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US restores full diplomatic ties with Libya

The United States restored full diplomatic ties with Libya on Monday, rewarding the longtime pariah nation for scrapping its weapons of mass destruction programs.

india Updated: May 16, 2006 01:29 IST
Reuters
Reuters
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The United States restored full diplomatic ties with Libya on Monday, rewarding the longtime pariah nation for scrapping its weapons of mass destruction programs.

Culminating a years-long rapprochement with the OPEC member, Washington will reopen an embassy and remove Libya from a list of state sponsors of terrorism within 45 days.

US-Libya relations turned around after Tripoli decided in December 2003 to give up its weapons program, and the two nations have repeatedly said since then they would work to restore ties as Libya followed through on its pledge.

"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," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is leading international pressure on the two countries to limit their nuclear programs, said in a statement.

Libya, which is led by one-time US antagonist Muammar Gaddafi, badly needs foreign investment in its energy industry. The OPEC member welcomed the move, with its Foreign Ministry calling it a "significant step" toward improving all areas of bilateral cooperation.

First Published: May 16, 2006 01:29 IST