Libya:
News and Views


August 1998

Monday, 31 August, 1998: Tomorrow, 1 September, marks the 29th anniversary of the Libyan revolution. On this occasion, the Libyan National Democratic Grouping "al-Tajamo' al-Watani al-Demoqrati al-Leeby" issued a communique in which it saluted "the Libyan people who are fighting for their freedom, justice and democracy which were taken away by the ruling military." On the first day of September 1969, a group of Libyan army officers members of "the Free Unitary Officers" movement overthrew the government of king Mohammed "Idris" al-Sanousi in a bloodless revolution and established the Libyan Arab Republic.
To view the LNDG communique [in Arabic,] please click here
Monday, 31 August, 1998: A Libyan plane arrived in Tripoli on Sunday with several Arab families evacuated from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where an armed rebellion against the Kinshasa government erupted a month ago. The Libyan state news agency JANA did not say if the fight was authorised by the United Nations, which imposed an air embargo against Libya in 1992 for its alleged support of terrorism. Despite the flight ban, several aircraft have touched down in Tripoli in recent weeks, many carrying African leaders. [AFP]
Monday, 31 August, 1998: Libya awarded the "Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi Human Rights Prize" to Fidel Castro at a special ceremony on Sunday -- but the Cuban leader was not there to accept it. Instead, the 250,000 dollar prize was handed over by a committee to Cuba's ambassador to Libya, who used the occasion -- broadcast on state television -- to rail against "imperialism." "We share the same struggle against a criminal policy of imperialist aggression directed against us," the unnamed ambassador said. In a message to the committee, Castro apologised for not making the ceremony and said he was ready to receive the prize at a time and place yet to be fixed. [AFP]
Monday, 31 August, 1998: Libyan Foreign Minister Omar al-Muntasser held private talks Sunday with South Africa's President Nelson Mandela in Cape Town, South African and Libyan sources said. Muntasser, who is heading the Libyan delegation to the 113-nation Non-Aligned Movement summit in Durban, flew to Cape Town to brief Mandela about the latest developments in the long-running Lockerbie dispute, the sources said. "The meeting would have been almost exclusively about the Lockerbie issue," a South African government source told AFP. Mandela has played a prominent role in trying to resolve the impasse, and was on Saturday telephoned on the issue by Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, according to Libyan state television. [AFP]
Monday, 31 August, 1998: Libya has submitted a draft resolution to the Arab League aimed at lifting the six-year embargo against Tripoli, a League official said Sunday. The resolution "will be examined by the foreign affairs ministers of the Arab League" at their mid-September meeting, said League secretary general Esmet Abdel Meguid. [AFP]
Sunday, 30 August, 1998: By threatening new measures against Libya, the United Nations Security Council could jeopardize the deal on a long-awaited trial of two suspects in the Lockerbie bombing, Libya's Foreign Ministry said Friday. In a statement read on Libyan state television, the ministry repeated Libya's acceptance of a trial in the Netherlands for the two suspects, who are Libyan. But it also complained of the ``conditions and threats'' that accompanied the Security Council resolution adopted Thursday. [AP]
Sunday, 30 August, 1998: Britain on Saturday denied accusations by Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi that the British intelligence service had plotted to kill him. Al-Qadhafi said in an interview with Libyan television on Friday that a plot to assassinate him was hatched under the former Conservative government administration. Libya, he said, had tapes and other material to prove it. ``This is an old claim. The British Foreign Secretary has said there is no truth in it whatsoever,'' a British Foreign Office spokesman said. The allegation first surfaced earlier this month when a renegade former British intelligence officer said Britain's MI6 spy agency had given 100,000 pounds to an Arab agent in 1996 to put a bomb under Qadhafi's motorcade. [Reuters]
Sunday, 30 August, 1998: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi said on Friday the British intelligence service had plotted to kill him and he wanted those responsible to be brought to justice. In an interview with Libyan television, al-Qadhafi said the 1986 U.S. bombing of Libya and Britain's attempt to kill him should be dealt with in the same way as the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing. ``How can they talk about Lockerbie and not talk about the massacre in 1986 of our people and children? How can we talk about Lockerbie and forget the assassination attempt which was organised by the British intelligence and which has witnesses to it?,'' he asked. [Reuters]

Saturday, 29 August, 1998: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi told Qatari television Friday that Libya rejects a US demand to "immediately" turn over two Libyans [pictured] for trial in the Netherlands for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. "We are not ready to send human beings like that, without guarantees," al-Qadhafi said in a live interview with the Qatari channel al-Jazira. [AFP]
Saturday, 29 August, 1998: The United States said Friday it would not negotiate with Libya over "guarantees" in a plan to hand over for trial two suspects linked to the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. "There are no details to negotiate with Libya, Libya has no grounds for delay," State Department spokesman James Foley said after Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi rejected the US demand to "immediately" turn over two Libyans for trial in the Netherlands. [AFP]
