Libya:
News and Views


September 1998

Wednesday: 30 September, 1998: Libya told the United Nations on Tuesday it would not surrender the two suspects accused in the 1988 Pan Am airliner bombing if they had to serve any jail terms in Scotland. While not flatly rejecting the new Anglo-American proposals for a trial in the Netherlands under Scottish law, Libya's U.N. ambassador, Abuzaid Omar Dorda [pictured,] set several conditions that Washington and London have said were not negotiable. Specifically, Dorda told the U.N. General Assembly that if the two were convicted for the mid-air bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, their sentence could not be carried out in Scotland, that Libya should not be asked to provide witnesses for the prosecution and that any trial should not be held as planned at a former U.S. military base in the Netherlands. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 30 September, 1998: Libya on Tuesday summoned the General People's Congress, the country's top legislative body, to meet for its annual session later this week, Libyan state radio reported. The assembly meets once or twice a year to discuss foreign, internal, economic and social policies, adopt laws and the budget, and name a new government. It generally lasts several days. The radio, monitored in Tunis, quoted the Congress secretariat as saying the session would start on Thursday in Sirte, 450 km (280 miles) east of Tripoli. [Reuters]
Wednesday: 30 September, 1998: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni flew in to Libya on Tuesday despite a United Nations air embargo on the North African country over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, Libyan state television reported. The television, monitored in Tunis, said Museveni landed at the airport of the Libyan coastal town of Sirte. [Reuters]
Monday: 28 September, 1998: The United Nations Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN) quoted the bi-weekly Chadian newspaper L'Observateur as saying an estimated 1,000 Chadian soldiers had been sent to the Congo in support of its President Kabila. IRIN quoted a journalist at L'Observateur as saying the alleged troop deployment had been financed by Libya to protect its own economic interests in Congo. Kabila, who has faced an uprising in the east of Congo since August 2, held talks with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi last weekend. [Reuters]

Friday: 25 September, 1998: A Scottish lawyer acting for two Libyans accused of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing on Thursday condemned as "ghastly'' a decision by Tripoli to name a new defence team. Alister Duff said he had been shocked by the decision to appoint a former Libyan minister to lead the defence, a move he said could harm his clients. The decision to appoint former Foreign Affairs Minister Kamel el-Maghour [pictured] cast further doubts on whether the two suspects would be put on trial in the Netherlands before three Scottish judges as proposed by the United States and Britain. [Reuters]
Friday: 25 September, 1998: United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told African leaders Thursday it was time to urge Libya to accept British-American proposals for a trial in the Netherlands of two men accused of the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland. "Libya should say 'yes'. We have said 'yes''' she told a Security Council's ministerial meeting on Africa in response to comments from the president and the secretary-general of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Saying there was nothing more to negotiate, she recalled that African nations had urged the United States and Britain to drop their earlier insistence that the two Libyans be tried in Britain or the United States. [Reuters]
Thursday: 24 September, 1998: Libya has replaced the defence lawyers for two Libyan suspects wanted in the Lockerbie bombing and appointed a former minister to lead the new team, Libyan lawyers said on Wednesday. The head of the sacked team said the move was ``a strong signal'' that the defence case for the two suspects would from now on reflect the government's political line rather than legal considerations. The appointments also put off, at least for the time being, a meeting between Libyan, American, British and German lawyers in Tripoli to discuss a U.S.-British proposal for a trial in the Netherlands. Libyan lawyers said the government appointed former Foreign Affairs Minister Kamel el-Maghour as head of the new team, replacing Ibrahim Legwell. [Reuters]
