EXTERNAL AFFAIRS Foreign Policy Overview Multilateral Relations African Union (AU) Arab League Arab-Maghreb Union (AMU) Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) European Union (EU) Relations with Algeria Relations with Chad Relations with Egypt Relations with Israel Relations with Italy Relations with Malta Relations with Niger Relations with Sudan Relations with Tunisia Relations with the US Relations with Zimbabwe Trade and External Assistance Exports Imports External Assistance Historical Background Independence and the royalist period The rise of Ghadaffi Support for Terrorism and international isolation Ghadaffi in Africa Rehabilitating Libyas international relations Weapons of Mass DestructionForeign Policy Overview TOPEurope: Regardless of Ghadaffis anti-Western rhetoric, Libyas proximity to Europe andsouthern Europes reliance on Libyan oil supplies has meant that Tripoli has generally beenable to maintain stable relations with a number of European countries, such as Italy andMalta, which stood by Libya even during the period that it was under international embargo.Indeed, Libya has traditionally viewed Italy and Malta as its closest neighbours and as itsgateways into Europe. Following the suspension of UN sanctions in April 1999, many otherEuropean countries, including France, the UK and Germany moved to consolidate theirrelations with Tripoli and to take advantage of the new opportunities on offer in Libyasenergy sector in particular. Ghadaffi has welcomed them with open arms and, since the liftingof sanctions, has taken advantage of the new climate to host a number of European heads ofstate in Tripoli. While the Libyan leader remains somewhat wary of possible Europeanattempts to pressurise Libya to reform, improving relations between Libya and Europe looksset to continue. However, these relations continue to be hampered somewhat by the case ofthe Bulgarian and Palestinian medics who were sentenced to death for deliberately infecting
over 400 children in a Benghazi hospital with the HIV virus, although this is having a greaterimpact on Libyan-European Union relations rather than on bilateral relationships.United States: For Libya the most important goal at the moment is to repair fully its relationswith the US, as this will enable it to reintegrate completely into the international communityand will also provide the necessary investment and technical know-how to enable Libya toupgrade its energy sector. There remains a deep suspicion on both sides as a result of theyears of antagonism between Ghadaffi and successive US administrations. The US continuesto have concerns about Libyas support for terrorism and the recent allegations that Ghadaffiwas behind a plot to assassinate the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and that he has beensupporting rebels in Mauritania have done little to ease these anxieties, although both casesappear to have been smoothed over. It seems to be in the interests of both sides to make theresumption of relations a success and although Ghadaffi, largely for a domestic or Arabaudience, is likely to continue to lambast the US publicly, he will do his utmost to keep onimproving relations.Arab World: Libyas warming of ties with the West and its decision to abandon WMD at theend of 2003 did further damage to its already deteriorating relations with the rest of the Arabworld. Frustrated by the lack of support he was given by Arab governments while Libya wasunder sanctions, Ghadaffi has increasingly come to express his anger with the Arabs and withthe Arab League and certain pro-Western Arab states, such as Saudi Arabia, in particular.Ironically, it was Ghadaffis abandoning of WMD that brought him open condemnation fromsome of the Arab worlds less confrontational regimes, which accused him of selling out to theWest. While Ghadaffi may be furious at what he sees as a betrayal of the Arab nationalistcause, the Arab world is too important for Libya to simply abandon and as such Tripoli islikely to continue to build bridges where it can. It is strengthening ties with Qatar and theUnited Arab Emirates, for example, and for the most part Ghadaffi retains good relations withthe other countries of North Africa, and with Tunisia and Egypt in particular.Africa: Ghadaffis frustration with the Arab world since the end of the 1990s has led him toemphasise the African dimensions of his foreign policy. Africa has always been an importantcontinent for Libya, which shares its southern borders with two non-Arab states and haspursued sporadic "revolutionary" expansionism in West Africa for a quarter century. Ghadaffihas thus shifted to promoting a pan-African rather than pan-Arab vision since the late 1990s.He has championed the African Union (AU) and various other regional African bodies, suchas the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) and has promoted himself as conflictmediator on the continent. Despite the high ideals, however, Ghadaffi has basically used hiscountrys wealth to buy political influence in a number of African countries as well asdiplomatic support in the UN. One result of this policy has been that scores of Sahelian andWest African immigrants have moved into urban Libya, something that has proved extremelyunpopular with the Libyan population. Ghadaffis radical plans for the AU have also beenincreasingly frustrated as South Africa has re-engaged with the whole continent and played amore consistent and pragmatic role in shaping the Unions fledgling institutions.While Libya is likely to continue to maintain good relations with African states and to try tomend fences with the Arab world, the resumption of relations with the West, and with the USin particular, will remain top of Libyas foreign policy agenda for the foreseeable future.Multilateral Relations TOPAfrican Union (AU) TOP
Although Ghadaffi originally saw Libya as an integral part of the Arab world, the other Arabstates did little to help lift the sanctions imposed on Libya during the 1990s. Ghadafficonsequently eschewed the Arab world in favour of closer relations with other African states.Although such states have little international weight individually, between 1998 and 2002,Libya quickly gained significant influence in many countries with the intention of developinga bloc vote of African states supportive of Libya in international fora in order to lessen itsisolation.The culmination of this policy was the founding of the African Union in mid-2002. Based onthe EU, this body superseded the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and aimed to unifythe continents economic and security policies. In Ghadaffis anti-imperialist vision, the AUshould go further and engender a unified continental polity and a single African army,preferably based in Libya. While not strictly a Ghadaffi initiative, the AU relied on the Libyanleaders determination and financial support to become a reality. Much of the initial andsubsequent planning made use of the diplomatic facilities in Sirte, as was the case for thelatest AU summit in July 2005, although the Union remains based in the old OAU facilities inAddis Ababa and has resisted inducements to relocate institutions to Libya. South Africa, aLibyan ally and the other driving force behind the AU, has tended to eclipse more radicalLibyan initiatives with its more moderate position.Ghadaffi has thus positioned himself as one of the principal statesmen of Africa - certainly theleading Arab proponent of pan-Africanism - and is frequently consulted by many otherAfrican leaders. While he has used this prestige to broker peace agreements for some of thecontinents civil wars, there have all too often been allegations that his regime had a hand inspurring on such conflicts in order to broker a settlement dependent on or favourable toTripoli. Ghadaffis support for Tuareg and Toubou rebels in northern Mali, Niger and Chad,and the subsequent Libyan mediation to help end the insurgencies, increased his influence inthese Saharan states. Military and/or economic support for the governments of the CentralAfrican Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda, Liberia, Togo,Comoros and Burkina Faso. Significant financial support for President Mugabes regime inZimbabwe has also established another Libyan ally in southern Africa, although it has notbeen without strings attached.Arab League TOPDespite Ghadaffis shift of focus from an Arab to African orientation in the late 1990s,Ghadaffi toured the Middle East in 2000. Although probably on cordial terms with many Arableaders, it no longer appears that Ghadaffi believes in the pan-Arab cause and his boycottingof an emergency Arab League summit in October 2000 suggested he has little faith in theorganisations ability to make a difference. He even suggested that Libya should withdrawfrom the Arab League, which he described as a joke, in his March 2002 speech marking the25th anniversary of the establishment of the Libyan Jamahiriya. In the same speech he alsocondemned plans for a separate Palestinian state, which he said would be like "two mensharing the same pair of trousers". Instead, he has proposed the establishment of a unifiedIsraeli-Palestinian state.In May 2004, Ghadaffi staged a melodramatic walk out of the Arab League summit held inTunis, condemning it as worthless. He took the opportunity to lambaste the Arabs for theirinability to solve the Palestinian issue, as well as their failure to act to help Yasser Arafat andSaddam Hussein. Despite asserting in September 2004 that the Arab League was "finished",the Libyan leader is likely to maintain a presence within the organisation as it is too importantto withdraw from completely. Moreover, as a result of the gradual improvement in Libyan-
Saudi relations that has followed the coming to the throne of King Abdullah, Ghadaffi appearsmore willing to become actively engaged with the Arab League once again. However theorganisation reportedly threatened to expel Libya in 2005 as it has not been paying its feesand is believed to have debts in the region of USD40 million.Arab-Maghreb Union (AMU) TOPThe AMU (Union du Maghreb Arabe) was formed in Marrakech by the five NorthwestAfrican states (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) in February 1989 during arare period of rapprochement between regional rivals Algeria and Morocco. Its original intentwas to promote political unity and an economic common position from which to approach theconsolidating states of the European Community/Union. However, the increasing isolation ofthe Libyan leadership and the re-emergence of antagonism between Algeria and Moroccoover the Western Sahara effectively froze the fledgling institutions from 1995.In May 1999, officials from the five countries met in Algiers to try and revive theorganisation. Discussions covered the possibility of a single common market embracing theregion and even a common currency. However, with tensions remaining high over WesternSahara and a range of trade issues having been negotiated with Europe during the 1990s, theRabat-based AMU has yet to establish any significant degree of unity among the Maghrebianstates, let alone the envisaged political union.While Libya has at times been more committed to the Union than other regional states, itscommitment is typically erratic and has been sidelined by wider events, as in December 2003,when Tripoli deferred initiating its planned presidency of the AMU until after it had launchedits weapons decommissioning programme. Despite Foreign Minister Abd el-Rahman Shalgamcalling for a more pro-active AMU in July 2004 and February 2005, in September 2004Ghadaffi treated the institution to language similar to that normally directed at the ArabLeague. He commented, "We currently head the Arab Maghreb Union and I can tell you, asits President, that it is nothing. It has nothing economic, political, social, diplomatic, or anyprocedures - not even minimum co-ordination on anything. Its mere ink on paper."Despite this outburst, in May 2005 Ghadaffi tried once again to kick start the organisation byholding the first AMU summit in 11 years in Tripoli. However, the summit was cancelled atthe last moment due to ongoing differences between the Moroccan and Algerian parties,dashing the Libyan leaders hopes of successfully bringing all the nations of the Maghrebtogether.Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) TOPRepresentatives from eight Sahelian and Saharan African states met in Algiers in August 1995to formulate a common policy to improve economic co-operation and improve security in theregion. Apart from Libya, delegates also came from Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Libya,Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal. This Community of Sahel-Saharan States (known asCEN-SAD) was subsequently founded by Libya, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Chad and Sudan.It has since expanded to take in most states of North Africa (excluding Algeria andMauritania) and Muslim West Africa (Benin, The Gambia, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo) aswell as the Horn (Djibouti, Eritrea and Somalia) and the CAR. It has to a considerable extentbeen guided by Ghadaffis own priorities and funding allocations and, despite developingformal institutions in Tripoli, has few clear objectives or achievements. The organisation was,for example, temporarily used as the mandated cover for Libyan troops remaining in the CARthrough 2002 as a peace support force with Sudanese and Djiboutian assistance. In May 2004,
Ghadaffi suggested that CEN-SAD be used to resolve the conflict in western Sudan, and madeit clear that Africa should be left to resolve its own internal problems.At the CEN-SAD summit of May 2005 Ghadaffi reiterated his warning that foreignintervention in Africas conflicts would be like "adding fuel to the fire." He also defended theidea of Presidency for life commenting that once a President is chosen by the people heshould hold office forever.European Union (EU) TOPSanctions and Arms EmbargoLibya has had its own particular problems with various European states. In the 1970s and1980s Libya was a major supplier of arms and funds to terrorist organisations in Spain (ETA),Germany (RAF) and the UK (Irish Republicans). Following the murder of an unarmed Britishpolicewoman by members of the Peoples Bureau in London in 1984, the UK severed alldiplomatic relations with Libya. Unclaimed attacks on airliners flying to and from France andthe UK in 1988-89 by Libyan agents heightened the fear of Ghadaffi.However, several core European states - especially France, Germany and Italy - have longdepended heavily on Libyan oil and gas exports and powerful economic interest groupslobbied their governments to argue against the UN sanctions of the 1990s. The EU dulyannounced in September 1999 that, in line with the decision taken by the UN in April, itwould lift sanctions against Libya covering air links, the work of Libyan diplomats abroadand the sale of some equipment for its oil industry, but would retain an arms embargo. TheUK government has also been effectively lobbied by British firms in the oil, defence,aerospace and construction sectors to re-engage with Libya and in 2003 it was the Blairgovernment that led the UN Security Council to repeal sanctions and acted as the crucial linkbetween Tripoli and Washington in negotiating an end to Libyas unconventional weaponsprogramme.The arms embargo remained in place into 2004 and is thought to have been discussed whenGhadaffi met with Commission President Romano Prodi in Brussels in April. Within thecontext of normalising relations, Italy lobbied hard within the EU for the sanctions to belifted. This is because the embargo prohibited the sale of equipment to Libya that would helpit better patrol its borders in the struggle to prevent illegal immigrants from using Libya as abase from which to reach Southern Europe. At the end of September 2004, the EU reached aconsensus and agreed to lift the remaining sanctions and to ease the arms embargo. One of thereasons such a deal had become possible was that the ongoing dispute between Libya andGermany over compensation payments for the victims of the Berlin La Belle disco bombingsof 1986 was resolved. Agreement was finally reached in August with Tripoli, represented bySeif el-Islam Ghadaffi, agreeing to pay more than USD35 million to more than 150 non-American victims of the attacks.Euro-Mediterranean PartnershipLibya has yet to join the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (also known as the BarcelonaProcess). European and Mediterranean foreign ministers had promised Libya in April 1999that it would be given full membership of this co-operation programme for southernMediterranean states once all UN sanctions were lifted. This ambitious EU initiative isdesigned to strengthen ties between EU members and southern Mediterranean countries andaims to create a free trade zone throughout the Mediterranean region by 2010. Libyan
representatives attended some meetings of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership as observersbefore then. Full Libyan membership is dependent on written guarantees pledging to upholdhuman rights, democracy, regional stability and free trade and despite having been invited tojoin, Libya has always refused to sign up on the pretext that it would not join a process inwhich two of the parties (Israel and the Palestinian Authority) were at war.The Libyan Foreign Affairs Secretary, General Peoples Secretary (prime minister) and Seifel-Islam Ghadaffi are all reportedly keen for Libya to join the partnership, but Ghadaffihimself still has reservations. In any case, there is unlikely to be any progress on this frontuntil the case of the Bulgarian medics sentenced to death on charges of deliberately infectingover 400 children in a Benghazi hospital with the HIV virus is resolved. In fact, this issueremains a major obstacle to the full normalisation of relations between the EU and Libya,although on a bilateral level many European governments do not appear to be letting thiscrisis get in the way of improving relations. The medics appeal verdict that was due to bedelivered at the end of May 2005 was postponed until November. The delay appears to signalthat some sort of compromise deal is being worked out. The Libyans are keen for theBulgarians to pay compensation to the families of the children who were infected in return fortheir being released. The Bulgarian government initially rejected this offer claiming that itwould be tantamount to admitting guilt. However in view of the regimes intransigence on theissue, it seems that some compromise might be reached. The case is difficult for the Libyanregime because of the intense public anger it has provoked. The families of the victims haveindicated that nothing short of the sentences being carried out would be sufficient to satisfythem. However, this clearly would remain an impediment to the full restoration of relationswith the European Union.In November 2005, whilst attending the Euro-Mediterranean summit in Barcelona in hiscapacity as a permanent observer, Libyan Foreign Affairs Secretary Abd el-Rahman Shalgamannounced that the death sentences against the medics could be dropped providing enoughinternational aid could be supplied to Libya to fund hospitals and treatment for those infectedwith HIV. He also noted that the case should be regarded as a humanitarian one, enabling theLibyans to take it out of the problematic judicial arena. In December 2005 a meeting was heldat which all sides agreed to set up a financial mechanism in order for humanitarian assistanceto be provided to the Libyan victims and it appears that a solution might be approaching. Oneof the reasons why a deal looks closer to being struck is that the Bush administration hasstepped into the debate and is indicating that a resolution of the case is directly linked toLibyas removal from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list.More broadly, despite the integration of its hydrocarbon sector with Europe via Italy, Libya isstill a long way behind regional states such as Tunisia and Morocco in integrating its economywith Europe.Illegal MigrationLibya is being strongly encouraged to co-operate with European governments in stemmingthe flow of illegal migrants from Africa to the EU. It has signed a bilateral agreement withItaly to this effect and is likely to work more closely with the EU on this in the future.Relaxation of the arms embargo in September 2004 was specifically designed to allow Libyato upgrade its coast guard and border surveillance capabilities to impede the flow of migrantsto the EU.In spite of these efforts a delegation of MEPs that visited Libya in December 2005 weresurprised to discover that the Libyan authorities have only assigned two patrol boats and
around 100 officials to patrol their entire coastline. They also reported that Libya does notassign any military personnel to control its sea borders against crossings by illegal immigrantsand as such sea crossings are unhindered. As a result the EU has announced that it intends todevelop a package deal with Libya that will include a number of incentives for it to assist inthe struggle against illegal immigration.Relations with Algeria TOPRelations with Libya have generally been amicable, with both finding shared interests insupporting the Polisario Front in the Western Sahara and combating Islamist insurgents.However, Algeria has consistently backed away from Libyas enthusiastic initiatives to turnthe Arab Maghreb Union into a full-scale political union. Relations have also been soured byAlgerias closer relationship with Tunisia, which has traditionally aligned itself with itswestern neighbour in order to offset Libyas more unpredictable advances. Libya reacted tothe 1983 signing of the Algerian-Tunisian Treaty of Fraternity and Concord by signing theunification Treaty of Oujda with Morocco, Algerias main rival, in 1984. But Algeria stillsupported Libya when it was attacked by the US in 1986 and against the UN sanctions regimethat was subsequently imposed on Libya.A bilateral agreement signed in April 1995 between Tripoli and Algiers marked a significantimprovement in the countries relations. The main focus of the agreement was security -Algerian forces, with Libyan co-operation, would work to cut supply lines to the Algerianrebels through Libyan territory. The deal also involved the upgrading of frontier policing andof the cross-border highway. Airports were to be built at Ein Amenas on the Algerian side andGhadames in Libya, and joint economic projects were to be set up in the area. The Algerian-Libyan Joint Executive Commission has met regularly ever since. With surviving factions ofAlgerias Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) reported active on the northernborder of Niger and Chad in early 2004, it is possible that the group is still able to operatethrough the Libyan Fezzan.In July 2004, a number of alleged GSPC members who had been captured by the rebelChadian group the Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad (MDJT), often seen as aLibyan proxy in northern Chad) were reportedly handed over to Libya after Tripoli threatenedto bomb the Chadian rebels if they did not keep to their promise of passing the militants over.Among those handed over was the GSPC faction commander Amari Saifi, otherwise knownas Abderrazzak el-Para. Algeria stepped in to calm the situation as it was anxious to gaincustody of the rebels. In November 2004, Libya handed El-Para over to the Algerians.Relations with Chad TOPOver the years Libya, which has close ties with some of Chads ethnic groups, has beenextensively involved in Chad and relations have veered from a proposed political unificationto outright warfare. The most significant issue between the two states has been the disputedAozou strip in northern Chad. This desolate 114,000 km2 area, rumoured to be rich inminerals, was originally part of Italys north African territory, but in the wake of the SecondWorld War another treaty was signed that favoured the French territory to the south.Throughout much of the 1980s and into the 1990s Libyan troops were deployed in the strip asTripoli backed Goukouni Oueddei against his rival Hissen Habré. This led to a series ofconflicts in the 1980s with Libya and its Chadian allies fighting other Chadian factionssupported by France. The war did not always go Libyas way and Habrés forces, supported byFrench troops, inflicted serious losses and even made an incursion into Libyan territory.Libyas defeats helped bring about a peace agreement and relations were normalised by