Saturday, 29 August, 1998: Libya must immediately hand over two suspects linked to the 1988 Lockerbie bombing or face tougher UN sanctions, the White House said Friday. "The only choice for Libya is immediate compliance," spokesman Barry Toiv told reporters traveling with President Bill Clinton, who is vacationing with his family on Martha's Vineyard.Toiv noted the UN Security Council's unanimous backing Thursday for the US-British plan to put the two men on trial in the Netherlands. Libya has agreed to delivering the two suspects to the Netherlands but called for negotiations on judicial procedures. [AFP]
Saturday, 29 August, 1998: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, defying a U.N. air embargo, said on Friday he had sent a plane loaded with medicines to Sudan on Friday to compensate for losses inflicted by a U.S. missile strike that destroyed a pharmaceutical factory there. ``The aircraft was loaded with medicines that will compensate for the medicines destroyed during the U.S. missile raid on Khartoum,'' al-Qadhafi told Qatar's al-Jazirah satellite television channel. [Reuters]
Saturday, 29 August, 1998: Britain on Friday refused to respond to a Libyan call for negotiations on the trial of the two Lockerbie bomb suspects, saying the Tripoli government had to communicate through the United Nations and not the media. The Libyan government called on the United States, Britain and the Netherlands to enter into negotiations on judicial procedures for the trial in the Netherlands of the two Libyan suspects in the Lockerbie bombing. [Reuters]
Saturday, 29 August, 1998: The Libyan government on Friday called on the United States, Britain and the Netherlands to enter into negotiations on judicial procedures for the trial in the Netherlands of two Libyan suspects in the Lockerbie bombing. Libya's Foreign Ministry, in a strongly critical comment on a U.N. Security Council resolution adopted on Thursday backing the U.S.-British plan for the trial, said it was not committed by the agreement between Britain and the Netherlands attached to the resolution. ``We call on the concerned parties, the United States, Britain and the Netherlands, to negotiate with it (Libya) as soon as possible about the (judicial) arrangements....,'' the ministry said in a statement read on Libyan state-run television monitored in Tunis. [Reuters]
Saturday, 29 August, 1998: The president of the United Nations Security Council said on Friday he believed Libya would cooperate with a U.S.-British plan to surrender two suspects in the Lockerbie bombing, saying the world would turn against Libya if it did not. In an interview with BBC radio, Council president Danilo Turk of Slovenia said international sanctions against Libya could be reinstated and even more imposed if Tripoli did not cooperate with the plan, under which the two Libyan suspects are to be tried in the Netherlands by Scottish judges. [Reuters]
The text of the U.N. Security Council resolution, adopted late on Thursday
Friday, 28 August, 1998: The UN Security Council has unanimously approved the proposal by the US and the UK to try two Libyans [Fhaima and al-Megherhi] accused of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing before Scottish judges in the Netherlands. The council's resolution called for sanctions in force against Libya since 1992 to be suspended as soon as the two suspects arrive in the Netherlands. The sanctions, including an air and arms embargo, were imposed by the council because of Libya's refusal to extradite the wanted men to Britain or the United States. The UN decision follows the live television by the Libyan leader, Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, in which he said he had no objection to the plan for the two men to go before a court in Holland. [BBC]
Friday, 28 August, 1998: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi says Libya has "no objection" to turning over two suspects in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 for trial in the Netherlands -- if a detailed agreement is reached beforehand outlining trial procedures and if the U.N. Security Council doesn't impose any additional conditions. But in an exclusive interview with CNN on Thursday, the Libyan leader also said the Security Council must "immediately" lift sanctions imposed on his country for previously refusing to turn over Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Lamen Fhimah. [CNN ]
Friday, 28 August, 1998: Libya late on Thursday told the Security Council it accepted an American-British plan to try the two accused of the Lockerbie airliner bombing in the Netherlands but needed time to review judicial procedures. Opening a council debate on the plan, Libya's U.N. ambassador, Abuzed Omar Dorda, said his country ``accepts that the two suspects be tried in a Scottish court in the Netherlands by Scottish judges according to Scottish law. This is a serious position, an irreversible position.'' [Reuters]
Friday, 28 August, 1998: China said late on Thursday it would vote in favour of a resolution approving a United States-British plan for a trial in the Netherlands of two Libyans accused in the 1988 mid-air bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Shen Guofang told reporters shortly before a Security Council debate and vote on the resolution that his objections had been met in a revised draft. A favourable vote by China, which had delayed the meeting because of reservations on the text, means the resolution will be adopted unanimously, diplomats said. ``China will vote in favour of the resolution,'' Shen said. [Reuters]
Friday, 28 August, 1998: With Libya indicating approval of an American-British proposal to change the venue of the Lockerbie trial, both countries Thursday pressed for adoption of a Security Council resolution endorsing the plan. Diplomats said a revised text had been submitted to council members in hopes of a vote Thursday. China was said to still have reservations. However, envoys expected Beijing to abstain rather than veto as it has on previous resolutions imposing sanctions against Libya. The draft resolution would suspend U.N. sanctions against Tripoli once the two accused had been turned over to the Netherlands for trial in connection with the mid-air bombing of a Pan American airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988. [Reuters]