Thursday: 24 September, 1998: The prospects that two Libyans accused of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing could be put on trial in the Netherlands looked more uncertain on Wednesday after the suspects' defence team was changed. Libya said a former minister would now lead the defence, a move which the head of the sacked team said was ``a strong signal'' that the defence case would now reflect the government's political line rather than legal considerations. [Reuters]
Thursday: 24 September, 1998: Libya fears the two men accused of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing could be assassinated if they go to the Netherlands for trial, the spokesman for British relatives of the victims said on Wednesday. Jim Swire, who had just returned from a visit to Tripoli where he met Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and the suspects' legal team, said he felt the fears were real and were not just a stalling manoeuvre. Swire said that if the matter could be cleared up, the trial could begin within weeks. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 22 September, 1998: The two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing could be handed over for trial in the Netherlands "within days", Professor Robert Black said yesterday. Professor Black, and Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter died in the explosions were told by Libyan officials that their government accepted the plan for a trial but required reassurances that the accused Abdel Baset Ali Mohamed al-Megrahi and al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah would be well treated and not transferred to either the United States or Britain at any point. Dr Swire, the spokesman for UK Families Flight 103, said: "We had a warm and productive discussion which resulted in my emerging with the feeling that I was right to feel confident that the trial will take place and the accused will be presented for trial. [The Scotsman]
Monday: 21 September, 1998: Libya said Sunday it had reservations about an agreement between British and Dutch authorities for an airbase in the Netherlands to be used as the venue for the trial of two Libyans for the Lockerbie bombing. The Libyan news agency JANA quoted a foreign ministry official as saying the venue should be agreed by all parties, including the two suspects. ``The choice of the town and the courtroom and its requirements should be agreed upon by all parties including the two accused, represented by their defense team,'' said the agency, monitored in Tunis. [Reuters]
Sunday: 20 September, 1998: A father whose daughter died in the bombing of a PanAm jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, was heading for Tripoli Saturday to discuss the trial of the two Libyan suspects. Jim Swire, spokesman for UK Families Flight 103, which represents families of the victims, was to hold talks with Libyan officials. Swire left London earlier Saturday with Robert Black, a law professor at Edinburgh University. "The trip is being made following an invitation, passed through the Libyan Interests Section of the Saudi Arabian Embassy in London, to travel to the North African state for discussions," said a spokesman for Swire. [AFP]
Sunday: 20 September, 1998: A Dutch airforce base has been chosen as the trial venue for two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing, it was announced Friday. Britain and the Netherlands have signed an agreement that the hearing, if it takes place, will be at Camp Zeist, part of the Soesterberg air base, near The Hague. [The Scotsman]
Sunday: 20 September, 1998: President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Laurent Kabila left here by plane on Saturday amid increasing UN concern about violations of its six-year-old air embargo against Libya. Libya's state news agency JANA said Kabila's flight on a Congolese plane was a show of support an Organization of African Unity (OAU) decision to stop respecting the ban on international flights from September 1. [AFP]
Friday: 18 September, 1998: Senior American officials have warned Libya that the offer to try two Libyan suspects in the Netherlands over the Lockerbie bombing will not remain on the table indefinitely. The officials set no deadline, but indicated that the tenth anniversary of the attack this December and a regular review of sanctions against Libya in November could be significant. The BBC diplomatic correspondent says the implication is that if those dates pass without Libya accepting the proposal, the United States and Britain will move to introduce additional sanctions. [BBC]
Friday: 18 September, 1998: Due to low prices for world crude oil, Libya's 1998 oil export earnings are expected to be 36 percent lower than last year and bring in just $5.8 billion, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration [EIA.] That's a big hit for Libya, which depends on oil exports to raise 95 percent of its hard currency earnings, the EIA said late Wednesday in its yearly update on the nation. The EIA is the statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy. [Reuters]