October 1988. Habré, however, remained wary of the Libyans and asked France to maintainits military presence.There has been some speculation that continuing Libyan subversion helped Idris Déby tooverthrow Habré in 1990, although Déby denied these allegations and initially maintainedcloser ties with France than Libya. Chads relations with Libya, however, did subsequentlyimprove when both parties agreed to take the Aozou strip dispute before the InternationalCourt of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ ruled in favour of Chad and the UNs Aozou Strip ObserverGroup (UNASOG) verified that all Libyan personnel had withdrawn by June 1994.Chads deteriorating relations with France from 1998 led to improved relations with Libya.Annoyed by criticism of his human-rights record and by Frances refusal to supply arms,President Déby hosted a visit from Ghadaffi, who was looking to garner African supportagainst UN sanctions. Déby later made two return visits to Libya and various energy andsecurity agreements were subsequently signed. In the same year, Libya financed thedeployment of the Chadian troops in the northwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) in support of President Laurent Kabila. Although the Chadian military performance inthe DRC was far from spectacular, Libya used Chadian troops again in May 2001 as part ofits military intervention in the Central African Republic (CAR) to help President Ange-FélixPatassé crush an attempted coup.Thus, by mid-2001, despite the persecution of immigrant Chadians and other Africans inLibya in September 2000 and speculation that Libya was supporting the rebel Movement forDemocracy and Justice (MDJT) in northern Chad, Idriss Déby increasingly resembled a closeGhadaffi ally, with Chad and the CAR forming an axis for the extension of Libyan politicaland military involvement into Central Africa. However, when Libyan troops returned to theCAR in November 2001 to assist Patassé against another coup attempt, they were notsupported by Chadians and by 2002 Libyan forces were operating against Chadian proxyallies of the insurgent forces in northern CAR. Although Libyan forces were withdrawn fromthe CAR in December 2002, the fall of the capital to Chadian-backed forces the followingMarch was certainly not appreciated in Tripoli. The period of hostilities coincided with anupsurge in fighting by the MDJT at the other end of Chad and clearer evidence of Libyansupport for the rebels.Relations with Egypt TOPEgypt fought a brief border war with Libya in 1977 but relations have since improved; foreignaffairs are now conducted with civility between the two countries. Cairo was quite supportiveof Tripoli over the 1992-99 UN sanctions regime and actively sought to mediate betweenTripoli and the West, despite incurring the anger of the US administration and particularly theUS Congress, which threatened to cut aid to Egypt. In 1996, Libya returned four Egyptians toface trial in Egypt for hijacking a domestic Egyptian flight to Libya to highlight its newcompliance. The eventual resolution of the crisis in 1999 was in no small part due to Cairospersistent intervention and this reflected well on bilateral relations.There is an ongoing dispute concerning offshore rights between Cairo and Tripoli, but it isunlikely that either side will take direct action to enforce its claims. Like several other NorthAfrican states, Cairo has pursued a more favourable foreign policy towards Tripoli than theUS and other Western countries, viewing pragmatism and regional unity to be moreproductive than toeing the Western anti-Ghadaffi line. This was reinforced when an injuredGhadaffi was visited by President Mubarak, who made several overland trips to Tripoli duringthe 1990s. This time, however, Mubarak was permitted by the UN to fly to Libya as this was a
humanitarian mission, taking medical specialists to examine the Libyan leader.Libya has worked closely with Egypt in an attempt to end the Sudanese civil war and preserveSudans territorial integrity. In December 1999, President Mubarak made a surprise visit toTripoli. The Egyptian and Libyan leaders issued a statement assuring Sudans PresidentBashir of their complete support in his successful campaign to sideline Hassan el-Turabi. Thefollowing month, Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa visited Khartoum on a jointmission with his Libyan counterpart. Part of the joint Libyan-Egyptian co-operation in Sudaninvolved agreement on the separation of hostile rebel forces on the Sudan-Uganda border.Relations between the two countries became somewhat tense in 2004 after the Egyptian presscriticised Ghadaffi for his decision to abandon weapons of mass destruction, accusing theLibyan leader of selling out to the West and Libyas decision to begin expelling large numbersof Egyptian illegal immigrants back across the border was a source of further tension. Despitethese upsets, the two regimes continue to co-operate closely and relations look to beimproving again in 2005. As a sign of this, Libya has handed over an Egyptian suspectwanted in connection with a terrorist attack carried out against tourists in Cairo in April 2005.Relations with Israel TOPFollowing Libyas decision to end its non-conventional weapons programme, which was seento have a direct impact on Israeli security, the Israeli Foreign Ministry confirmed in January2004 that it had launched efforts to open a dialogue with Libya. Although the initiative couldpotentially lead to the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two traditional enemies,the Israeli Foreign Ministry stressed that the contacts were only preliminary, and the primeministers office was reported to remain sceptical. The success of the Israeli initiative is likelyto depend largely on Ghadaffi, who was reported to be furious that the Israelis leaked thestory to the press. However, behind the scenes contacts are reportedly continuing between thetwo sides.Seif el-Islam Ghadaffi, who is believed to have conducted negotiations with Israelirepresentatives, said in March 2004 that Libya was ready to compensate Libyan Jews whoseassets were confiscated in the mid-20th century, when almost all of the 40,000-strongcommunity emigrated to Israel. He encouraged Israelis of Libyan descent to return to Libyaand leave Israel/Palestine for the Palestinians. Muammar Ghadaffi also backed this proposal.As yet, Libya has not formally followed Morocco and Tunisia in welcoming Israeli tourists toits Jewish heritage sites. However in 2005 Seif al-Islam stated that Libya would have noproblem in dealing with Israel because it considered itself more African than Arab. Thishowever was announced to the outside world and not conveyed to the Libyan population whocontinue to strongly identify with the Palestinian cause.Relations with Italy TOPAs the colonial power in Libya between 1911 and 1943, and, together with Greece and Malta,the nearest EU neighbour to Libya, Italy has long taken an active diplomatic and commercialinterest in Libyan affairs. Italy is the principal customer for Libyan oil and gas, buying over40 per cent of Libyan crude and drastically increasing its gas supplies for the future. Libya hasat various times also posed a threat to Italy. With the US Mediterranean fleet based nearNaples, Libya attempted to launch a missile attack on the Italian island of Pantellaria in 1986and could easily reach mainland Italy with its ballistic missile programme. The current threatis seen to arise more from the flow of African immigrants sailing from Libya to Italy, andboth states have an interest in countering this. In December 1999, Italian Prime Minister
Massimo DAlema became the first Western head of government to visit Tripoli and meet theLibyan leader since UN sanctions were imposed. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has madefour visits to Libya since 2002, including in February, August and October 2004.Italy and Libya have signed an agreement to build a USD5 billion 600 km gas pipeline fromMelitah across the Mediterranean to Cape Passera on Sicily, where it will connect with theTransMed pipeline from Algeria and Tunisia. The project was finalised in July 1999 as a jointventure between Libyas state-held National Oil Company and the Italian firm ENI, which isto market the gas in Italy and France. The pipeline is planned to commence operation in 2006.Italian companies ENI and Agip are both major operators in the Libyan hydrocarbon sectorand the Libyan firm Tamoil plays a significant role in the Italian downstream sector.The other sector of particular mutual interest is the flow of illegal migrants from Libyas coastto the Italian (EU) shores of Sicily and especially Lampedusa island. These migrants comemainly from the Sahel states and the Horn of Africa and tend to use Italy as a route to otherdestinations in Western and Northern Europe. In July and August 2004, Italy and Libyastrengthened co-operation in this respect and Italy agreed to assist Libya in stemming its flowof immigrants through helping it with its repatriation programme and offering training adviceon border patrol. It was Italy that pushed for EU sanctions to be lifted from Libya in order forit to be supplied with the necessary equipment to tackle the immigration problem moreeffectively. Italian police have also begun training Libyan police officers in how to tackleillegal immigration and trafficking at the Polgari police school in Pescara.As a reward for Italys assistance, in October 2004, Ghadaffi formally lifted the ban on returnof former Italian settlers, who had been expelled from the country shortly after the revolution.The return of these settlers had been banned despite the warming Libya-Italian relationsbecause Ghadaffi had tied it to the idea of Italys paying compensation for the colonial period.However, it seems that the Colonels desire to prove Libyas openness to the world pushedhim to allow not only the Italians to return, but for them to also apply for compensation forconfiscated property and assets. The first group of returnees made a visit to Libya inNovember 2004.Given the warmth of bilateral relations, Italian oil giant ENI was surprised to have been leftout of the EPSA IV energy licensing round announced in January 2005 and criticised by Saif-el-Islam Ghadaffi for being arrogant. This was particularly surprising given that ENIremained in Libya as the largest foreign oil company throughout the sanctions period.Moreover to the irritation of the Italians, despite Ghadaffis agreement in 2004 to abandon theDay of Revenge against the Italians during a meeting with Italian President Silvio Berlusconi,the day was commemorated in Libya in 2005 along with the usual anti-Italian demonstrationsand speeches.Relations with Malta TOPLibya and Malta have traditionally had close ties and Libya has looked to Malta as itsgateway to Europe. Both countries were members of the Non-Aligned Movement during theCold War and Libya has generally perceived neutral Malta as a friendly neighbour. While theissue of maritime boundaries between the two countries soured relations during the early1980s, this dispute was finally resolved in mid-1985 when the International Court of Justiceruled in favour of Libya.Many Libyans own property and assets in Malta and the island is a popular tourist destination