Friday, 28 August, 1998: The U.N. Security Council was set on Thursday to approve an American-British proposal to change the venue of the Lockerbie trial and suspend sanctions against Libya once the accused have surrendered. Two Libyans have been indicted in the United States and Britain for blowing up a Pan American airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, on Dec. 21, 1988. A total of 270 people perished in the air and on the ground. Council President Danilo Turk of Slovenia said a formal meeting was scheduled for 0130 GMT Friday on a resolution that also threatens further measures against Libya if the two men do not submit to a trial in the Netherlands under Scottish law and with Scottish judges. [Reuters]
Friday, 28 August, 1998: Libya wants more details from the United States and Britain on a proposal to try two Libyan suspects in the Lockerbie bombing in the Netherlands, Tripoli-based diplomats and lawyers said on Thursday. ``I understood from a briefing with Libyan officials that the principle of a trial in a neutral country under Scottish law was accepted because, as they said, it was Libya's initiative,'' a senior diplomat told Reuters. ``But they said that more details needed to be worked out. What their conditions are is not clear but I understood they wanted to sit with the Americans and the British to discuss these matters.'' [Reuters]
Friday, 28 August, 1998: The Scottish lawyer acting for two Libyans accused of the 1988 Lockerbie airline bombing said on Thursday he did not expect a trial for at least a year -- and the pair have certainly not agreed to leave Libya. Both Britain and the United States are pressing Libya to accept their plan to have the trial staged in the Netherlands under Scottish law. But Alistair Duff, who is acting for the accused pair, said: ``If I was given facilities to begin preparing the case today, I cannot imagine I would be in a position to proceed with the trial before at least a year from now.'' Duff, speaking to BBC Radio, said Abdel Basset Ali Mohamed al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, have certainly not agreed to leave Libya. ``I know they have not,'' he said. ``The two men are planning to meet with the defence team -- as I understand it -- during the course of next week. There will be a full discussion at that stage about the British proposal and its detailed ramifications." [Reuters]
Friday, 28 August, 1998: The pretender to the Libyan throne on Thursday accused Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi of handing to Egypt the Palestinian guerrilla chief Abu Nidal, wanted in several countries for attacks on Israeli, Western and Arab targets. Egypt on Wednesday repeated its earlier denials of news reports that it was holding Abu Nidal, and said he was not even in the country. Prince Mohammed al-Hassan Reda el-Senoussi, whose family was overthrown by al-Qadhafi in 1969, said Abu Nidal, who has been living in Libya for several years, was on a short visit to Egypt using a forged passport when he was detained. [Reuters]
Friday, 28 August, 1998: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi met Thursday with an Iranian envoy who handed him a message from Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, Libya's official JANA news agency reported. Mohammad-Reza Nuri Shahrudi, accompanied by two sons of former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, came to "present best wishes to Colonel Qadhafi" as he recovers from a hip operation in July, the agency said. Iran's official IRNA news agency said that Khatami's message expressed best wishes on the 29th "anniversary of the Libyan revolution" which brought Qadhafi to power. [AFP]
Friday, 28 August, 1998: Egypt called Thursday for Libya, the United States, Britain and the Netherlands to hold direct contacts over a US-British proposal that two Libyan suspects in the Lockerbie bombing be tried in The Hague. Foreign Minister Amr Mussa said in a statement that "it is necessary to establish contacts between the concerned parties, that is, Libya, the Netherlands, the United States and Britain, to agree on the modalities of applying" the proposal. [AFP]
Friday, 28 August, 1998: Arab League secretary general Esmat Abdel Meguid hailed Libya on Thursday for accepting a US-British offer to try two Libyan suspects in the Lockerbie bombing in the Netherlands. Abdel Meguid, who is on a 48-hour visit to Beirut, told AFP that Tripoli "showed moderation" by accepting the proposal of a trial in The Hague and said it was "only normal that Libya demands guarantees." Libya on Wednesday responded postively to a US-British offer to try two Libyan suspects in the Lockerbie bombing in the Netherlands. [AFP]
Friday, 28 August, 1998: Libya on Thursday asked Britain to hand over "terrorists" and stop supporting terrorist groups, one day after Tripoli agreed to a US-British proposal to try two Libyan suspects in the Lockerbie bombing, an Arab League official said. "Libya asked the Arab League secretary general Thursday to include on the agenda of the next foreign ministerial meeting (16 and 17 September ) a request that the British government send terrorists back to their country of origin and stop supporting these groups," the official said. "Britain is harboring terrorists from different Arab countries, supporting them and facilitating their access to the media so they can transmit their destructive ideas," Libya said in its request to the League. [AFP]
Thursday, 27 August, 1998: Following is an unofficial translation of the full Arabic text of the Libyan Foreign Ministry statement reported by the official Libyan news agency JANA and read on state-run Libyan television on Wednesday night. Please click here