Friday: 18 September, 1998: The UN sanctions committee on Thursday condemned the violation of a Libyan air embargo by Sudan and Congo, and investigated complaints about violations by several other African states. The 15-member sanctions committee, at a closed-door meeting, discussed a US letter detailing the violations which are occurring at a rate of one every two days, western diplomats said. Committee members "noted with concern" the increase in violations and that a "firm response" was needed, a diplomat said. [AFP]
Friday: 18 September, 1998: Libya criticized Thursday what it called the "weak" Arab League resolution calling for an end to UN sanctions in place against Tripoli since 1992. "This Arab position is a catastrophe for the Libyan people," Libyan Foreign Minister Omar al-Muntasser was quoted by the official JANA news agency as saying. He noted that the Organization of African Unity had "courageously" decided last June to ignore the air embargo as of September 1. Muntasser summoned Arab diplomats posted to Tripoli and told them to inform theirgovernments of "the Libyan people's displeasure with the weak resolution adopted by theArab League ministerial council Wednesday on the Lockerbie matter." [AFP]
Friday: 18 September, 1998: The Arab League adopted a Libyan resolution Thursday onextradition of "terrorists" after dropping the draft's direct reference to Britain. The draft resolution demanded that London send back "terrorist elements it is harboring to their country of origin" and called for Britain "to stop all suppport for these groups." But the text endorsed Thursday by the 110th Arab League foreign ministers' conference dropped all mention of Britain, preferring instead to call on "all states harbouring terrorists" to surrender them to their countries of origin. [AFP]
Thursday: 17 September, 1998: The Arab League on Wednesday backed Libya's demands for guarantees before Tripoli handed over two Libyans wanted by the United States and Britain in connection with the bombing of a PanAm airliner in 1988 over Lockerbie, Scotland. In a draft resolution obtained by Reuters the 22-member organisation urged the U.S., Britain and the Netherlands to enter into negotiations with Libya to ensure a "fair and just trial for the suspects.'' "The Arab League Council...calls on the U.K., the U.S., The Netherlands to engage in negotiations with Libya or through the U.N. secretary general to detail the arrangments for the trial and the security measures for the two suspects,'' the resolution said. [Reuters]

Wednesday: 16 September, 1998: Today marks the 67th anniversary of the hanging of Libyan hero Omar al-Mukhtar by the Italians. On the 16th of September, 1931, the Italians hanged Omar Al-Moktar in the city of Solouq with no consideration to Omar Al-Mukhtar's old age, no consideration to international law and no consideration to world war treaties. The Italians caused the death of half of Libya's population during their occupation of Libya and killing Omar Al-Mukhtar was to them the end to the Libyan resistance to their occupation. Libya was under the Italian occupation till 1943 when Italy was defeated in World War II and Libya became under the Allies Armies occupation till the 24th of December, 1951, when Libya achieved its independance after years and years of occupation. For more details, please click on the following:
The Italian Occupation and the Libyan Resistance
Pictures of the Italian Occupation [Part 1]
Pictures of the Italian Occupation [Part 2]
Omar al-Mukhtar [1862 - 1931] - Part I
Omar al-Mukhtar [1862 - 1931] - Part II
Tribute to the 20th century Libyan hero And mentor Of bravery
The 1949 UN Resolution Relevant to Libya's Independence
The Making of State; Libya's Independance

Wednesday: 16 September, 1998: France on Tuesday rebuffed a Libyan bid to arrest or question a former British intelligence officer held in a Paris prison pending possible extradition to Britain where he is sought for divulging official secrets. A French foreign ministry statement said ex-spy David Shayler was being held in France solely due to the British extradition request ``and was the object of no other judicial procedure'' -- a signal Paris saw no grounds to allow Libya to have access to him. Libya wants to question Shayler about his interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation alleging London supported a plot to kill Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi in February 1996 in which a bomb was to have detonated under his motorcade. [Reuters]

http://members.xoom.com/Zetoona/SirOmar/TRIBUTE.htm