for the more wealthy Libyan citizens. Malta continued to support Libya when it was under theinternational embargo in the 1990s during which time travelling by ferry from Malta was oneof the few ways to enter Libya. Since the suspension of UN sanctions in April 1999, the twogovernments have taken further steps to increase their political, economic and cultural links.In July 2002, Libya and Malta further cemented their relationship by signing an extraditiontreaty. This was the first such treaty that Malta has signed with a North African country.Prior to Maltas joining the EU in May 2004, Libyans did not need a visa to enter the islandand Maltese citizens did not require visas to enter Libya. There is now a new bilateralagreement in place. After joining the EU, Maltese Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi stated thatone of the key benefits of EU membership was that Malta could act as a diplomatic andeconomic stepping stone to southern Mediterranean countries like Libya.Relations with Niger TOPLibyas short and isolated border with Niger has been out of proportion to the influenceTripoli has been able to exert on its southern neighbour. Indeed, the influence has moreaccurately reflected the gulf between Libyas status as Africas richest state and Nigersdestitution. In the 1990s Libya was believed to have influenced and possibly armed NigersTuareg insurgency and was feared to have had designs upon the large uranium deposits inNigers Aïr mountains. Libya was also suspected of links to at least one military coup inNiger.Libyan rapprochement with Niger began in mid-1997 with several pan-Saharan/Sahelianstates subsequently convening in Tripoli under Ghadaffis leadership to commit to solidarity,security and stability in the region. President Maïnassara developed good relations with Libyaand Ghadaffi declared national mourning following his assassination in 1999, condemningMajor Wankés action. In May 2001, Niger and Libya agreed to revive security co-operation.The central Saharan belt of Niger, Chad and Mali has gained importance for Libya since 1998in providing links to wider sub-Saharan Africa in line with Ghadaffis aspirations to pan-African leadership. In this respect, Libya has sought to fund physical infrastructure withinNiger, paving roads in the interior, extending Agadez airport and planning new roads acrossthe border. Possible future pipeline links to the Mediterranean have also been discussedshould Niger prove to host substantial oil deposits, but these would be as unlikely as theproposed trans-Saharan railway (again proposed in December 2001) and Nigers owncommunications infrastructure is likely to remain oriented south and west to Nigeria and WestAfrica. In December 2001 Libya also provided finance for a new Nigerien airline to supersedeAir Afrique, along with Nigerien private investment and Moroccan technical assistance.Many Nigeriens have emigrated to work on Libyas coast and Niger is to some extenteconomically dependent on the repatriation of their incomes. The anti-immigrant pogroms oflate 2000 and the subsequent repatriation of thousands of West Africans demonstrated thevulnerability of these links.Relations with Sudan TOPWestern suspicion that there is a clear political link between Libya and Sudan is reinforced bythe history of military support that Tripoli has rendered Khartoum. A feeling of brotherhoodhas developed through ties of religion and their mutual suspicion of the West. However,reports of violent incidents in Libya between security forces and Islamists in 1995 prompted acooling of Tripolis relations with Khartoum. Tripoli appeared to be concerned about the role
of Sudanese Islamists. In September 1995, Libya began expelling large numbers of Arabexpatriate workers who lacked proper work documents, including many Sudanese.Nevertheless, Sudans President Omar Hassan el-Bashir was the only foreign head of state toattend Libyas 1995 anniversary celebrations of the 1 September 1969 coup that broughtGhadaffi to power. Ghadaffi also telephoned President Bashir to express Libyas support forSudan following the US air strikes of August 1998.Libyas role in Sudan has become increasingly constructive. Ghadaffi, with Kenyanassistance, has helped to improve Sudans troubled relations with Uganda. Under thisinitiative the two states revived direct diplomatic representation in 2001; Ugandan diplomatswere previously based in the Kenyan embassy in Khartoum while Sudanese diplomats werebased in the Libyan embassy in Kampala.Ghadaffi has played a notable role in trying to mediate in the Darfur crisis. He hosted a seriesof informal talks and then a summit on the crisis in October 2004 that brought together anumber of African leaders, including the Sudanese government. Ghadaffi remains anxiousthat an African solution be found to the Darfur crisis. In February 2005 he attacked UNSecretary General Kofi Annans call for the EU and NATO to help end the crisis, saying thatit would risk creating another Iraq. He threatened to stop his mediation efforts if suchintervention went ahead. The Sudanese government appears to favour Libyas role, as do thepro-insurgency tribal leaders in Darfur with whom Ghadaffi has some influence, althoughthey are thought to fear that confining any solution to an African one may allow Sudan towriggle out of its commitments. Libya has also allowed international humanitarian assistancethrough the World Food Programme to be transported through its eastern territory fromBenghazi port via Chad to the displaced population in Darfur.Ghadaffi has also attempted to mediate in the crisis in the east of Sudan. Despite drawinginitial criticism from some parts of the Sudanese regime for meddling in the countrys internalaffairs, Ghadaffi went ahead in October 2005 and hosted a delegation from the SudaneseEastern Front (EF) rebel movement. As a result of the meeting the rebels agreed to engageseriously in peace talks with Khartoum - something that was welcomed by the Sudanesegovernment.Relations with Tunisia TOPGhadaffis relations with Tunisia have been erratic. Conservative and pro-Western buteconomically and militarily weak, Tunisia has felt particularly threatened by Libyasaggressive forays into radical Arab and African politics in the 1970s and 1980s but seems tohave found more recent common cause over Maghrebian unity, especially as Tripoli realignsfrom its position as a rogue state.In January 1980, Ghadaffi denied Tunisian government accusations that Libya had armed andtrained the small group of dissident Tunisians that attacked police and army barracks in thecentral town of Gafsa. Tunisian forces defeated the insurgents, but only after heavy fighting.A partial rapprochement was pursued and the two countries signed a co-operation agreementin 1982. However, Tunisia broke diplomatic relations in August 1985 and expelled 280Libyans accused of spying. Libya retaliated by expelling some 30,000 Tunisian workers.Diplomatic relations were restored in December 1987 but the periodic deployment of Libyantroops and equipment on the border concerned Tunisia, which devotes a smaller percentage ofits economic resources to defence than its Maghrebian neighbours. Each country accused theother of internal destabilisation and border security was a continual source of tension into the1990s. Ghadaffi found particular fault with Tunisias participation in NATOs Mediterranean
Initiative and the signing of economic agreements with the EU.With Libya constrained by sanctions in the 1990s, bilateral relations gradually improved andjoint infrastructure projects were initiated to allow Tunisia to gain from Libyas transportisolation. President Ben Ali frequently called for an end to the UN embargo against Libya,arguing in 1999 that "The achievement of stability and development in our region remainslinked to the provision of security arrangements, stability, concord, the treatment of the causesof tension and the settlement of the current problems, foremost of which is the lifting of theembargo on the brotherly Libyan people." In October 1998, President Ben Ali held talks withColonel Ghadaffi in Tunisia, covering the implementation of joint development agreementsand projects, the strengthening of trade and the importance of greater bilateral co-operation inthe fields of infrastructure and investment. Contrary to the Moroccan-Algerian rivalry, bothcountries agree on their interest in reviving the AMU and Libya has emerged as Tunisiasprimary trade partner outside of the EU.In April 2005 it was announced that a new border gate is to be built between Tunisia andLibya in the Ras Ejdar region to facilitate and better regulate the flows of goods and peopleacross the border.Relations with the US TOPRelations between Washington and Ghadaffis Libya have always been problematic due to theLibyan leaders radical anti-Western politics. As the US and the Soviet Union vied forinfluence in the Middle East, it was inevitable that Libya would look towards Moscow forsupport rather than Washington, which supported Israel and the conservative Arab regimes.Libya also participated in the Arab oil blockade that targeted the US in the wake of the 1973Arab-Israeli war.US-Libyan relations, however, did not deteriorate seriously until the 1980s when PresidentRonald Reagan began to take action against Libya for its involvement in internationalterrorism. The Libyan Peoples Bureau was closed in Washington and the Libyan diplomatsexpelled. Then in August 1981 two Libyan fighters were shot down by the US Navy in theGulf of Sirte, where Libya was claiming additional territorial waters, and in DecemberWashington ordered all US citizens to leave Libya. Although Libyan oil imports wereembargoed in 1981, US companies continued to operate in Libya until January 1986 when theeconomic sanctions were significantly widened. Relations continued to deteriorate in 1986after Libyan agents were accused of planting a bomb in a Berlin nightclub that killed a USserviceman. In retaliation the US launched punitive airstrikes against Tripoli and Benghazi,which reportedly killed 37 people including Ghadaffis adopted daughter. Libya was thenaccused of involvement in the bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland in1988 that killed 270 people. Washington asked the UN Security Council to impose sanctionsagainst Tripoli; this duly happened in 1992. In January 1989 two more Libyan fighters wereshot down by the US Navy over the Gulf of Sirte.The US repeatedly accused Libya of stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. The StateDepartment believed that Libya had been stockpiling chemical weapons since at least 1988and that a massive underground chemical weapons plant was being constructed inside amountain near Tarhuna. The underground construction, which Ghadaffi always maintainedwas part of the Great Man-made River Project, stopped in 1997. The US also showed seriousconcern that Libya may have received long range No-dong missiles from North Korea andwas engaged in its own ballistic missile test and development programme in the Sahara.