Thursday, 27 August, 1998: British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook on Wednesday gave a cautious welcome to Libya's decision to deal ``positively'' with a U.S. and British plan for a trial for the two Libyan suspects in the Lockerbie affair in The Hague. ``I welcome this statement which looks like a positive development. We shall need to study exactly what the Libyans have said and ensure that they are not setting any conditions on their acceptance,'' Cook said in a statement. [Reuters]
Thursday, 27 August, 1998: The United States on Wednesday criticised Libya's response to a new proposal to try two Libyans in the 1988 Pan Am Lockerbie bombing and urged Tripoli to swiftly surrender them for prosecution. Libya said in a statement on Wednesday it would deal ``positively'' with a U.S.-British plan to try the suspects before a Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands. But the statement ``does not specifically state that Libya is prepared, as called for in U.N. Security Council resolutions, promptly to turn the suspects over for trial,'' State Department spokesman James Foley said. [Reuters]
Thursday, 27 August, 1998: U.N. Security Council diplomats said Libya's reported positive response to U.S.-British proposals on the Lockerbie trial would give impetus to a quick passage of a resolution endorsing the plan. Libya earlier asked for a delay, saying it was studying the plan for a trial for two Libyan suspects in the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing, but council members on Wednesday brushed aside these objections and continued negotiations on the draftresolution. [Reuters]
Thursday, 27 August, 1998: Libya's acceptance Wednesday of a US-British offer to try two Libyans linked to the 1988 Lockerbie bombing drew a cautious response from the White House, which warned against any efforts to negotiate. "We have seen the reports that Libya has accepted the US-UK-Dutch proposal," said an administration official here who asked not to be named. "If this means that the Libyans are willing to turn over the two suspects to Dutch authorities, we would consider this a positive development," she said. "If the Libyan statement signifies an attempt to negotiate the terms of the trial, we would remind the Libyan government that the terms are not negotiable," said the official. If Tripoli is "serious," she said, US officials expect the next step would be "the (UN) secretary-general's notification that the suspects have been transported from Libya to the Hague and are in custody of Dutch authorities." [AFP]
Thursday, 27 August, 1998: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi met Wednesday with an envoy of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Libya's official JANA news agency reported. Ussama el-Baz, political advisor to Mubarak, transmitted to al-Qadhafi "the congratulations of the Egyptian president and people on his recovery" following a hip operation in July, JANA said. [AFP]
Thursday, 27 August, 1998: The UN Security Council on Wednesday pressed ahead with plans to pass a draft resolution on the Lockerbie bombing trial, despite a Libyan request for delay. "There is no decision to delay anything," Council president Danilo Turk told reporters after a closed-door meeting. "We are proceeding with the resolution." Libyan charge d'affaires Ramadan Barg had asked for the delay, saying more time was needed to study new British and US proposals. [AFP]
Thursday, 27 August, 1998: Libya on Wednesday asked the UN Security Council to postpone its suspension of UN sanctions until it has time to study proposals to turn over two suspects wanted in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. In a letter to the Security Council, Libyan charge d'affaires Ramadan Barg said Tripoli "was surprised" when Britain and the United States introduced a resolution Tuesday to conditionally suspend the six-year-old UN sanctions. The letter -- dated Tuesday but released here on Wednesday -- asked that "a decision on the draft resolution ... be postponed until Libya's judicial authorities have completed their study" of the new proposals. [AFP]
Thursday, 27 August, 1998: Libya accepted a US-British offer to try two Libyan suspects in the Lockerbie bombing in the Netherlands as long as there are no conditions, a Libyan official said Wednesday. [AFP]
Wednesday, 26 August, 1998: Libya will respond today to a US-British proposal for Scottish judges to try two Libyan suspects in the Netherlands over the 1988 Pan Am airliner bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, the official Libyan news agency JANA said Tuesday. [AFP]
Wednesday, 26 August, 1998: The United States and Britain Tuesday introduced a Security Council resolution that would suspend sanctions against Libya once two Libyans accused of the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing arrived in the Netherlands for trial. Meanwhile, Libya said Tuesday it would respond officially on Wednesday to a U.S. and British plan for a trial in The Hague. The Libyan state-run television, monitored in Tunis, said Foreign and Justice Ministry officials as well as experts had been studying the U.S. and British proposal since it was received through the U.N. secretary-general. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 26 August, 1998: Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa on Tuesday described as a ``definite improvement'' a U.S.-British agreement to allow two Libyans to stand trial in The Hague for the 1988 airliner bombing over Lockerbie. ``The offer is more flexible than earlier ones and fulfils one of Libya's demands for a trial in a third country,'' Moussa told reporters. ``The issue is now in Libya's hands but we see a definite improvement...We hope the offer will lead to a lifting of the embargo,'' he added. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 26 August, 1998: Sudan on Tuesday welcomed a U.S.