Tuesday, May 16, 2006
The U.S. has announced full diplomatic relations will be restored with Libya and the country removed from the list of nations the U.S. considers to be state sponsors of terrorism following a 45-day open comment period.
Renewal of diplomatic relations between the two states comes after extended diplomatic efforts by both parties to end the 25-year break.
“It is a result of mutual interests, agreements and understandings,” said Abdurrahman Shalgham, Libyan’s Foreign Minister.
“We are taking these actions in recognition of Libya’s continued commitment to its renunciation of terrorism and the excellent cooperation Libya has provided to the United States and other members of the international community in response to common global threats faced by the civilized world since September 11, 2001,” said Condoleezza Rice, the United States Secretary of State.
Diplomatic ties were strained between the countries following the rise to power of Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi in 1969, and U.S. economic sanctions against the country beginning in the 1970s. They were severed following the U.S. removal of diplomatic personnel from Libya in 1979 after a mob set fire to the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, and the U.S. closing the Libyan embassy and expelling Libyan diplomats in 1981.
The UN removed international economic sanctions in 1999, following Libya’s acceptance of UN Security Council Resolutions regarding Pan Am Flight 103. In 2003 Libya announced efforts to dismantle military programs to develop weapons of mass destruction as well, which led directly to diplomatic negotiations with the U.S. and the opening of a diplomatic liaison office in Tripoli in 2004.