The US has raised the American flag over its embassy in Libya for the first time in about 30 years. Wednesday's ceremony was the latest sign of improving U.S. relations with the once-pariah North African nation. The embassy in Tripoli opened two years ago, but the nomination of Gene Cretz as U.S. ambassador was held up until late last year. Cretz attended the flag-raising ceremony and is the highest-ranking U.S. diplomat in Libya since 1972, when Washington's last ambassador was withdrawn as Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi intensified anti-Western policies. The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli was closed in 1980.
A halting, five-year rapprochement began in 2003 when Gadhafi renounced terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.