuter]:
                       Gold      Silver     Bronze    Total
    Egypt                97        58          40       194
    Algeria              43        44          44       131
    Morocco              19        14          17        50
    Syria                16        30          37        83
    Qatar                 9         6           2        17
    Tunisia               9        12          26        47
    Lebanon               7        16          51        74
    Jordan                8        10          21        39
    Saudi Arabia          7        10          21        38
    Kuwait                1        13          20        34
    Oman                  1         1           1         3
    Sudan                 -         1           2         3
    Libya                 -         1           1         2
    UAE                   -         1           1         2
    Yemen                 -         1           -         1
    Palestine             -         -           4         4
    Bahrain               -         -           1         1 

A new Libyan site on the Internet: : dedicated to Libyan culture

A new book about Libya [available in university libraries and bookstores]:
"Libya's Qaddafi: The Politics of Contradiction" By: Mansour O. El-Kikhia
Published by University Press of Florida - April 1997

24 July 1997: Arab Insurance Group (ARIG) said today [Thursday] it had acquired the Moroccan government's holdings in Compagnie Nord Africaine et Intercontinentale d'Assurances (CNIA) in cooperation with two Moroccan firms. ARIG is owned by the governments of Libya, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. It plans to offer shares worth some $180 million to private investors later this year. [Reuter]
20 July 1997: Libya's Unity Minister Jomaa al-Fazzani met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak today [Sunday] to deliver a letter from Col. Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. The contents of the letter were not disclosed but observers said it could have dealt with al-Qadhafi's efforts to convene an Arab summit conference. Al-Fazzani arrived Saturday and held talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa, who told reporters they discussed bilateral relations and other regional issues. [Reuter]
New items in "Libya: Our Home":
A poem by: Imhemmed Ghnana - 1 and A poem by: Imhemmed Ghnana - 2

20 July 1997: According to "al-Hayat" newspaper, Libyan representative in the United Nations Abouzaid Dorda told the U.N. that the Libyan government may use its rights to consider the Lockerbie sanctions imposed on Libya since April 1992 as void. Furthermore Dorda said in his letter that Libya should be compensated for the damage that the sanctions have done to the country.
For more details [in Arabic - "al-Hayat" newspaper] please click here
A new site added to "Libya: Our Home" pages:

17 July 1997: British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that Lockerbie sanctions on Libya should stay till Libya extradites the two Libyan suspects [Abdulbaset al-Megherhi and Lameen Fhaima] to either Britain or The United States. Lockerbie explosion victims families said that they do not mind that the two Libyans be tried in a neutral country as suggested by Libya, The Arab League and The Organization for African Unity. [al-Ittihad] For more details [in Arabic] please click here
17 July 1997: The Tunisian newspaper "Le Renouveau" reports that Tunisian Trade Minister Mondher Zenaidi said cooperation in trade with Libya should amount to 700 million dinars during this year. [ $ 1.0 = 1.1221 Tunisian Dinar ]
17 July 1997: The Turkish newspaper "Sabah" reports that Turkish military claims in a document presented to the constitutional court that former prime minister Necmettin Erbakan's Islam-based Welfare Party received money from Libya.
14 July 1997: Libyan security forces Saturday killed an Egyptian national during a manhunt for anti-Qadhafi Libyan militants in the city of Benghazi. Khaled Ibrahim Rasheed was killed while he was working in a coffee shop. France Press and al-Hayat report that the militants belong to an Islamic organization and there have been clashes between security forces and these militants in Benghazi for the last three days.
13 July 1997: The Turkish newspaper "Dunya" reports that Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi threatens Turks involved in contracting business in Libya with expulsion. Turkey recalled its ambassador to Libya last month after sharp criticism by Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi of Turkey's month-long incursion into northern Iraq and military cooperation with Israel.
13 July 1997: Libyan athletes are participating in the 8th Pan-Arab games, which opened Saturday in Beirut, Lebanon. Athletes of 19 Arab countries took part in the opening parade, many wearing traditional costumes. Athletes from Iraq returned home a few hours before the opening ceremony after being stranded at the Lebanese border for 48 hours without getting Lebanon's permission to enter the country. [Reuter]
New items in "Libya: Our Home":
A poem by: al-Fadheel al-Shilmani and The history of Mahmoud al-Mesallati

