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Include Libyan Americans on any negotiation between the U.S. and Libya

Dear Ibrahim:

With the recent surge of interest of Libyan-Americans and their desire to serve Libya and its long-suffering people, I thought of posting this letter on the web page. I have already mailed it to the U.S. State Department about two months ago. I thought others might wish to do the same. It can be modified according to your taste.

The United States and Libya have always enjoyed cordial relationship in the past until the military coup on September 1, 1969. Following the military takeover in Libya, the situation in Libya soon deteriorated, conditions that resulted in unprecedented mass migration of intellectuals and businessmen. The estimates range from 60,000-70,000 individuals; it is worth noting that Libya's population at the time of the military coup was about 5 million. The speedy exodus has no parallel even in Libya's darkest hours under Italian colonialism.

Gaddafi's rule of 30 years is marked with killings of many innocent people and the destruction of all institutions deemed necessary to any civilized society. Besides the destruction to the infra-structure of Libyan society, Gaddafi abolished the constitution and ruled by decree. Gaddafi's decrees were enforced by mercenaries and local thugs, armed with all kinds of weaponry. The division of the international community between eastern and western camps enabled Gaddafi to seek military and moral support from the now-defunct Soviet Union. The collapse of the Soviet block and the emergence of the United States as the only credible superpower has changed the international environment. This change did not go unnoticed by Gaddafi, this is one of the reasons that prompted him to hand over the two suspects in the Pan Am tragedy. The Pan Am tragedy led to the sanctions against Libya, with the Libyan people paying a heavy price for Gaddafi's misdeeds. Gaddafi's position was actually strengthened as a result of the sanctions, as he absolved himself totally of all responsibilities for Libya's ills and blamed the U.S. administration. The recent NATO war against Yugoslavia has proven to Gaddafi that he can no longer rely on Russia's aid. Bearing this change in mind, Gaddafi is now seeking rapprochement with the U.S. administration.

Many of the Libyans who sought shelter and asylum in the United States have since become United States citizens. Many are watching the developments in their place of birth and feeling the agony and pain of their relatives who were left behind. The recent developments in the international environment and the desperate predicament that Gaddafi has placed himself in, is seen as an opportunity that should be utilized to extract major concessions and to institute major reforms in Libya. We request that our government exercises its unique leadership position to bring about the long-awaited reforms in Libya.

Since Libyan Americans have a unique expertise with both Libya and the United States, they can serve as a bridge for constructive dialogue between the country of their birth and the country of their choice. We offer our expertise to promote the best interests of both nations. We strongly urge that our administration include contingent of Libyan Americans in any future negotiations with Libya. There are many capable members of our Libyan-American community who could significantly enrich any negotiating U.S. team. We offer our services in order to restore the friendly ties that have always existed between the two nations. Those ties should not be held hostage to Gaddafi's erratic and mercurial disposition. Also, we strongly urge the inclusion of the following items in any future U.S.- Libya negotiations.
1.   Declare a legitimate form of government and accept accountability
      commensurate of other legitimate governments. For Gaddafi to declare that
      there is no government in Libya is simply is unacceptable.
2.   Respect for the human rights of Libyans, and that includes the rule of law and
      a declared constitution.
3.   Release of all political prisoners.
4.   Enact a constitution and declare law and order as the substitute for his
      individual rule.
5.   Rebuilding of the academic, health, social, and economic institutions of the
      country.
6.   Trial of all those accused of murders, no one should be exempt from justice
      and the rule of law.
7.   Open Libya's markets and resources to benefit Libya and the international
      community.
8.   Return all looted properties to its rightful owners.
9.   Declare his respect and adherence to international norms of civil behavior.
10. Ensure safety of all Libyan Americans wishing to visit relatives in Libya.

Sincerely,

Mubarak El-Werfalli

To all Libyan-Americans:
This letter could be modified, completely altered, but whatever final form you choose, you should send it to the U.S State Department, all members of the Congressional Subcommittee on Africa, all members of the Foreign Relations Committee in Congress, and any others that you think are appropriate. You can obtain the addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mails from your State representatives or other Libyan American friends. Maybe, somebody with such information, could post on this web site for all to use.

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