Despite accusations and rhetoric, US-Libyan relations became less belligerent during the1990s. Although the UN sanctions were suspended when Libya handed over the twointelligence agents suspected of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, Washington chose to maintainits unilateral sanctions despite lobbying by the US oil industry, saying that Ghadaffi wouldhave to pay compensation to the victims before the sanctions were lifted. Ghadaffi respondedby saying that "all the victims of the United States from Vietnam to Tripoli" would have to bepaid damages before Libya paid reparations for Lockerbie. In 2000, State Departmentspokesman James Rubin stressed that Libya had "a very long way to go before it meets thestandards required to be removed from the terrorism list". After George W Bush becamepresident, Libya was demoted from state of concern back to rogue state and the sanctionswere renewed in August 2001 for another five years, despite Libyas efforts to improverelations.Real rapprochement with the US began following the events of September 2001, as theLibyan regime seized the opportunity of its common opposition to political Islam and jihadimovements to lobby for a strategic re-alignment. From 2002, this alignment of interestsincreasingly coincided with Ghadaffis disillusionment with his African projects and hisrejection of the Arab League over its failure to mediate growing crises in Palestine and Iraq.While Washington responded by excluding Libya from President Bushs original Axis ofEvil (Iran, Iraq, North Korea) in January 2002, four months later, Under Secretary of StateJohn Bolton listed Libya as well as Cuba and Syria within the Axis as developers of weaponsof mass destruction.US rhetoric continued to denounce Ghadaffi, albeit linking him to proliferation rather thanterrorism issues. It appears that secret trilateral talks to end Libyas unconventional weaponsprogramme and bring it back into the fold appear to have begun on a British initiative inMarch 2003. On 19 December 2003, British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced that Libyahad decided to dismantle its WMD programme. Libya guaranteed that the process would beverified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which began inspections ofLibyan facilities within 10 days.Libyas apparently sudden renunciation of its WMD programme was trumpeted by the WhiteHouse as evidence of the success of its "pre-emptive" war against Iraq in 2003, in that itindicated to recalcitrant and rogue states the futility of resisting US military prowess.According to this analysis, the war was necessary to force states into better behaviour. To thisend, Libya ratified the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in January 2004 and announced that it wouldrenounce the use of chemical weaponry by joining the Chemical Weapons Convention inFebruary 2004.The repeal of the main part of the economic embargo - on US investment in Libyan oil andfinancial sectors - in late April 2004 opened up possibilities for new investment in Libya byUS oil and gas companies. This followed the late February 2004 announcement that the USwas lifting a 23-year old ban on travel to Libya by US citizens, which was clearly intended toaid companies wishing to do business with Tripoli. Libya is an attractive proposition for UScorporations as the country is not wracked by war or civil disturbance and much of Libya hasnot yet been parcelled out for resource exploration, thus offering the possibility of major long-term increases in returns on investment. US firms Marathon Oil, ConocoPhillips and AmeradaHess (collectively the Oasis Group) plus Occidental Petroleum all had concessions in Libyabefore sanctions. The April 2004 opening also allowed for Libyan students to study in the USand removed all barriers to the restoration of full diplomatic relations, although plans were notimmediately announced for the opening of a US Embassy in Tripoli.
In September 2004, the Bush administration announced that it had ended the NationalEmergency that had been declared under President Reagan in 1986. The US also formallyrevoked all remaining trade sanctions, lifted the remaining economic restrictions on aviationservices, permitted direct flights between the two countries and unblocked approximatelyUSD1.3 billion in assets that were frozen under the Libya Sanctions Programme. InNovember 2004, US Congressman Tom Lantos made a visit to Libya during which hereportedly inspected several potential sites for the US Embassy and indicated that fulldiplomatic relations would be resumed in May or June 2005.The re-election of George Bush to the US Presidency in November 2004 was welcomed bythe Libyan regime, which was anxious to retain the good relations it had built up with keypersonnel within the administration. In February 2005 US Assistant Secretary of StateWilliam Burns visited Tripoli, after which the State Department lifted its restriction barringLibyan diplomats in the US from travelling more than 25 miles from Washington and NewYork. The Libyan government scrapped a similar restriction on US diplomats in Libya.Further visits have been made by US officials during the first half of 2005, most notably,David Welch, Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs in the State Department, stoppedoff in Tripoli in June 2005 where he met Ghadaffi to discuss the improving bilateral relations.The EPSA IV oil bidding round in January 2005 also served to strengthen US-Libyanrelations as US oil firms were awarded the majority of licences to the frustration of a numberof European companies. The normalisation of relations between the two countries looks set tocontinue as, despite its repeated assertions that it wants to see internal reform in Libya, the UShas done little to try to enforce this. There remain elements within the Bush administrationand among congressional Republicans that doubt Ghadaffis sincerity in turning over a newleaf. These elements cannot have been heartened in June when Ghadaffi gave a fiery anti-American speech warning that Libyans would not allow colonial forces to step on their land.However, this was primarily for a domestic audience that for the most part continues to befiercely against US activities in Iraq.Libyas remaining aim is to get itself removed from the US state sponsors of internationalterrorism list so that it can undertake the modernisation of its defence and transport sectorsand acquire the necessary technical competence to overhaul its energy sector. It is anticipatedthat this will occur during 2005, despite the apparent lack of clarity as to what the Libyansneed to do to actually get themselves off the list. Most concretely, the US will need to bereassured over incidents such as the alleged Libyan plot to assassinate the Crown Prince ofSaudi Arabia. However, with the relaxation of the EU arms embargo in mid-October 2004,US contractors are likely to seek to be allowed to compete alongside their European rivals in2005.Relations with Zimbabwe TOPLibya supported the liberation struggles of Southern Africa during the 1970s and 1980s andformed close links to the Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF)political party. These links have become much more important in recent years as PresidentMugabe has alienated Zimbabwes donors in the West and Libya has emerged as analternative source of patronage. In return, Mugabe has fallen in with the more radicaldiplomatic agenda of Colonel Ghadaffi and his vision of African development. DuringJanuary 2000, it was reported that Mugabe had obtained a USD100 million loan from Libyato alleviate Zimbabwes economic problems. A fuel supply deal was also arranged in July2001, when Ghadaffi paid a very high profile visit to Harare after attending the OAU leaderssummit in Lusaka. Mugabe paid a follow-up visit of 10 days duration to Tripoli in late August
2001.In line with security co-operation begun in the initial years of the DRC war (1998-2002),Libyan agents have been sent to Harare to provide security for Mugabe and to train membersof the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO). A number of MiG-23 fighter-bombers andpossibly Mi-24 helicopter gunships, plus pilot and technician training, have also beenprovided to Zimbabwe since 2001. In return for Libyan financial and security assistance,Zimbabwe has become a provider of agricultural produce, especially beef, to Libya;confiscated commercial farms are reported to have been allocated to Libyan interests since2001.During April 2002 Mugabe again visited Libya in an attempt to extend the oil deal. It wasreported that a further deal was negotiated, under which Zimbabwe would supply agriculturalproducts in exchange for oil. Libya already owns tracts of land in Zimbabwe. However, inMay 2002 it was reported that no further Libyan oil would be supplied due to poor paymentby Zimbabwe. Despite this, it was reported in September 2002, when Mugabe again visitedLibya, that Zimbabwe had renewed an annual USD360 million fuel deal with Libya. In termsof this, Libya would supply 70 per cent of Zimbabwes fuel needs for one year. Libya wouldalso invest in tourism, mining and agriculture in Zimbabwe. However, by December 2002, itwas reported that talks with Libya over fuel supplies had collapsed, due to arrears inpayments.In May 2003, Libya was again approached to supply oil to Zimbabwe and, in June, Zimbabwestate radio announced that a successful oil deal had been negotiated. It is debatable whetherZimbabwe can continue to supply agricultural products in exchange for oil. The new deal wasapparently to involve Zimbabwe mortgaging its key oil pipeline from Beira and storagefacilities to Libya. It has been stated that this was part of Libyas vision to supply fuel to otherSouthern African countries. By end of year, no Libyan oil had yet reached Zimbabwe, but anassurance was given that the Libyans would gain a share in the National Oil Company ofZimbabwe (Noczim). Prices of the assets held by the Company had not yet been agreed upon.Noczim would also have to pay USD5 million per month to Libya to ensure a steady supplyof fuel.Zimbabwe supports Libyas opposition to the New Partnership for African Development(Nepad), a peer review of democracy and human rights observance linked to the AU anddevelopment assistance, as a Western attempt to divide and dominate Africa. Zimbabweanopposition supporters in London have, however, called on South Africa and Libya to putpressure on Mugabe over political violence linked to land reform. Libyas 2003-04 attempts togain Western acceptance by dismantling its capabilities to produce weapons of massdestruction, may also entail less willingness to be openly seen defending Mugabe, despitesizeable Libyan interests in the country.Trade and External Assistance TOPExports TOPLibya exports very little except oil and gas. Despite the existence of the Arab-Maghreb Unionand the proximity of vast markets in Egypt, Libyas main trading partners form part of the EU,which takes over 80 per cent of all exports. Turkey is the only other significant market. Therest of the world takes just 10 per cent of Libyan exports, with Africa and the Americasbuying almost nothing from Libya.