Tuesday: 15 September, 1998: Arab League foreign ministers are expected to throw their diplomatic weight behind Libya this week in their first meeting since Britain and the United States agreed to hold the Lockerbie trial in a neutral country. ``The Lockerbie issue is on the front burner,'' said an Arab official of the two days of talks starting on Wednesday. ``It is a priority based on the degree of attention which will be given not only in the official work of the council but on the sidelines as well.'' [Reuters]
Tuesday: 15 September, 1998: Libya repeated its demand Monday for the extradition from France of a former British spy over an alleged assasination attempt on Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi by British secret service unit MI6. Libya's foreign ministry told the French embassy that it wanted David Shayler's extradition or at least the opportunity for a Libyan judge to interrogate him, the official JANA news agency said. [AFP]
Tuesday: 15 September, 1998: Libya will withdraw a draft resolution for the Arab League ministerial meeting this week in Cairo demanding that Britain extradite "terrorists," a League official said Monday. Libya decided to remove the draft resolution after separate talks League secretary general Esmat Abdel Meguid held Sunday with Britain's ambassador to Egypt, David Blatherwick, and the League's Libyan delegate, Salma Rashed. Libya's withdrawal of the draft resolution could result in London and Washington providing "guarantees that it wants to get before agreeing to bring two of its citizens before a Scottish court in the Netherlands," the League official, who asked not to be identified, said. [AFP]
Monday: 14 September, 1998: Libya will abolish its Arab unity ministry in favour of "belonging to the African continent," the official news agency JANA said Sunday. The final job of the minister of the General People's Committee for Unity, Jum'a al-Mahdi al-Fazzani, will be to represent Libya in an Arab League foreign ministers' meeting in Cairo next week, JANA said. In a speech last week, Libyan leader Colonel Mu'amer al-Qadhafi slammed Arab states for not giving enough support to Libya against UN sanctions and of respecting the air embargo imposed for its alleged support of terrorism. [AFP]
Monday: 14 September, 1998: Libya reiterated on Sunday demands that Britain allow a Libyan judge to question former foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind about an alleged attempt to assassinate Libyan leader Mu'amer al-Qadhafi in 1996.The demand was made to the Italian ambassador in Tripoli whose country represents British interests in Libya, the official JANA news agency said. [AFP]
http://www.esd.mun.ca/~alkhazmi


Sunday: 13 September, 1998: The British Government has agreed to supply Libya with "clarification" over the proposed trial of the Lockerbie bombing suspects. But it has ruled out negotiating the principles of the proposition - the "take it or leave it" deal, which would see the trial taking place in the Hague. A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are not prepared to negotiate on the principles of an Anglo-US offer made on August 24, for a trial in the Netherlands under Scottish law." He said London would be prepared to shed light on the technical and legal details of the trial but stressed that the overall framework was "non-negotiable". [BBC]
Saturday: 12 September, 1998: United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Friday met U.S. and British envoys to discuss a letter he received from Libya on surrendering for trial two suspects accused in the 1988 Pan Am airliner bombing, U.N. officials said. The letter, given to Annan by Libya's Foreign Minister Omar Mustafa al-Montasser, in Durban, South Africa, last week "sought clarifications on certain aspects of the U.S.-British proposal,'' that the two accused are transferred to a Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said. [Reuters]
Saturday: 12 September, 1998: Turkey and Libya have recalled their ambassadors in each other's capital for consultations after a group of Kurdish separatists took part in a parade marking the Libyan revolution in Tripoli, diplomats here said Friday. Turkish ambassador Mufit Ozdes walked out of a ceremony marking the 29th anniversary of the Libyan revolution on 1 September after he saw activists belonging to the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) taking part in a Libyan military parade, said a foreign ministry official. Before leaving for Ankara, Ozdes sent a note of protest to Libyan authorities. Shortly thereafter, Libya also recalled its ambassador in Ankara, Mansour Mohammad Badir, the Anatolia news agency said. The incident risks further straining the two countries' already tense relations. [AFP]
