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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2004 > September
Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
September 20, 2004

Terminating the National Emergency with Respect to Libya: Revocation of Executive Order Sanctions

Over the last nine months, Libya has worked closely with international organizations including the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and has invited the assistance of the United States and United Kingdom, to transparently and verifiably eliminate its WMD and MTCR-class missile programs. It has:

  • Facilitated the removal of all critical elements of its previously undeclared nuclear program;
  • Signed and implemented the IAEA Additional Protocol;
  • Acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention;
  • Acknowledged Rabta's historical use as a chemical weapons production facility and begun a process at the OPCW for approval to convert it to a pharmaceutical plant;
  • Destroyed its munitions designed for use with toxic chemicals and secured chemical agents for destruction under international supervision;
  • Submitted a declaration of its chemical agents to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons;
  • Eliminated its Scud-C missile force and agreed to eliminate its Scud-B missiles;
  • Turned over nuclear weapons documentation;
  • Began working with the international community to remove highly enriched uranium and has agreed convert its reactor at Tajura to operate on Low-Enriched Uranium fuel;
  • Allowed unimpeded site access by international personnel;
  • Engaged in comprehensive discussions over the scope and intent of its WMD and missile programs;
  • Pledged to halt all military trade with countries of proliferation concern; and
  • Increased the international community's understanding of the global black market in the world's most dangerous technologies.

As a result of this effort, concerns over weapons of mass destruction no longer pose a barrier to the normalization of U.S.-Libyan relations. In responding to Libya’s announcement on December 19, 2003 that it would voluntarily give up its WMD and MTCR-class missile programs, the President committed to respond to concrete Libyan actions in good faith, noting that Libya "can regain a secure and respected place among the nations and, over time, better relations with the United States."

The Executive Order signed today by the President:

  • Terminates the National Emergency declared in 1986 under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act;
  • Removes remaining economic restrictions on aviation services with Libya, permitting direct scheduled air service and regular passenger charter flights, subject to standard safety and any other regulatory requirements; and
  • Unblocks approximately $1.3 billion in assets frozen under the Libya sanctions program, belonging to both Libyan and non-Libyan entities.

In accordance with a general policy of providing a level playing field for U.S. business in Libya, the President has:

  • waived a statutory prohibition in order to enable certain programs of the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce, including export credit guarantee programs.
  • determined to waive the prohibition on the ability of U.S. taxpayers to claim foreign tax credits for taxes paid to Libya.

In the future, this general policy will be furthered through the use of U.S. Government programs such as those administered by the Export –Import Bank of the United States, the Overseas Private Insurance Corporation, and the Trade Development Agency. Where necessary, the Administration intends to use statutory waiver authorities – and in some cases seek legislative relief – to overcome statutory restrictions that would otherwise stand in the way of these programs.

Today’s actions protect the interests of American victims of Libyan terrorism. We expect the families of the victims of Pan Am 103 to receive over $1 billion in additional compensation under their settlement: money which otherwise would have reverted to Libya. With respect to other cases involving claims of U.S. citizens, Libya has reaffirmed to us that it has a policy of carrying out agreed-upon settlements and responding in good faith to legal cases, and we will hold it to that assurance. The Libyan government also recognizes that assets it owns and is introducing into the U.S. as part of economic normalization could be at risk if it doesn't implement any resulting court judgments.

Libya remains designated a State Sponsor of terrorism. The termination of the national emergency will not effect a wide variety of other sanctions imposed on Libya due to its designation as a State Sponsor of terrorism under 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act (restrictions on foreign assistance), section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act (restrictions on arms exports), and section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act of 1979 (restrictions on exports of certain items on the Commodity Control List), as well as other statutory restrictions applicable to Libya.


Released on September 20, 2004

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