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.

 

UN Security Council warns against holding Iraqi Kurd vote

Barzani delays Kurdish independence vote announcement

Iran defies US, tests missile

Yemen leader promises UN to open entire country to aid

Saudi Arabia marks national day with fireworks, concerts

Turkey warns of 'security' steps in response to Iraqi Kurd vote

Syria's war off the radar at UN assembly

For many Iraqis, tradition trumps police

Darfur clashes kill 3 as Bashir urges reconciliation

Saudi cleric banned for saying women have ‘quarter’ brain

Veteran Syrian activist, daughter assassinated in Istanbul

Tunisia drops forced anal exams for homosexuality

Bomb used in Saudi-led strike on Yemen children US-made

Syria Kurds vote to cement federal push

Police charge teenager over London Underground attack

Nigerian official to meet Turkish counterpart over illegal guns

Thousands feared trapped in Raqa as IS mounts last stand

Iraqi forces achieve first step in new offensive on IS

Migrant boat sinks off Turkish Black Sea coast leaving four dead, 20 missing

Trump praises 'friend' Erdogan

Rouhani vows Iran will boost missiles despite US criticism

Russia clashes with EU over Syria

UN sets up probe of IS war crimes in Iraq

US, Iranian top diplomats confront each other for first time

Air strikes kill 22 civilians in northwest Syria in 48 hours

Iranian supreme leader lashes out at Trump UN speech

Thousands of Huthi supporters mark 3 years since Sanaa takeover

Iraq attacks all remaining IS territory at once

Moscow accuses US of hitting Syrian regime forces

Turkey jails lawyers representing hunger striking teachers

Turkey, Iran and Iraq make joint threat against Kurd vote

Syrian Kurds to hold first local elections in federal push

Qatari expats lauded as statesmen by Arab critics

Shipwreck off Libyan coast leaves over 100 migrants missing

Will Turkey’s opposition to Kurdish state translate into action?

US ups the ante on Iraq Kurds

Macron: Iran nuclear deal no longer enough

Trump’s mind made up on Iran but refuses to divulge

Scores of Iraqis missing during war against ISIS

Netanyahu rejects calls for mixed gender worship at Western Wall

Russia accuses US of missile treaty breach

Iran TV translator mocked for watering down Trump speech

Saudi Arabia hopes Kurdish referendum will not take place

Saudi invites women to sports stadium for first time

Saudi set to create $2.7 billion investment company