Saturday: 12 September, 1998: Five African countries belonging to the Community of Sahelian-Saharan States (COMESSA) on Friday despatched aircraft carrying humanitarian aid for Sudanese flood victims from Tripoli, in defiance of a UN air embargo on Libya imposed in 1992.The two aircraft loaded with tents, medicines and food flew to Dengla in northern Sudan, Libyan television reported. In June, the Organisation of African Unity recommended to its members to ignore the embargo from 1 September. Serious flooding has occurred in several regions of Sudan, in the north, west and centre. [AFP]
Friday: 11 September, 1998: Britain said on Friday it believed Libya had given its first "practical response'' to an offer by Britain and America on the trial of the suspects of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. A spokesman for the foreign office said the response had been made in a letter to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, but he did not know its contents. "We understand that something in writing has gone to thesecretary general's office,'' the spokesman said. Britain's Guardian newspaper said the letter contained requests for clarification of how the trial, which would be held in the Netherlands under Scottish law, would be conducted. [Reuters]
Friday: 11 September, 1998: Turkey has recalled its ambassador to Libya for consultations after a group linked to Kurdish separatists took part in a parade marking the Libyan revolution, diplomats in Ankara said Friday. Ambassador Mufit Ozdes walked out of a ceremony marking the 29th anniversary of the Libyan revolution after he saw activists belonging to the separatist Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) taking part in a Libyan military parade, said a foreign ministry official. Before leaving for Ankara, Ozdes sent a note of protest to Libyan authorities. [AFP]
Friday: 11 September, 1998: Libya on Thursday night for the first time showed television images of what it said was an assassination attempt in 1996 on Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi by an alleged British intelligence agent. The images were broadcast by the London-based Arab satellite television channel ANN during an interview live with al-Qadhafi from Tripoli, and monitored in Tunis. The pictures, with a commentary by al-Qadhafi himself, showed the Libyan leader being greeted by crowds at a people's rally in Wadi al-Shati, Libya, when a man threw what al-Qaddafi said was a hand grenade at him from less than three metres (yards). [Reuters]
Friday: 11 September, 1998: The expected announcement that Libya had agreed to a resumption of the live cattle trade with Ireland failed to materialise yesterday. However, a Department of Agriculture spokesman said there was "increasing optimism" that the announcement would be made this week. [Irish Times]
Friday: 11 September, 1998: Gambian President Yahya Jammeh arrived in Tripoli by plane on Wednesday, violating the air embargo imposed on Libya six years ago, the Libyan official JANA news agency reported. Jammeh is in Libya for celebrations marking the 29th anniversary of the Libyan revolution. The Gambian president's arrival, following on the heels of six other African leaders, reflects the implementation of "Africa's courageous decision during the Ouagadougou summit to no longer respect as of September 1 the unjust measures imposed on Libya," JANA said. [AFP]
Thursday: 10 September, 1998: A United Arab Emirates (UAE) newspaper called on Arab countries Wednesday to follow the lead of African heads of state and break the UN air traffic embargo on Libya. "It's not too late. Arab states can still follow the example of African countries and start to break the embargo on Libya and its people without awaiting a decision from Washington or the UN Security Council," Al-Khaleej said. [AFP]
Thursday: 10 September, 1998: Italy's foreign minister said on Wednesday he was prepared to speak to Britain and the United States about the terms under which two Libyans suspected of bombing a U.S. airliner would be tried in the Netherlands. Lamberto Dini told reporters in Cairo that Italy had told Libya it was vital to hand over the alleged bombers ``after obtaining clarification that will provide the necessary guarantees of the security of these people and the follow-up of the trial.'' [Reuters]
Tuesday: 8 September, 1998: Britain on Monday dismissed complaints by Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi about a plan to try the two suspected Lockerbie bombers in the Netherlands, saying he was wrong to suggest they could be extradited afterwards. Al-Qadhafi said on Saturday that Libya was not committed to what he said was an Anglo-Dutch agreement to hand over the suspects to Britain once the trial was over. But a British Foreign Office spokesman denied there was any such agreement and urged Qadhafi and his legal experts to closely study the U.S.-British plans for trying the two men before a special court of three Scottish judges. [Reuters]