-British offer that could allow two Libyans to stand trial in The Hague for the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing. ``I think that is a great success for Libya and we have been supportive of Libya in this case,'' Information Minister Ghazi Salahuddin told Reuters. ``We are happy that the United States and Britain have ultimately yielded to international pressure to accept that solution,'' he said. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 26 August, 1998: South African President Nelson Mandela, a close ally of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, on Tuesday welcomed a U.S.-British plan to prosecute two Libyans in The Hague for the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing. ``President Mandela...is confident that (the plan) should lead to the resolution of this matter, knowing that Colonel Qadhafi shares his concern that this matter should have a just solution as soon as possible,'' Mandela's office said in a statement. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 26 August, 1998: Libya said Tuesday it would give its decision in 24 hours on a U.S.-British plan to try two Libyans in the Netherlands for the bombing of a U.S. airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people. Families of the victims expressed skepticism about the chances of such a trial, while Libya's close ally South African President Nelson Mandela said he was ``confident that (the plan) should lead to the resolution of this matter.'' [Reuters]
Wednesday, 26 August, 1998: A Scottish lawyer acting for two Libyans accused of the 1988 Lockerbie airline bombing said on Tuesday that Tripoli had not thrown out a U.S.-British plan to put the two men on trial in The Hague. ``This is certainly not being rejected,'' Alistair Duff told Reuters a few minutes after a phone conversation with the two suspects' Libyan lawyer, Ibrahim Legwell. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 26 August, 1998: European reliance on Libyan energy makes it unlikely that the United States could toughen U.N. sanctions with an oil export ban, analysts said on Tuesday. Any attempt at a ban would be resisted by Western majors angered by what they see as Washington's addiction to energy curbs that harms their interests and isolates the U.S. politically, they said. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 25 August, 1998: British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook has appealed directly to Libya's Colonel Qadhafi to agree to the "third country" trial of two Libyan suspects in the Lockerbie bombing. Mr Cook appeared on Arabic television station MBC to address the Libyan leader. In a brief sub-titled statement, Mr Cook strongly stressed the link between the trial and the lifting of United Nations sanctions on Libyan trade and air traffic. Mr Cook said: "It is in our and Libya's interest to have the trial ..." [BBC ]
Tuesday, 25 August, 1998: The United States and Britain challenged Libya Monday to make good its offer to let two Libyans be tried in The Hague for bombing the U.S. jumbo jet that blew up over Scotland in 1988, killing 270 people. If Libya fails to hand the suspects over for trial in the Hague, Washington will seek to expand U.N. sanctions to include sales of Libyan oil, a U.S. State Department official said. In simultaneous announcements in London and Washington, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said they were taking Libya up on the Hague idea, which it has floated on and off for years. The West previously demanded a trial in Scotland or the United States. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 25 August, 1998: United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Monday endorsed a plan from the United States and Britain for two Libyan suspects in the 1988 bombing of a U.S. airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, to be tried at The Hague under Scottish law. ``He is extremely pleased about today's announcement and hopes that all sides will cooperate in order to reach an early resolution of this long-standing issue,'' a U.N. spokesman said. Annan was asked by the United States and Britain to pass on to Libya a letter and enclosures giving details of the proposal for a trial at The Hague. He was also asked to provide Libya with any assistance it might need regarding arrangements for transferring the two accused directly to the Netherlands. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 25 August, 1998: The U.S. Clinton administration has agreed to to allow two Libyans charged with the 1988 bombing of a Pan American airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland to be tried in the Netherlands under Scottish law, the Los Angeles Times reported in Monday's editions. The Times said U.S. officials confirmed Sunday that the agreement called for Abdel Basset Ali Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah -- allegedly Libyan intelligence agents -- to be tried by a panel of Scottish judges at the headquarters of the Dutch government. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 25 August, 1998: The United States would press for international oil sanctions on Libya if it failed to hand over two suspects for trial in the Lockerbie airliner bombing case, a senior U.S. official said on Monday. The official said Washington had always favoured a multilateral oil embargo but believed other countries would now be more willing to go along if Tripoli rejected a compromise proposal announced on Monday for the trial of the suspects. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 25 August, 1998: British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said that he had spoken to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, asking him to seek arrangements for the transfer of the two accused, Abdel Basset Ali Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah. action in the Security Council to suspend the international sanctions against Libya,'' he said. Cook said the trial would be ``a Scottish court administering Scottish law under Scottish procedures and Scottish rules of evidence.'' But it would not be a trial by jury as it was not practical to ask 15 ordinary citizens to spend the many months of the trial in a foreign country. ``For years Libya has promised that it would accept a court without jury meeting in a third country. That way forward is now open to them,'' Cook said [Reuters]
