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On December 20, 2003, Libya's Colonel Muammar Gaddafi[1] announced that "In view of the international environment that prevailed during the Cold War and the tension in the Middle East, the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriyah (GSPLAJ) has urged the countries in the region to make the Middle East and Africa a region free of the weapons of mass destruction."

"Libya has faced US sanctions since the early 1980s, and after the bombing of the Pan Am 103 flight over Lockerbie, [Scotland,] sanctions were imposed by the United Nations, although these were lifted [in 2003] after a compensation deal was agreed with the victims' families."[2] Also see Timeline of Sanctions.

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  • 8 September 1999: "Libya returns to world stage," 'BBC/UK: "Libya is celebrating its return to the world stage, after almost a decade of international isolation, by hosting a specially-convened summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). ... And in a sign that Libya intends to become an international player once more, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi treated African heads of state to a display of military might on the eve of the meeting, which will discuss his vision of a United States of Africa."
  • 1 February 2001: "Bush to Hound Libya for Bombing," NewsMax.
  • May/June 2001: "The Rogue Who Came in From the Cold" by Ray Takeyh, Foreign Affairs: Summary: "The recent trial of two Libyans for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, raises a vexing problem for U.S. policymakers: What should Washington do when American containment policy starts to pay off and a 'rogue' state starts to reform? After years of international isolation, Colonel Mu'ammar Qaddafi is ending his belligerence and starting to meet many of the demands placed on him by Washington and its allies. Now President George W. Bush must figure out how to keep the pressure on while recognizing Libya's progress and helping reintegrate it into the world community."
  • "6 May 2002: "US Expands 'Axis of Evil'," BBC News: "The United States has added Cuba, Libya and Syria to the nations it claims are deliberately seeking to obtain chemical or biological weapons."
  • 15 August 2003: "US/Libya/Lockerbie" by David Gollust, U.S. Department of State: "Senior Bush administration officials say there will be no early end to US economic sanctions against Libya even though the Muammar Gadhafi government will shortly fulfill terms for the permanent lifting of UN sanctions stemming from the bombing of Pan Am flight 1-0-3."
  • 20 August 2003: "Punishing Libya," motherjones.
  • 22 August 2003: "Libya's Lockerbie Deal Sets Potential Bonanza in Motion for Global Oil Companies" by Joe Duarte, FinancialSenseOnline (reprinted 23 December 2003).
  • 19 December 2003: "Bush: Libya will 'renounce terrorism'," CBC News Online. Includes 7:00 minute video clip and transcript.
  • 19 December 2003: "Qadhafi," "Ironically, it was the carrot of the return of the American oil industry to Libya, and not the stick of the American military, which ultimately led to this decision. Given this administration's allegiance to big oil, as well as the GOP's long-held view that capitalism is the answer to all of the world's ills, one would think that Bush would be playing this story as the true victory of capitalism that it is. But of course, since it suits his interests better to promote it as a consequence of the fact that 'We obtained an additional United Nations Security Council resolution requiring Saddam Hussein to prove that he had disarmed. And when that resolution was defied, we led a coalition to enforce it,' that's how he chooses to frame it."
  • 19 December 2003: "Bush and Libya: Simply Dishonest,"
  • 20 December 2003: "Libya: No Coercion in Weapons Agreement" by Khaled Al-Deeb (AP), Guardian/UK.
  • 20 December 2003: "Too soon to decide on Libya sanctions-US official" by Bernard Woodall, Reuters: "Libya is moving "in the right direction" by promising to abandon weapons of mass destruction but it is too early to say when and if the United States will lift sanctions in a move that could benefit U.S. oil firms, a senior Bush administration official said on Friday."
  • 20 December 2003: "World reaction to Libya's decision. Leaders around the world have welcomed Libya's decision to abandon its programmes for developing weapons of mass destruction," BBC/UK.
  • 20 December 2003: "Who's who in the 'axis of evil'" by Frank Gardner, BBC/UK.
  • 21 December 2003: "The meeting that brought Libya in from the cold. Only weeks after 11 September, the first tentative overtures came from Tripoli; two years later, seven men sat down in a Pall Mall club to sign a historic deal" by By Peter Beaumont, Kamal Ahmed and Martin Bright, Observer/UK.
  • 22 December 2003: "Libya Says Wants U.S. Oil Companies Back," Reuters.
