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.

 

Gunman kills prominent writer on steps of courthouse in Jordan

Campaigning for parliamentary polls begins in Morocco

EU mission to train Libya coastguard faces delay

Petrofac to resume work in Tunisia after labour dispute

Saudi Arabia reportedly doubts oil output deal

Mosul offensive to start in ‘next few weeks’

New wave of air strikes pummels Aleppo

US, Russia trade blame for collapse of ceasefire in Syria

Hadi vows to ‘extract Yemen from claws of Iran’

Obama vetoes bill allowing 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia

Morocco asks to rejoin African Union

Air raids pound rebel-held Aleppo

Turkey arrests prominent writer brothers

Egypt shipwreck death toll rises to 133

Gulen says will return to Turkey if US backs extradition

Occupation troops shoot, wound Palestinian with knife

UN eyes alternate aid delivery route for Syria's Aleppo

Iran condemns Saudi strikes in Yemen

Turkey's Erdogan says US arming Syrian Kurds

Obama to block Saudi 9/11 prosecution

Oil prices ease as focus shifts to producers' meeting

Opposition 'minister' among 12 dead in Syria car bomb

'13 dead' in clashes with IS in Libya's Sirte

20 civilians killed in Yemen rebel port raid

Turkish border town hit by rocket fired from Syria

Syria's White Helmets win Swedish human rights prize

UN pleads with Assad over food aid stuck at Syria border

Rouhani jabs USA over nuclear deal in UN address

Dozens more feared dead in Egypt boat tragedy

US breaks 'taboo' on Iran trade, banking

Kuwait MP gets new jail term for insulting Gulf rulers

Kuwait MPs demand urgent debate on petrol price hike

Dozens of rebels leave Homs under deal with Assad regime

Push for Iraq's Mosul faces myriad challenges

US drone strike kills 3 Qaeda suspects in Yemen

UN hopes Syria talks can resume in a 'few weeks'

Iraq forces recapture northern town from ISIS

Greece rejects asylum claim of Turkish 'coup' officer

Raids set rebel areas of Syria's Aleppo ablaze

Yemen rebels accuse detained American of spying

Israel arrests 35 Palestinians in raids

Bahrain court upholds dissolution of main Shiite opposition group

Turkey frees top journalist, arrests academic brother in coup probe

Kerry, Lavrov discuss Syria in New York

Jewish settlers make last stand on Palestinian hill