Tuesday, 25 August, 1998: The Dutch Cabinet council agreed to allow the Lockerbie trial to be heard in The Hague, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday in a press release. The U.S. and British governments on Monday said they had agreed to try in the Netherlands two Libyans charged with the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. British foreign secretary Robin Cook said the trial would be ``a Scottish court administering Scottish law under Scottish procedures and Scottish rules of evidence'' but that it would not be a trial by jury. The Dutch Cabinet council agreed to hear the case under Scottish law. [Reuters]
Monday, 24 August, 1998: The Libyan leader, Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, has accused the US of training Osama bin Laden, the man it suspects of bombing their embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He said US intelligence services trained Osama bin Laden for war in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. Colonel Qadhafi said camps blown up by the US in Afghanistan were ones they had originally created. [BBC ]
Monday, 24 August, 1998: A Libyan minister arrived in Islamabad, Pakistan Sunday for talks with Pakistani officials, the state run Associated Press of Pakistan reported. Maatouq Mohammad Maatouq, minister for training and labour, was received by Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, minister for labour, manpower and overseas Pakistanis, the news agency said. [AFP]

Sunday, 23 August, 1998: Chad's President Idriss Deby arrived at Tripoli airport on Saturday despite a U.N. ban on flights to and from Libya. Libyan state television, monitored in Tunis, broadcast live Deby's arrival at Tripoli airport aboard a Libyan civilian aircraft. Deby was welcomed by Abubakr Younes, one of Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's lieutenants. [Reuters]
Saturday, 22 August, 1998: German prosecutors have lodged a fresh bid to have a Berlin court recognise a confession made by a Libyan suspected of organising a 1986 nightclub bombing which killed two US citizens and a Turk, a judicial official said Friday. The challenge to re-establish the confession made by Mousbah Eter [pictured,] comes a month after a similar request was rejected by appeal court judges.[ AFP ]
Saturday, 22 August, 1998: Libyan leader Mu'amar al-Qadhafi, supported by crutches, led an overnight protest against Washington following US strikes Thursday on alleged terrorist sites in Sudan and Afghanistan, the official JANA news agency said Friday. The agency said that the demonstration moved through several districts of the Libyan capital Tripoli as protestors shouted anti-American slogans and burned a US flag to show "their rejection of the arrogant and aggressive policy of America." [ AFP ]
Saturday, 22 August, 1998: British Prime Minister Tony Blair is insisting that Scottish judges must try the Lockerbie bombing case if it is held in a third country, a British newspaper reported on Friday. The Scotsman quoted a letter from Blair to Scottish member of parliament Tam Dalyell which said: ``We contemplate a trial before Scottish judges rather than an international panel.'' Blair's office declined to confirm details of the letter, saying the correspondence with Dalyell, who has championed the cause of the families of the Lockerbie victims, was confidential. [Reuters]
Friday, 21 August, 1998: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi telephoned Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Thursday to express Libya's support for Sudan after the U.S. air strike on Sudan, Libyan state television said. Al-Qadhafi, whose own home was hit by an American air raid in 1986, said the Libyan people were supporting Sudan ``in the fight against this aggression,'' the television, monitored in Tunisia, said. Libyan television earlier interrupted its regular programming to begin carrying live broadcasts from Sudanese television showing the targets of the American strikes. [Reuters]
Friday, 21 August, 1998: Traditional U.S. allies were quick to support Washington's air strikes on Thursday against targets in Afghanistan and Sudan, describing them as part of a global effort to combat terrorism. But Iraq and Libya, locked in a bitter feud with the United States, accused Washington of itself committing ``international terrorism.'' Reaction from Egypt and Saudi Arabia, themselves recently hit by Islamic guerrilla violence, was muted. Sudan and Iranian radio suggested the U.S. raids were aimed at deflecting attention from the investigation into President Bill Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky. [Reuters]
Friday, 21 August, 1998: Libya denied any relation with the bombers at Omagh, Northern Ireland, in which 28 people were killed. British newspaper "the Telegraph" reported that some Libyan officials met with members of the "real" Irish Republican Army very recently. The "real" IRA is a militant faction of the IRA. [Asharq al-Awsat and al-Hayat]
Thursday, 20 August, 1998: British Aerospace Plc on Wednesday said it had responded to an inquiry by an intermediary for Libya on a possible civil aviation deal, but added that any agreement depended on the lifting of an international trade embargo. inquiries by an intermediary for the Libyans about the possibilities which might exist on the reconstruction of civil aviation in that country, if and when the embargo was lifted,'' said Locksley Ryan, director of corporate communications. But he added: ``The nature of this response was about possible further talks rather than any detailed discussions. British Aeropspace is fully aware that no business discussions are possible with Libya until the UN embargo is lifted.'' [ Reuters ]