Destination of Exports Per cent of total, 2003Italy 39.6Spain 14.7Germany 14.7Turkey 7.7France 2.6UK 2.4Greece 2.2Asian States 4.9Arab and African States 4.6Other 6.6Note: Source:IMF, based on Libyan customs statisticsImports TOPLibya imports mainly machinery and vehicles (ovr 40 per cent, mostly for the oil industry),manufactured goods (up to 30 per cent) and foodstuffs (about 15 per cent). About two-thirdsof imports usually come from the EU, with Japan also important. Again, little is traded withthe rest of Africa or the Americas. Per cent of total, 2003Italy 18.4Germany 8.9Japan 8.7UK 5.4France 4.9Turkey 2.1USA 1.9Canada 1.1Other European States 32.1Arab and African States 10.5Other Asian States 5.1Other 0.9Note: Source: IMF, based on Libyan customs statisticsExternal Assistance TOPThe wealth of the Libyan oil economy and the pariah status of the Ghadaffi regime has longmade Libya ineligible for international development assistance from donor states orinternational financial institutions, although the Soviet Union provided soft loans for armsprocurement deals in the 1970s and 1980s. A very limited amount of funds is providedannually by European states and UN agencies for social programmes in support of refugees inthe country.Libya has long been a significant donor to various allies in Africa and further afield,apparently on the whim of Ghadaffi and usually in reward for adopting some kind of anti-imperialist stance. For example, Libyan lobbying for its radical agenda within the newAfrican Union saw it promising large sums or oil supply equivalents to a wide range of poorstates. However, erratic Tripoli has a bad reputation for not fulfilling the terms of promised
aid. It is also increasingly likely to seek material gain from its assistance programmes. Forexample, the provision of oil to Zimbabwe since mid-2001 has not been for free, merely onsoft terms and has envisaged the provision of Zimbabwean agricultural commodities for theLibyan market. When Harare has been unable to meet these conditions, the oil has not arrived.Libya has also provided a range of defence equipment to African clients in return orexpectation for their diplomatic support. Recipients have often complained of theinappropriate sophistication of such systems and the inadequate technical back-up provided.Historical Background TOPDate Event1911 Area was conquered by Italy.1934 Became a colony, named Libya.1942 Libya divided into three provinces: Fezzan (under French control), Cyrenaica, and Tripolitania (under British control).1951 Independence - United Kingdom of Libya formed as a federal state.1971 Federation of Arab Republics formed with Syria and Egypt.1972 Occupation of Aozou Strip (Chad).1977 General Peoples Congress formed. Libya and Egypt at war (lasted four days).1980 Libyan invasion of Chad failed.1981 US authorities banned Libyan crude oil imports.1982 German firms pulled out of rocket programme.1983 Supported ex-President Oueddei in Chad.1985 Libya threatened Tunisia. More failed military initiatives in Chad. Arab-African Union with Morocco failed.1986 US bombed Tripoli and Benghazi. All US trade with Libya made illegal.1987 Libya defeated in Chad.1988 CIA accused Libya of making chemical weapons. Pan Am flight 103 destroyed over Lockerbie (December).1989 Bomb destroys UTA DC-10 airliner over Niger during flight from Brazzaville to Paris. 170 killed, Libya blamed. US Navy shot down two MiG-23 aircraft (January). Formation of Arab Maghreb Union (February).1992 UN sanctions applied against Libya (April).1993 UN sanctions tightened (November).1994 Libya withdrew from Chad (30 May).
1995 Security and economic agreement signed with Algeria (April). Expulsion of Arab expatriate workers.1998 Reported assassination attempt (denied by Libya) on Ghadaffi near Dernah (2 June). Libya facilitated the deployment of Chadian troops in support of President Laurent Kabila in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.1999 Libya agreed to surrender two suspects indicted for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing (March). French courts handed down life sentences in absentia on six Libyans for bombing UTA flight 772 in 1989 (April). UN Security Council formally suspended sanctions. UK restored diplomatic relations with Libya following Tripolis acceptance of responsibility for the murder of a policewoman in 1984.2000 Libyan mediators help free hostages held by Philippine Islamic separatist group Abu Sayyaf. Rioting Libyans killed over 100 African immigrants (September).2001 The controversial Lockerbie verdict was announced (January). Libyan-Chadian military intervened in the Central African Republic (CAR) to help President Ange-Felix Patassé quash an attempted coup (May-June). The African Union, championed by Ghadaffi, succeeded the OAU at the Lusaka summit (July). Ghadaffi visited Zimbabwe, offered to provide USD340 million worth of fuel in exchange for Zimbabwean products (July). Washington renewed sanctions against Libya for another five years (August). Libya threatened to sell US assets if US companies did not re-establish their Libyan operations within a year (September). Second Libyan military intervention in the CAR (November).2002 Libya and US hailed positive bilateral talks (January). Ghadaffi threatened to withdraw from the Arab League due to the originations impotence (March). Libya denied that it offered a USD2.7 billion
compensation deal to the families of the Lockerbie victims in exchange for the removal of all sanctions. The US rejected any deal that did not involve a Libyan admission of guilt. Ghadaffi attended inaugural summit of African Union in Lusaka, where he promoted his radical agenda for continental political and military union (July). Libyan fighter-bomber aircraft reinforce CAR army against Chad-backed rebels (November)2003 Libya commenced secret negotiations with the US and UK over an end to its weapons of mass destruction programme (March). Libya completed payment of USD2.7 billion to Lockerbie victims relatives (August). UN Security Council approved a UK/Bulgarian proposal to repeal 1992 sanctions against Libya (September). Spanish PM Aznar made an official visit to Tripoli (September). Libya admitted publicly to having advanced chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programmes and to the monitoring of their dismantlement by UN inspectors (December).2004 Libya agreed to increase compensation payment to the relatives of victims of UTA bombing from USD33 million to USD170 million (January). US Congressional delegation made first official US visit to Libya since 1966 (January). Italian PM Berlusconi made his second visit to Tripoli for talks with Ghadaffi (February). Libyan foreign minister visited London for talks with UK PM Blair (February). US lifted travel ban on Libya but kept other sanctions in place; US oil company representatives visited Tripoli to prepare for re-engagement (February). US Middle East envoy William Burns met Ghadaffi in Tripoli (March). UK PM Blair made an official visit to Tripoli to meet Ghadaffi (March). US lifted its embargo on firms involvement in the Libyan oil and finance sectors (April). Ghadaffi made an official visit to the European Commission in Brussels and was invited to join the Barcelona Process (April). A Libyan court passed the death sentence on five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor
found guilty of deliberately infecting over 400 children with the HIV virus in a Benghazi hospital (May). US Compensation deal reached with Germany over payments to non-American victims of the La Belle disco bombing of 1986 (August); Chancellor Schroeder visited Tripoli with a German business delegation (October). US formally lifted remaining trade sanctions and unblocked Libyas frozen assets (September). EU lifted economic sanctions against Libya and relaxed its arms embargo following Italian PM Berlusconis fourth visit to Tripoli (October). Ghadaffi hosted an informal mini-summit on the Darfur crisis with leaders from Sudan, Egypt, Chad and Nigeria (October). French President Chirac visited Tripoli with a French business delegation (November). Saudi Arabia withdrew its ambassador from Tripoli (December).2005 EPSA IV oil bloc licensing round greatly favoured US and Asian oil companies at the expense of European operators already in Libya (January). South African Deputy President visited Tripoli to boost Libyan-South African commercial ties (March). Libya tried to host Arab Maghreb Union summit in Tripoli, but this was called off at the last moment due to differences between Morocco and Algeria (May). US Under Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, David Welch visited Libya to meet Ghadaffi (June). The death of King Fahd and the crowning of King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia appears to have opened a phase of reconciliation between Libya and the Saudi ruling family. Saudi Arabia also released the Libyan suspects accused of being involved in the alleged plot to assassinate the then Crown Prince (August). The second round of EPSA IV was held. This time Asian, particularly Japanese, companies were successful (October).Independence and the royalist period TOPThe grandiose ambitions of Italian fascism collapsed with defeat in the Second World Warand the majority of Italian settlers had left by the end of 1942. Libya, impoverished and
under-populated by violent colonisation and the Second World War, was divided betweenBritish and French control. In 1949, after considering various options for the future of Libya,the UN called for the countrys independence. This was to be achieved by 1952 and a complexpolitical situation was partially resolved by UN Commissioner Adrien Pelt in 1951.Essentially, the UN plan provided for a federal monarchy under Sayyid Idris el-Sanusi, acandidate whose strong British connections had been forged through anti-Italian co-operationduring the Second World War. However, King Idris only commanded real support inCyrenaica where he built his capital. The newly independent state accepted a British andAmerican military presence (notably at El-Adem and Wheelus Field Air Force Base).Although Libya joined the Arab League in 1953 and in 1956 refused to allow Britain to useLibya as a base during the Suez crisis, the monarchy maintained a strong Western orientationeven as the influence of Nasser and pan-Arabism began to sweep through the region.The discovery of oil in 1959, heralded a time of rapid change as Libya began transformingfrom a pauper state, dependent on aid and rent from US and UK military bases into a nation ofconsiderable wealth. In 1963 Libya joined OPEC and by 1964 oil exports exceeded 800,000barrels a day.The rise of Ghadaffi TOPIn the late 1960s the anti-western Arab nationalism began making an impact on Libya and thecountry became increasingly unstable. In 1969 a military coup lead by a group of youngofficers under 27 year-old Colonel Muammar Ghadaffi overthrew the monarchy and re-established Libya as a republic. While Libyans welcomed Ghadaffi as a strong nationalistleader, relations with the West predictably deteriorated with the US and the UK being told tosurrender their Libyan bases. Libyas oil industry was nationalised and the revenues generatedwere channelled back into the countrys infrastructure. While Ghadaffi claimed to haveinvented an alternative ideology in his Green Book (based on a combination of Marxism andIslam) Libya remained a military dictatorship.Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Libya adopted a high international profile based on pan-Arabism, the support of liberation movements fighting Western imperialism around theworld and military adventurism in neighbouring African states. Libya was particularlyinvolved in Chad due to the disputed border and tribal links, and Ghadaffis militaryintervention caused a direct confrontation with France, Chads old colonial ruler. Ghadaffialso supported Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in return for Amins disavowal of Ugandaspreviously close relationship with Israel, and has been accused of meddling in Sudan. Morerecently Libya apparently financed the deployment of Chadian soldiers in the DemocraticRepublic of Congo and has been connected with Charles Taylors National Patriotic Front ofLiberia and the Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone.Support for Terrorism and international isolation TOPIt was Ghadaffis apparent support for liberation/terrorist movements around the world thatparticularly offended the West and hastened Libyas relegation to the status of internationalpariah. Ghadaffi, keen to export his revolutionary ideas, saw the world divided into freedomfighters and imperialists saying that "national liberation can only be achieved through armedstruggle". As such it is widely agreed that Libya has supported a large number of insurgentgroups around the world - the only criteria being opposition to the Western powers. Supporthas included supplying weapons to insurgent groups including the distribution of the 1,000tons of Semtex that Czechoslovakia admitted supplying to Libya, supplying financial aid tosuch groups, training insurgents in Libya, and offering asylum to wanted terrorists. The list of
