Day By Day

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

US-Libya Relations Normalized

Yet another smart diplomatic move for the Bush administration. The United States has finally normalized relations with Libya.

The WaPo reports:
The United States restored full diplomatic relations with Libya yesterday, marking the end of a quarter-century of enmity and signaling to Iran and North Korea that similar rewards await countries that scrap their weapons of mass destruction.

Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi agreed to end his nation's nascent chemical and nuclear weapons programs in late 2003, capping years of talks between Tripoli and Washington over how Libya could end two decades of international isolation. Libya also took responsibility that year for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, and agreed to pay as much as $10 million to the family of each of the 270 dead.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United States would reopen its embassy, shuttered after a mob set fire to it in 1979, and remove Libya from the list of state sponsors of terrorism within 45 days. "Just as 2003 marked a turning point for the Libyan people, so too could 2006 mark turning points for the peoples of Iran and North Korea," Rice said, calling Libya "an important model" for resolving the disputes with Tehran and Pyongyang.
Read it here.

This is a great move all around. Not only is it a carrot dangled in front of recalcitrant regimes, but it also opens opportunities for expoiting Libya's vast oil reserves. Just two months ago Shell Oil signed a pact to develop Libyan oil fields. [here] So this counts as a twofer.

Nice goin' Dubya!

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