  • 22 December 2003: "The Libya Bush Has Come to Respect " by Paul E. Stenbjorn, "On December 19, 2003 Bush announced the fruits of nine months of clandestine negotiation with Libya strongman, Moammar Ghadafi, in which Libya would be welcomed to the world community in exchange for its renunciation of weapons of mass destruction. Most Libya observers have long realized that it poses a scant threat militarily but is a noxious den of human rights abuses and terrorist accommodation. Oh, and yes, it possesses massive amounts of oil and its Mediterranean Sea port is much more hospitable to US producers than those in the Persian Gulf."
  • 25 December 2003: "Bush, Blair to Visit Libya Soon, Kadafi's Son Says," Reuters.
  • 27 December 2003: "U.N. Nuclear Experts Head to Libya," AP: "Led by Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the experts will check on a promise by the Libyan leadership to reveal current nuclear programs, adhere to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and sign a protocol to allow wide-ranging inspections on short notice."
  • 29 December 2003: "Libya Used 'Network' for Nuke Technology" by Maggie Michael, AP: "Libya received its nuclear technology from a 'sophisticated network' of individual foreigners but not necessarily with the knowledge of any government, the U.N. nuclear chief said after touring four atomic sites in the North African nation. .... [he] also said Libya's technology was of a 'familiar design' - meaning its origins would not be hard to trace - and that its nuclear program was not advanced. ... 'We haven't seen any enriched uranium,' he added, referring to the essential material for a nuclear bomb. 'We haven't seen any industrial-scale facility to produce highly enriched uranium.' ... It would have been 'a question of years, not a question of months' before Libya would have been able to produce weapons-grade uranium, ElBaradei said in an interview with CNN."
  • 29 December 2003: "Libya 'not close to nuclear arms'. Libya was not close to producing nuclear weapons," BBC/UK: "Mr. ElBaradei said the Libyans were being fully co-operative - but there was still 'a lot of work to do'. ... Earlier this month, Libya said it would abandon its aspirations of developing weapons of mass destruction."
  • 29 December 2003: "U.S. to Monitor Libya Weapons Dismantling" by Barry Schweid, AP: "The Bush administration is planning an early test of Libya's promise to dismantle its nuclear facilities. ... Working parallel with the International Atomic Energy Agency, but convinced Libya's weapons programs are far more extensive than the agency assumes, the administration will send a first group of technical experts to Libya in January. ... British experts are expected to go there with the Americans. ... While Mohammed ElBaradei,... says he has seen four nuclear sites, CIA and British intelligence have concluded there are 11 sites."
  • 29 December 2003: "Khaddafi's 'Conversion'. Has the Libyan leopard changed his spots?" by Ion Mihai Pacepa, National Review.
  • 30 December 2003: "Bush set to visit Libya in first half of 2004," World Tribune: "Libya is preparing for defense cooperation talks with the United States, leading to a visit by President Bush early next year. ... The officials said Britain and the United States will lift sanctions from Libya by April 2004. They said this would pave the way for a visit by U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to Tripoli during the first half of next year."
  • 30 December 2003: "Khaddafi Comes to His Senses? Libya-Disney can't be far behind?" by James S. Robbins, National Review.
  • 30 December 2003: "U.N.: Libya to Cooperate on Nuclear Sites" by Maggie Michael, AP.
  • 30 December 2003: "Nuclear Agency Rejects U.S. Help in Libya" by George Jahn, AP: The United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency "is happy to receive U.S. and British intelligence that will assist its inspectors in Libya, said Director General Mohamed ElBaradei," but it doesn't "need American help in dismantling Libya's nascent weapons program, ... echoing differences with Washington over Iraq and Iran."
  • 2 January 2004: "Libya Presses U.S. to Move Quickly to End Sanctions" by Patrick E. Tyler, New York Times: "Libya's prime minister [Shukri Ghanim] said Thursday that the United States should act quickly to reward his country for abandoning its secret weapons programs. He warned that unless the United States lifted sanctions by May 12, Libya would not be bound to pay the remaining $6 million promised to each family of victims killed on Pan Am Flight 103."
  • 2 January 2004: "Libya Seeks Reward Over Nuke Inspections," AP: "Libya's prime minister said his country wants to be rewarded for opening up to nuclear inspections, and stressed that the United States must lift sanctions by May 12 or his government won't have to pay $6 million to each family of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing victims."
  • 3 January 2004: "US dismisses Libya sanctions call," BBC/UK: "The US says sanctions on Libya will not be lifted until Tripoli eliminates its weapons of mass destruction programme."
  • 26 July 2004: San Diego Union-Tribune: "WTO set to begin negotiations on Libya's entry"