groups allegedly supported by Libya includes: various Palestinian groups, Basque separatistsin Spain, the IRA in the UK, the Red Brigades in Italy, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, M19 inColombia, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the Philippines, and many more.Initial US sanctions were imposed by the Reagan administration in 1981, when Libyan oilimports were embargoed, although US companies continued to operate in Libya. Thesemeasures were strengthened in January 1986, involving a boycott prohibiting US firms fromoperating in Libya and banning the import of Libyan crude oil and products. It also frozeLibyan financial assets in the US and stopped US banks and financial institutions or branchesof foreign banks in the US from dealing with Libya.Apparently in retaliation, Libya was blamed for the killing of an American serviceman in abomb attack in Berlin on 5 April 1986 and the killing of a UK policewoman outside theLibyan embassy in London. These attacks prompted the air raids on Tripoli and Benghazi byUS aircraft based in the UK and onboard US aircraft carriers. Thirty-seven people werereported to have been killed, many of whom were civilians. Arab countries condemned theraids. Ghadaffi was apparently seriously shaken by his own narrow escape and he played littlepart in world politics for the next 18 months.Most seriously Ghadaffis Libya was also implicated in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103over Lockerbie in Scotland on 21 December 1988, which killed 259 people in the air and 11on the ground, and of a UTA flight over Niger on 19 September 1989, in which 171 peopledied. Libya strongly denied involvement, and there are many who hold strong suspicions thata Palestinian terrorist group, protected by Syria and in Iranian pay, was responsible. In March1999 a French court handed down life sentences in absentia to six Libyans found guilty of theUTA bombing, and demanded compensation from Libya. International arrest warrants wereissued in case the suspects ever left Libya. The most senior among them was AbdallahSenoussi, Ghadaffis brother-in-law and believed to have been the deputy head of Libyasintelligence service at the time.It was Libyas involvement in the two airline bombings, specifically the refusal to hand overthe two intelligence officers suspected of involvement in the Lockerbie bombing and lack ofco-operation over the UTA bombing, that led the UN to impose economic sanctions in April1992. The sanctions, which were tightened in 1993, included an embargo on air travel, armsimports and certain equipment related to the oil industry. It also imposed a selected freeze onfunds and financial resources abroad belonging to the Libyan government, companies andsome individuals, and banned the supply of aircraft, components, engineers, maintenanceservices and aircraft insurance.The US also maintained its unilateral sanctions on nearly all trade with Libya in an effort "tolimit Libyan access to funds and material for terrorist activities, weapons of mass destructionprogrammes and other destabilising military actions". In 1996, the US Iran-Libya SanctionsAct passed by Congress threatened sanctions against any non-US company that investedUSD40 million a year (reduced to USD20 million in 1997) in the Iranian and Libyan energysectors, although this has been hard to enforce in practice.Ghadaffi in Africa TOPFor most of the 1990s Libya did its best to undermine the UN sanctions. The decision to flyLibyans to Saudi Arabia in April 1995, was in direct violation of the UN sanctions but it wasalso designed to highlight Libyas ongoing plight in the Arab states which were only offeringlow key support. However, Ghadaffi, the most vocal advocate of pan-Arabism since Nasser,
continued to become increasingly frustrated with the Arab world and began to look elsewherefor support over the sanctions issue and to form a regional forum for co-operation. To this endLibya began to focus its foreign policy on Africa where impoverished states, whose votes stillhad equal weight in the UN General Assembly, could be won over more easily than thereticent Arab governments. A major breakthrough in Libyas relations with Africa came inFebruary 1998 when a treaty was signed with the Saharan countries of Chad, Mali, Niger,Sudan and Burkina Faso. While the pacts details remained undisclosed, the move was widelyseen as a re-orientation of Libyan policy away from the Arab nationalist cause that Ghadaffihad espoused for so long, towards the rhetoric of African unity. The other Saharan statesinvolved probably saw Libya as a viable alternative focus for regional power, rather thanrelying on ambiguous and unreliable Western support.Events in September 2000, however, indicated that Ghadaffis African policies had becomeseriously unpopular at home. As part of Libyas pro-African policies, over one million Africanrefugees and migrant workers had been admitted. These immigrants quickly became the targetfor Libyans social and economic resentment. This anger boiled over in September 2000 asanti-black riots swept through Libyas coastal towns killing as many as 500 immigrants. In thewake of the widespread violence the authorities began the mass deportation of thousands ofillegal immigrants. Although black Africans from Chad, Ghana, Niger and Sudan wereaffected, it was the Nigerians who were singled out for attack as many Libyans held themdirectly responsible for the rising crime rate. Although extremely serious, Libyan officialssought to play down the scale of the confrontations and the few reports in the heavilycensored Libyan media suggested that the unrest was the work of agent provocateursattempting to subvert African unity. The events were strongly condemned by African leaders,including Chads usually pliant leader, Idriss Déby.Although the riots were extremely embarrassing and certainly a setback, they did not endTripolis African ambitions, which remained undeterred even though Libya was alreadyemerging from its isolation (see below). During the course of 2000 and 2001 GhadaffisAfrican Union initiative, which he had championed since the OAUs Sirte summit in 1999,proceeded apace. By April 2001, 36 OAU members had ratified the Consultative Act of theAfrican Union - the two thirds majority needed to bring the organisation into existence. TheAfrican Union officially superseded the OAU at the end of the organisations Lusakas summitin July 2001. The details of what the African Union will entail remain unclear, although it isbelieved to be similar to the European Union with a central bank, parliament and court. Manyobservers remain highly sceptical that the new organisation will be anymore effective than itspredecessor. Ghadaffis diplomatic credibility in Africa remained high, however, even after heinstructed Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to forget about elections and rule forever inJune 2001.Despite Ghadaffis anti-imperialist rhetoric, May 2001 saw Libya launch the kind of militaryintervention normally associated with former colonial powers. Libyan aircraft flew severalhundred Libyan and Chadian military personnel, along with armoured vehicles and helicoptergunships, to the Central African Republic (CAR) to help President Ange-Felix Patassé quashan attempted coup. The intervention demonstrated Ghadaffis willingness to support friendlyAfrican governments and brought Patassé further into Tripolis sphere of influence.In the wake of Ghadaffis triumph at the Lusaka summit, the Libyan leader went on to visitZimbabwe where he brought President Robert Mugabe further into his sphere of influence.Ghadaffi and Mugabe brokered a deal that would provide fuel worth USD340 million a yearin exchange for Zimbabwean products. The deal came at a crucial time for Mugabe as the
crippling fuel shortages were proving to be one of the most painful symptoms of the economiccrisis that threatened to topple his regime. Zimbabwe had already named Libya as a supporterof its military intervention in the DRC (the economic burden of the conflict being one the rootcauses of Zimbabwes economic crisis) and received Libyan financial aid in 2000. Ghadaffialso expressed his support for Mugabes land reform programme even though the associatedinvasion of Zimbabwes white-owned farms had only exacerbated the countrys economicwoes.Rehabilitating Libyas international relations TOPAlthough Ghadaffi successfully gathered international support, not only amongst Africa andArab states but also in European countries keen to pursue economic opportunities in thecountry, Libyas past record as a terrorist sponsor needed to be addressed if Tripoli was toachieve its paramount foreign policy objective of ending Libyas international isolation. Arare outbreak of pragmatism in the late 1990s provided an important turning point. Faced withwaning support for sanctions, London and Washington dropped their demand that theLockerbie suspects should be tried in either the UK or the US. Instead a unique trial wasproposed whereby the two Libyans would be tried in the Netherlands under Scottish law. As itwas made apparent that compliance with the proposal would effectively end Libyas isolation,Ghadaffi agreed to hand over the two suspects in March 1999. After France expressedsatisfaction with USD31 million Libya paid in compensation for the UTA bombing, thesanctions were suspended - but not lifted - in April 1999. In another display of moderation,Libya admitted culpability in the 1984 fatal shooting of a policewoman outside its Londonembassy, and agreed to assist London police to investigate the murder and pay compensationto the victims family. The UK, which severed relations with Libya following the killing,restored ties on 7 July.Once sanctions had been suspended, European governments and companies rushed tonormalise relations and get in line for lucrative infrastructure, oil industry and transportationprojects worth an estimated USD14 billion. Libya was promised that once the UN sanctionswere formally lifted it would be granted full membership of the European Unions co-operation programme for southern Mediterranean countries following a meeting of Europeanand Mediterranean foreign ministers in Stuttgart on 15-16 April 1999. Membership of theEuro-Mediterranean partnership would be dependent on Libya committing itself to principlesregarding respect for democracy and human rights.Libyas participation in the first EU-Africa summit, which was held in Cairo during earlyApril 2000, sent out mixed messages regarding Ghadaffis commitment to renewing ties withthe developed world. In one sense Libyas progress towards international rehabilitation wasreinforced as Ghadaffi met a number of European leaders at the summit including EuropeanCommission President Romano Prodi and Italian Prime Minister Massimo DAlema. Prodisspokesman, Ricardo Levi, said the private talks between them were intended to assess Libyas"new ideas" after it began to rebuild bridges with Europe. Ghadaffi also met GermanChancellor Gerhard Schröder, who described the meeting as "cordial and productive".Despite the apparently conciliatory tone adopted in these private meetings, Ghadaffi launcheda scathing attack on Europe in his speech to the summit. In addition to accusing the Europeansof looting African and Arab resources and imposing their culture on the region, Ghadafficriticised international capitalism and urged the Europeans to expel the US Navy from theMediterranean. He also dismissed European pleas for the introduction of democracythroughout the continent."Leave us alone as your ideas and culture differ from ours" heargued. Romano Prodi, said he was "strongly disappointed" with Ghadaffis speech.