Tuesday: 8 September, 1998: Arab League Secretary General Esmat Abdel Meguid on Monday said he fully supported Libyan demands for "guarantees" for two suspects in the Lockerbie bombing. After separate talks in Cairo with the US and Russian ambassadors. The Arab League chief said he "informed" US ambassador Daniel Kurtzer that "America must respond to the Libyan requests to take steps and make preparations and guarantees for the trial of the suspects." Abdel Meguid stressed that the Libyan position was "legitimate." [AFP]
Tuesday: 8 September, 1998: Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo later this month will discuss Libya's request for guarantees for two men wanted in connection with the bombing of a U.S. airliner over Lockerbie, an Arab diplomat said on Sunday. The diplomat, who declined to be named, told Reuters the Cairo-based Arab League was willing to mediate between Libya and Britain and the United States, who want Tripoli to immediately hand over the suspects for trial in the Netherlands. [Reuters]
Monday: 7 September, 1998: Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki flew into Tripoli Sunday, the fifth African head of state to defy the UN air embargo against Libya in two days, the official JANA news agency reported. Afeworki arrived for continuing celebrations in honour of the 29th anniversary of the Libyan revolution and the coming to power of Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on 1 September, 1969. [AFP]
Monday: 7 September, 1998: Thousands of civilians paraded with rifles through the Libyan capital Tripoli late Saturday to mark the 29th anniversary of Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's seizure of power. Men and women in ordinary clothes or working gear were shown by state television marching past Qadhafi on a saluting base, as watching crowds shouted slogans attacking the United States and Britain. [AFP ]
Monday: 7 September, 1998: Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi said late Saturday he feared duplicity by the United States or Britain with regard to the two Libyans suspected of involvement in the Lockerbie airliner bombing. Speaking at ceremonies marking the 29th anniversary of his seizure of power, al-Qadhafi accused Washington and London of planning to kidnap the pair when they arrived for their planned trial in the Netherlands. [AFP]
Monday: 7 September, 1998: Four African heads of state violated the air embargo against Libya and arrived here Saturday to participate in ceremonies marking the 29th anniversary of the Libyan revolution. The presidents of Niger (Ibrahim Bare Mainassara), Chad (Idris Deby), Mali (Alpha Umar Konare) and Sudan (Omar el-Beshir) arrived for the celebrations in defiance of a UN embargo on international flights in and out of Libya. The arrivals of the heads of state, which were carried live on Libyan television, come following a resolution by members of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to no longer honour the embargo against Tripoli as of September 1. [AFP]
Saturday: 5 September, 1998: Libya reiterated on Friday that it wanted to negotiate with the United States, Britain and the Netherlands on details of the proposed trial of two Libyan suspects accused of the Lockerbie bombing. The official Libyan news agency JANA, received in Tunis, quoted a Libyan foreign ministry source as saying that the negotiations could be direct or through any other partry. [Reuters]
Saturday: 5 September, 1998: The lawyer for two Libyan suspects in the Lockerbie bombing insisted Thursday on guarantees that the pair will not be kidnapped or expelled if they are sent to the Netherlands for trial. Ibrahim Legwell told AFP he was demanding a "guarantee that the two suspects will not be abducted or deported to another country" once they go to the Netherlands for trial. [AFP ]
Saturday: 5 September, 1998: The 113-nation Non-Aligned Movement on Thursday urged the United States and Britain to reverse their rejection of talks with Libya and negotiate details of the trial of two suspects in the 1988 Lockerbie airlinr bombing. [Reuters]
Thursday, 3 September, 1998: The Libyan lawyer of the two suspects accused of the Lockerbie bombing says that if convicted, the men should serve their time in Libya and not in Scotland as originally planned. Dr Ibrahim Legwell [pictured] also said he wanted further guarantees than those outlined in a plan endorsed by the UN Security Council. Speaking to reporters in his office in Tripoli, Dr Legwell said the legal team that will represent the suspects had not yet been assembled or come to a decision on the plan. But he said that he wanted more safeguards for the suspects, who are currently under house arrest in Tripoli. [BBC ]