11 July 1997: The United Nations Security Council retained sanctions against Libya on Thursday after African envoys argued for a compromise on the location of a possible trial of suspects in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. Libya's U.N. Ambassador Abuzaid Omar Dordah, blaming the council's stand on the United States and Britain, told reporters, "We can from now on behave as if these sanctions were not there.'' But when asked to explain, he said that Libya "would study this carefully with our brothers'' in Africa. African and Arab nations have said the two suspects should be tried in a neutral site rather than Britain or the United States, as demanded in a 1992 council resolution. [Reuter]
New Libyan site on the Internet: Libya On Line and Khaled Mattawa's poetry

9 July 1997: Newspapers in Cybrus report that hot air masses from Libya brought on a heatwave with temperatures nudging 42 degrees. [Reuter]
9 July 1997: Arab League Secretary General Esmat Abdulmajeed told Libyan Representative in the Arab League Salma Rashid that he asked the United Nations Security Council members [during his visit to New York last month] to end the sanctions imposed on Libya by the United Nations since April 1992. [al-Hayat]
9 July 1997: Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and other Islamic officials are recognizing Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan as one of their own. The American newspaper Chicago Tribune reports Farrakhan was declared a sheikh and presented with a ceremonial white turban in Chicago [U.S.A.] Sunday at the end of a weekend conference of international Islamic clerics and scholars. The International Islamic Conference drew Muslims from the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Russia, and ended with a closed-circuit address by Col al-Qadhafi. In his speech al-Qadhafi called Farrakhan "a courageous freedom fighter'' and praised his work in organizing the Million Man March. [Reuter]
New items in "Libya: Our Home":
A poem by: Fatma Othman || A poem by: Bouhwaish and al-Rawi
and A poem by: Ali al-Jaafari

5 July 1997: German officials are looking into information from a former top Iranian spy that the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ordered the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, a magazine reported. The weekly Der Spiegel said the investigation was being led by the Federal Criminal Police Office and the Frankfurt prosecutor's office. Neither would comment today on the report. According to Spiegel, the tip came from Abolghassem Mesbahi, a co-founder of the Iranian intelligence service who later went into exile. Britain and the United States are accusing two Libyans, Fhaima and al-Megrhi [pictured] of masterminding the Lockerbie explosion and that lead to imposing sanctions on Libya since April 1992. [AP]
5 July 1997: Al-Fajr magazine [the voice of the Fighting Islamic Group "al-Jama'a al-Islamiya al-Mukatila"] reported in its latest issue that a Libyan security officer confessed that he was the one who was calling the Central Security Offices in Tripoli from Ajdabiya on behalf of the Zwaiya [Mujahideen] and threatening to blow up government buildings in the city of Ajdabiya. Ibrahim Abdulhadi al-Majbari said that he did that with the help of Sa'ad al-Zwaiy [Sa'ad Sawateer] a resident of Ajdabiya.
5 July 1997: The Russian Federation Council, the upper chamber of Parliament, overturned a law passed by the lower house of parlimant to reopen Russian commercial ties with Libya, saying it violated the Constitution which gives the president the last word in foreign policy matters. Officials at the Council say a commission will now be set up to solve the dispute between the two houses of parliament. [Reuter]
5 July 1997: An American law disciplinary board in Washington admonished Abraham Sofaer, the United States State Department's former top legal adviser, for violating an ethical rule when he briefly represented the Libyan government in 1993 in connection with the downing of Pan Am Flight 103. Sofaer, who was a federal judge before joining the U.S. State Department in 1985, has denied that he violated ethical rules when he represented the Libyan government and agreed to deposit $3 million in a Swiss bank as a one-year retainer. The representation lasted only days. After a public outcry, Sofaer's firm at the time withdrew and returned the money. [Washington Post]
3 July 1997: Al-Hayat newspaper reported that Itallian sources said that Italy is in favor of settling the Lockerbie case politically. Italy, al-Hayat reported, is encouraging France, Britain and the United States to adopt one of Libyas offers and try the two Libyan suspects [wanted by the Western countries] in a neutral country. [al-Hayat / 3 July 1997]
New items in "Libya: Our Home" home page:
A poem by: Mohammad al-Shiltamy || A poem by: al-Sanoussi Habeeb
and Libyan national poetry (various Libyan poets)

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