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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs > Releases From the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs > Fact Sheets on Near Eastern Affairs > 2003 > July-December
Fact Sheet
Office of the Press Secretary
The White House, Washington, DC
December 19, 2003

The President's National Security Strategy to Combat WMD: Libya's Announcement

Libya has disclosed to the U.S. and U.K. significant information on its nuclear and chemical weapons programs, as well as on its biological and ballistic missile-related activities: Libya has also pledged to:

  • Eliminate all elements of its chemical and nuclear weapons programs;

  • Declare all nuclear activities to the IAEA;

  • Eliminate ballistic missiles beyond 300 km range, with a payload of 500kg;

  • Accept international inspections to ensure Libya's complete adherence to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and sign the Additional Protocol;

  • Eliminate all chemical weapons stocks and munitions, and accede to the Chemical Weapons Convention;

  • Allow immediate inspections and monitoring to verify all of these actions.
As President Bush said today, Libya must also fully engage in the war against terror.

Libya's announcement today is a product of the President's strategy which gives regimes a choice. They can choose to pursue WMD at great peril, cost and international isolation. Or they can choose to renounce these weapons, take steps to rejoin the international community, and have our help in creating a better future for their citizens.

These actions will make our country more safe and the world more peaceful. Where is no greater danger to our people than the nexus of terrorists and weapons of mass destruction. The risks posed by this dangerous nexus cannot be contained or deterred by traditional means. From the beginning of his Administration the President's national security strategy has committed the U.S. to work with its allies to:

  • Ensure that international agreements against the proliferation of WMD are observed and enforced;

  • Detect, disrupt and block the spread of dangerous weapons and technology;

  • Confront emerging threats from any person or state before those threats have fully materialized; and

  • Improve our capabilities to respond to the use of WMD and minimize the consequences of an attack.
The President's national security strategy gives regimes a choice. They can choose to pursue WMD at great peril, cost and international isolation. Or they can choose to renounce these weapons, take steps to rejoin the international community, and have our help in creating a better future for their citizens.

Libya's announcement today is a product of this strategy. Over the last two years the world community has witnessed our determination to work in partnership with our allies to combat the nexus of terrorism and WMD. Together we have:

  • Enforced UN Security Council resolutions to disarm the Iraqi regime;

  • Removed the terrorist Taliban regime in Afghanistan;

  • Expanded our intelligence capabilities, improved our technology, and increased allied cooperation;

  • Captured or killed key terrorist leaders, disrupted and seized terrorist finances, and destroyed terrorist weapons and training camps;

  • Led the Proliferation Security Initiative to interdict dangerous WMD and their means of delivery.

  • Continued our efforts to secure sensitive technologies in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere;

  • Insisted on a multilateral approach to confront the threat from North Korea; and

  • Supported the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency to hold the Iranian regime to its treaty obligations.
These actions have sent an unmistakable message to regimes that seek or possess WMD: these weapons do not bring influence or prestige -- they only bring isolation and other unwelcome consequences. When leaders make the wise and reasonable choice to renounce terror and WMD, they serve the interests of their own people and add to the security of all nations.

Another message should be equally clear: leaders who abandon the pursuit of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons -- and the means to deliver them -- will find an open path to better relations with the U.S. and other free nations.

Other leaders should find a constructive example in Libya's announcement. Genuine progress by Libya to eliminate its WMD programs will be met by tangible improvements in relations with the world community.

The U.S. and U.K. have a troubled history with Libya, and serious issues remain. However, Libya has taken a significant step, and with this decision Libya has begun the process of rejoining the international community. As Libya becomes a more peaceful nation, it can be a source of stability in Africa and the Middle East.


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