Tripoli reacted angrily to the Senate resolution on 28 April 2000 that reasserted its support forthe ban on US citizens travelling to Libya. A statement issued by the Libyan Foreign Ministryclaimed that the US would be the "main loser" as representatives of international oilcompanies flooded into the country to conclude co-operation agreements. "We are surprisedthat one country should forbid its nationals to go to another when all constitutions andinternational laws recognise the right of citizens to free movement," a statement said.In early May 2000 the trial of the two Libyans accused of carrying out the Lockerbie bombingfinally commenced at Camp Zeist, a former US Air Force base in the Netherlands that wasdesignated as Scottish territory for the duration of the trial. While promising to accept thejudgement of the court, Ghadaffi argued that further investigations into the actions of Libyanofficials or himself were unnecessary as he had "no connection" with the bombing. He alsomaintained that he had no idea who the perpetrators were.Ghadaffis continuing efforts to present himself as a modern and responsible leader wereunderlined in August 2000 when he launched a major initiative to free foreign hostages heldin the Philippines. Former Libyan prime minister Rajab Azzarouq played a key mediating rolebetween Muslim separatist guerrillas, seeking an independent Muslim state in the south of thecountry, and the Philippine government. Azzarouq, a former Libyan ambassador to thePhilippines and a close confident of Ghadaffi, denied newspaper reports, which claimed Libyapaid USD25 million to the rebels. Libya maintained that it only offered development projectsto secure the release of the hostages. Tripoli is known to have long-standing ties with Muslimrebels in the mostly Catholic Philippines and has provided assistance to build schools andmosques in the impoverished, largely Muslim south. The Libyans have been accused oftraining rebels from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a large Muslim rebel group.In October 2000 the Libyan leader paid a visit to Jordan, his first for 17 years, beforetravelling to Syria and Saudi Arabia. This tour of Arab states was partly a response to thePalestinian uprising but it was also aimed at raising Libyas profile in the region after years ofisolation. Ghadaffi boycotted the emergency Arab summit of 21-22 October, convened todiscuss the crisis in the Middle East. Prior to the summit he read out and ridiculed exerts ofthe draft communiqué to underline his point that the meeting would produce no meaningfulresults. Libya was represented at the summit by its Arab League ambassador but he walkedout on the first day.In late October a Paris court ruled that Ghadaffi could stand trial in France for the shootingdown of the UTA airliner over Niger in 1989. The court rejected a defence argument that, as aserving head of state, he should have immunity from prosecution.In January 2001 the Lockerbie trial was concluded when the judges announced that one of thedefendants was guilty and the other innocent - a verdict that failed to satisfy the relatives ofthe victims and brought demands for Libya to admit its involvement. Ghadaffi rose to theoccasion with the kind of rhetoric that typified his formative years. After a celebratory dancewith the acquitted defendant he denounced the proceedings as a show trial, stated that he hadevidence that would vindicate the other defendant (if it exists, it was never released), anddemanded a complete halt to sanctions. The US and UK, however, insisted that Libya wouldhave to accept responsibility and pay compensation before the sanctions are dropped.While el-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, pursued an appealthrough the Scottish legal system (which was quashed in March 2002), Ghadaffi continued hisefforts to lift the US sanctions against Libya. Unfortunately for Ghadaffi, the Bushadministration, which is using the threat from rogue states to justify its national missile
defence programme, remained determined to maintain the sanctions, which were dulyrenewed for another five years in August 2001.Libyas ambiguous relationship with the US continued into September when Tripoliannounced both that it wanted to improve relations with Washington and that it would sell theoil concessions held by US companies, who withdrew from Libya in 1986, to other oilcompanies unless they restarted their operations within a year. While Washington respondedby saying that it would take a negative view of anything that amounted to the confiscation ofUS assets, the dispute was subsequently overshadowed by the events of 11 September. Libya,although one of Washingtons usual suspects, was not considered to be involved in theterrorist attacks and diplomatic activity increased, with both the Spanish foreign minister andFrench minister for co-operation meeting Ghadaffi, as the West attempted to secure Libyansupport in the fight against terrorism. Ghadaffi said that the US had the right to retaliatealthough he commented that bombing London would be a more effective way of fightingterrorism than bombing Afghanistan.In May 2002 a New York law firm representing the families of Lockerbie victims announcedthat Libya had offered USD10 million compensation for every individual killed in thebombing. The money was linked to the sanctions: 40 per cent would be released after thelifting of UN sanctions, another 40 per cent released after the US dropped its sanctions andthe final 20 per cent after the US State Department removed Libya from its list of statessponsoring terrorism. The US rejected the offer, however, stating that Libya would have toaccept responsibility. Libya then denied that it had made an official offer.Admission of responsibility (albeit still ambiguously) was finally forthcoming in August2003. With the completion of payment of the USD2.7 billion package into the Bank ofInternational Settlement the same month and an agreement to raise compensation for thevictims of the UTA bombing, the UK co-sponsored a Security Council resolution to repeal theUN sanctions, which was passed on 12 September 2003.Weapons of Mass Destruction TOPUnfortunately for Libya, the Bush administrations diplomatic agenda was not solelymotivated by its anti-terrorism campaign but also by its opposition to proliferation ofchemical, biological and nuclear weapons technology. In this respect, despite havingrenounced support for anti-Western terrorist groups and made available its counter-Islamistintelligence resources, the Ghadaffi government was still seen as of belligerent characterthrough its attempts to develop, acquire and stockpile WMD and strategic missile deliverysystems. While Libya had been denying such activities since the 1980s, the US was wellaware of its research and test facilities and sporadic intercepts of suspect materials andequipment en route to Libya as late as October 2003 indicated that development programmeswere continuing. These allegedly included collaboration with Iran and North Korea, althoughit later emerged that US ally Pakistan was a leading collaborator.Libya made some gestures over WMD, signing up to the International Code of ConductAgainst Ballistic Missile Proliferation at a meeting at The Hague in November 2002.However, this failed to impress the US administration. Ghadaffi then made a series ofovertures to the UK government during the course of 2003. This finally resulted in Libyamaking public its WMD arsenal in late December 2003 after it had concluded nine months ofsecret talks with the UK and US governments by agreeing to terminate all programmesunconditionally, albeit in expectation of normalised relations with the US. In May 2004,Libya also made a declaration stating that it would not deal in military trade with countries
who have yet to sign up to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). While it had notmanaged to build a nuclear weapon by 2003 and still had some way to go in perfecting anaccurate long-range ballistic missile, its programme was more advanced than most analystshad predicted and included the manufacture of small amounts of plutonium as well as largequantities of chemical and biological agents.Insufficient to protect Libya in the event of a renewed intervention by the US, the significanceof these materials did provide Libya with something of a bargaining chip in its attempt tonormalise its relations with the US. Part of this significance lay simply in permitting themonitoring and safe disposal of all facilities by UN International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) and US experts. Part of the significance lay in Libyan co-operation with the US intracing the origins and trafficking of equipment and materials on the nuclear black market.Having renounced a credible nuclear capability, Libya also gained some of the moral highground of continental rival for influence, South Africa, which terminated its programme in1989, and a moral advantage over Israel, which it has called on to disarm. Ultimately thedecision to comply over WMD gave Libya what it had been seeking for many months - theopportunity to restore relations with the US and thereby kick-start its economy.