First Published: 2006-07-13

 
US lifts air sanctions on Libya
 

Lifting of sanctions on Libyan air transport is latest sign of warming ties between Tripoli and Washington.

 

Middle East Online

By Afaf Geblawi - TRIPOLI

Libya makes a strong return to the international fold

The United States has lifted sanctions on Libyan air transport, an official in Tripoli said on Wednesday, the latest sign of warming ties between the two former foes.

The move was announced during a high-level US visit to Tripoli headed by senior State Department official Paula Dobriansky, who held talks with Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmudi.

"Mrs Dobriansky announced during this meeting that her country had lifted all air transport restrictions imposed on Libya, including the sale of aircraft," the official said.

The announcement came two weeks after Libya was formally removed from a US list of state sponsors of terrorism, marking another step in its return to the international fold after years of isolation as a pariah state.

On May 15, the United States also renewed diplomatic ties with Libya, ending a 25-year battle with Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, whom it says has renounced terrorism.

The lifting of US economic sanctions on Libya opened a new era in relations - especially since the Libyan government selected US oil companies Occidental, Chevron and Amerada Hess in January 2005 to prospect for Libyan oil and modernize its oil facilities. Libya has Africa's biggest oil reserves.

Dobriansky, who also met other Libyan officials, said that the United States was ready to cooperate with Libyan companies in other economic and trade fields as well as health and training.

Her mission, which began Tuesday, was aimed at seeking cooperation with the north African state in health, science, technology, oceanic issues and the environment, the State Department said.

Washington severed ties with Libya in 1981 and began imposing sanctions, two years after radical students ransacked the US embassy in Tripoli.

An alleged Libyan-backed attack on a Berlin disco popular with Americans in 1986 spurred the United States to launch air raids against Tripoli, killing 41 people.

Libya in 2003 accepted responsibility for the bombing of a US Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988 that killed 270 people, and agreed to pay families of victims 10 million dollars each in compensation.

Late last month, Washington called on the Libyan government to honour its commitment by paying the final two million dollars of each settlement.

 

US-led coalition warplanes hit IS near Syria's Al-Bab

Tunisia facing mounting calls against jail-for-joint law

Iraq forces 'liberate' eastern Mosul

Iran's oldest high-rise building on fire collapses

Syria war forces elderly to take shelter in retirement homes

IMF says Egypt on track for next aid tranche

Bahrain police disperse Shiite protesters

Key Syria rebel group opts out of Astana peace talks

Moroccan Sufi ‘living master’ dies at 95

France says Iraqi jihadist among 2015 stadium bombers

Russia, Turkey stage first joint air strikes against IS in Syria

IS advances on terrified citizens of Syria’s Deir Ezzor

In path to greater executive power, Erdogan faces weak Turkey economy

Switzerland drops war crimes case against former Algerian defence minister

Patience wears thin in Iraq's Fallujah

New UN chief stresses importance of Syria peace talks

Istanbul nightclub attacker 'received orders from IS'

Turkish border officials refuse entry to NYT reporter

Fatah, Hamas agree to form unity government

Snowden’s stay in Russia extended by two years

Palestinian home demolitions spark deadly violence

East Syria clashes continue between IS, regime forces

Syrian general, 8 soldiers killed in tunnel blast

Florida airport shooter ‘inspired’ by IS jiahdists

Iran opposes US joining Syria talks

Turkey snubs UN hearing on detained Rwanda genocide judge

Rouhani calls for end to Saudi ‘interference’ across region

Saudi says China rise source of global stability not conflict

Lengthy drought leaves Somalia with serious famine risk

Gunman found in comfy Istanbul flat

Iran, Syria sign phone, petrol deals in Tehran

Jordan charges 8 with inciting opposition against regime

Iranian president rules out renegotiating nuclear deal

Turkey prosecutors demand up to 142 years in jail for Kurd leader

180 dead after boat capsizes in Mediterranean

Saudi carries out first death sentence of 2017

Libyan granted right to sue UK ex-minister for rendition

Syria regime, rebels name heads of delegation for Astana talks

Istanbul nightclub attacker captured

Syria troops, IS jihadists battle on in Deir Ezzor

Israel occupation forces rearrest Palestinian journalist

Russian FM says Syria peace talks to ‘consolidate’ ceasefire

Amnesty warns EU's anti-terror laws threaten human rights

Saudi health emergency after mass food poisoning

Darfur rebel groups rebuilding their forces in Libya, South Sudan