Wednesday, 2 September, 1998: The United States Senate on Tuesday called on Libya to transfer two Libyan suspects in the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing promptly to the Netherlands so they can stand trial before Scottish judges there. In a resolution approved as part of the 1999 foreign aid budget, the Senate supported the Clinton administration's decision not to negotiate with Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on the details of the proposal. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 2 September, 1998: Switzerland has urged Libya to accept U.S. and British demands to hand over two Libyan suspects for trial in the Netherlands in connection with the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, the Swiss Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. Ministry officials relayed the message to the Libyan charge d'affaires in Switzerland on Monday, according to an official statement. [Reuters]
Wednesday, 2 September, 1998: A Sudan Airways plane flew into Tripoli on Tuesday in violation of a UN air embargo on flights to Libya, the official Libyan news agency JANA said. The news agency said the plane violated the flight embargo "in line with a resolution of the Organization of African Unity (OAU)," which called on its members at a summit in June to ignore UN sanctions on Libya as of 1 September. The aircraft was carrying a Sudanese delegation to attend celebrations marking the 29th anniversary of the 1 September , 1969 "revolution" which brought Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to power, JANA said. [AFP]
Wednesday, 2 September, 1998: The Arab League will send a delegation to Libya Wednesday to hold talks on the stalled Lockerbie-bombing trial deal, the League's Libyan representative, Salma Rashed, said Tuesday. An Arab diplomatic official said the trip was part of Arab League secretary general Esmat Abdel Meguid's "efforts to find a quick solution to the affair." Rashed said the delegation will hold talks in Tripoli Thursday on a "formula" for a Lockerbie trial to be submitted to the pan-Arab organization's 22 foreign ministers during their September 16 and 17 meeting in Cairo. [AFP]
Tuesday, 1 September, 1998: Russia backs Libyan demands for "guarantees" for the trial in the Netherlands of two Libyan suspects in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, Russian ambassador Vladimir Gudev said Monday. "Russia supports the Libyan and Arab demands for guarantees and details concerning the suspects' trial," Gudev told reporters after talks with Arab League secretary general Esmat Abdel Meguid. "The guarantees are important and necessary," he said. He said that "Russia was pushing the United States and Britain hard to move ahead" on providing more information about the judicial procedures. [AFP]
Tuesday, 1 September, 1998: A senior Libyan official on Monday denounced the US-British offer to hold a trial of two Libyan suspects in the Lockerbie bombing in The Hague and said it was aimed at delaying a lifting of an air embargo imposed on Tripoli. The official described the proposal by Britain and the United States as a "lie" and said it was designed to "evade" resolutions of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on unilaterally lifting the UN air embargo on September 1. [AFP]
Tuesday, 1 September, 1998: Libya on Monday officially demanded that London authorize a Libyan judge to question former foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind about an alleged attempt to assassinate Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi in 1996. The director for European affairs at the Libyan foreign minister handed an official statement demanding the authorization to the Charge d'Affaires of Italy, whose country represents British interests in Libya. An official in Tripoli said the Libyan authorities want to question Rifkind about "his approval of a plan by the (British) spy service MI6 to assassinate the leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi as revealed by former British intelligence officer David Shayler." [AFP]

Tuesday, 1 September, 1998:
Today marks the 29th anniversary of the Libyan revolution. On the first day of September 1969, a group of Libyan army officers [pictured] members of the Free Unitary Officers "al-Thubat al-Wahdawiyeen al-Ahrar" movement overthrew the government of king Mohammed "Idris" al-Sanousi in a bloodless revolution and established the Libyan Arab Republic. For more details, please click here

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