Thursday, 20 August, 1998: Central Africa Republic President Ange Felix Patasse met Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi after arriving in Tripoli late on Tuesday, the official Libyan news agency JANA said on Wednesday. The agency, monitored in Tunis, said Patasse was checking on the health of the Libyan leader, who is recuperating from an operation last month on a broken hip. [Reuters]

Tuesday, 18 August, 1998: The Libyan government said on Monday it had asked France to hand over David Shayler, a renegade British intelligence officer who claimed that Britain was involved in a plot to kill Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. Libyan state television, monitored in Tunis, said the demand was made by Abdel Ati al-Obeidi, head of the Europe department at the Libyan Foreign Affairs Ministry, to the French Charge d'Affaires in Tripoli at a meeting on Monday. [Reuters]
Tuesday, 18 August, 1998: Tunisian President Zaine El Abidine Ben Ali paid a visit Monday to Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi who is still recuperating from a hip operation in July. The Tunisian leader traveled to Libya by road, as the country has been under a UN air embargo since 1992 for refusing to extradite to Britain or the United States two suspects in the 1988 bombing of a US plane over Lockerbie, Scotland. The Tunisian foreign ministry said Ben Ali's trip, at al-Qadhafi's invitation, was a working visit but it did not say how long he would remain. [ AFP ]

Monday, 17 August, 1998: The Libyan ambassador to Uganda, Abdalla Abdulmaula, escaped unscathed when a light aircraft crash-landed in the bush after developing mechanical problems, the New Vision newspaper reported Sunday. The ambassador was flying back to Kampala on Thursday after meeting President Yoweri Museveni in the northern town of Gulu when the accident happened, the state-owned newspaper said. He later travelled safely back to Kampala in a helicopter. [ AFP ]
Monday, 17 August, 1998: Libya demanded Sunday that Britain open an inquiry into allegations by former British spy David Shayler that Britain's foreign intelligence agency, MI6, tried to assassinate Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. "Opening an inquest would prove London's good intentions to disprove the involvement of its intelligence services in this plot," the Libyan foreign ministry said in a statement. Libya "reserves the right to self-defense and judicial action against the British government," the statement added. It also said that the blocking this month of a BBC television special in which Shayler was to support revelations published by the New York Times and the Guardian "confirms the theories of the agent and the involvement of the British services in this terrorist act." [ AFP ]
Sunday, 16 August, 1998: A suspect in a Waco murder investigation may have ties to the 1986 bombing of a Berlin nightclub. According to United States federal court testimony, Sam L. Urick, 57, helped ship 20 tons of plastic explosives, some of which was reportedly used in a bombing attack of a Berlin discotheque that killed two U.S. servicemen and wounded 200 other people. The suspicion that Urick's may have links to the bombing surfaced in the course of a Texas Ranger's investigation of the slaying of Urick's former son-in-law, Gary Patterson, Libya was accused in 1996 of masterminding the bombing of the Berlin nightclub. [Star-Telegram ]

Wednesday, 12 August, 1998: Islamic militants opposed to Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's regime claimed a series of anti-government attacks in July that killed or wounded 26 members of Libyan security forces, an Arab newspaper reported Tuesday. The Islamic Martyrs Movement, which has often claimed anti-government attacks around the northern Libyan city of Benghazi, said in a statment to al-Hayat that it lost nine of its militants in the July attacks. The report could not be independently confirmed and al-Hayat noted that in the past the Libyan authorities systematically denied claims by the group. [AFP - more details]
Wednesday, 12 August, 1998: Libya designated Cuban President Fidel Castro the 1998 winner of the "Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi Human Rights Prize," with an award ceremony planned for later this month, the official JANA news agency reported Tuesday. The agency gave no details of whether Castro would come to Tripoli to receive the award, which includes a cash prize of 250,000 dollars. [AFP]
Tuseday, 11 August, 1998: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi sent condolence letters to the presidents of Kenya and Tanzania following bomb attacks at US embassies in the two countries, the official Libyan news agency JANA reported. Al-Qadhafi sent identical letters to Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi and Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa saying he was "filled with deep sadness" about the attacks and deplored the "high number of innocent victims." [AFP ]
Tuseday, 11 August, 1998: The Security Council committee that monitors sanctions against Libya agreed in principle on Monday to permit Libya to replace four obsolete aircraft used to fly patients abroad for medical treatment. Libya had told the sanctions committee that the four medical evacuation planes were no longer serviceable and needed to be replaced. The International Civil Aviation Organisation conducted a check and confirmed the Libyan information in a letter to the committee. [Reuters]
Monday, 10 August, 1998: British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook has dismissed reports of an MI6 plot to kill Libyan leader Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhfi in 1996 as "pure fantasy". He insisted he had investigated the claims and was satisfied that his predecessor, Tory Sir Malcolm Rifkind, had not authorised an assassination attempt. Mr Cook also denied reports that the Government is about to sanction an internal investigation by Parliament's all-party Intelligence and Security Committee. His comments came as Annie Machon, girlfriend of David Shayler the former MI5 officer behind the claims, went on air to insist his allegations were true. [ATN]

Sunday, 9 August, 1998: Today marks the 58th anniversary of the establishment of the Libyan army "al-Qu-Ua al-Arabiyah al-Libiyah" in exile [in Egypt] to fight the Italians on the side of the Allied forces in World War II. For more details, please click on the following related links:
Libya: 9 August 1940: The Establishment of the Libyan Army
Libya: The Making of State; Libya's Independance
Libya: The 1949 UN Resolution Relevant to Libya's Independence
Libya: The Italian Occupation and the Libyan Resistance
Libya: Pictures of the Italian Occupation
Sunday, 9 August, 1998: Chad and Libya have set up three joint companies in the oil sector, including one for oil exploration and production, sources close to the Chadian foreign and cooperation ministry said on Saturday. The three companies were set up under agreements signed this week by Chadian Foreign Minister Mohammed Saleh Annadif and the secretary of Libya's foreign liaison and international cooperation committee, Omar Mustafa al-Muntasser. The other two companies will handle fuel distribution and provide services to the oil industry, according to the sources. [Reuters]
Saturday. 8 August, 1998: The BBC has broadcast an interview with the former MI5 officier David Shayler in which he spoke about a plot by the UK's Secret Intelligence Service to kill Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al- Qadhafi. The interview with Panorama was recorded before his arrest in France at the request of the UK Government. The film was not broadcast until now because the government has an injunction designed, it says, to protect national security. The BBC decided to go ahead with the transmission after parts of the script were submitted to government solicitors, who gave authority to proceed. [ BBC - more details ]

7 August 1998: A BBC television Panorama special was blocked by the Government last night, hours before it planned to reveal further details of an alleged plot by MI6 officers to assassinate the Libyan leader, Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. In the latest twist in the growing international row surrounding attempts to gag former MI5 and MI6 officers, government lawyers served the BBC with an injunction preventing it from making new disclosures about the allegations. It is understood the investigation by a BBC journalist, Mark Urban, sheds new light on the circumstances surrounding the alleged plot against Col Qadhafi. [The Guardian]
http://www.libyaonline.com/music

7 August 1998: The British Government has denied that its foreign intelligence service, MI6, tried to assassinate the Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi two years ago. The allegation was made by David Shayler, the ex-MI5 officer under arrest in France pending extradition to the UK to face charges under the Official Secrets Act. The allegations are published in the Guardian newspaper in the UK, after first appearing in more detail in the New York Times. An injunction taken out by the UK Government has prevented most of the media from reporting Shayler's allegations. [BBC]

6 August 1998: Abdel-Hamid al-Bakkoush, a former Libyan premier and a prominent dissident now living in Cairo, Egypt, told the Associated Press that there is no Islamic militant movement in Libya, just an "ordinary opposition" that is weak and disorganized. Al-Bakkoush was commenting on an AP article which said that Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, once a staunch secularist, lately has been organizing mass religious meetings, appearing on state television kneeling in prayer and whispering verses from the Koran to defuse the Islamic militant movement opposing his regime.
5 August 1998: The Secretary General of the Arab League, Esmat Abdel-Megeed, met Monday with Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi in the Libyan capital Tripoli. Abdel-Megeed said after the meeting that al-Qadhafi is for a just trial for two Libyan nationals accused of downing an American airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988. [al-Hayat]


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2 August 1998: The Secretary General of the Arab League, Esmat Abdel-Meguid, is going ahead with a trip to Libya despite being refused exemption from UN sanctions to fly there direct. Instead he will fly to Tunis and complete the journey to Tripoli by car. He is due to hold talks on British and American moves to resolve the dispute about two Libyans suspected of involvement in the bombing of an American airliner over Lockerbie in Scotland in 1988. [BBC]
2 August 1998: Libya's Prime Minister, Mohammed al-Manghoush, warned Thursday against over-dependency on oil as the country's source of income. Opening an extraordinary session of the Libyan Higher Planning Council, he said the country had several other resources which could replace oil if properly exploited. He cited agriculture and tourism and called on planning experts to formulate an action plan to improve and develop activities in the two sectors. According to official figures, oil earned Libya 7.2 billion US dollars in 1997. [Pan African News Agency]
1 August 1998: Sources in the Arab League said that Arab League Secretary-General Esmat Abdulmageed will "fly" to Libya tomorrow to meet with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. In his meeting with al-Qadhafi, Abdulmageed will be discussing the upcoming trial of the two Libyans accused of downing an American jet over Lockerbie. [Azzaman]
More Libyan songs added to "http://www.libyaonline.com/music"

1 August 1998: African Nations Cup preliminary round, first leg, result on Friday [31 July, 1998]: In Tripoli: Libya 0 Algeria 2.
Scorer: Abdelhafidh Tasfaout 56, 75. Halftime: 0-0 [Reuters]
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