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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) > 2006 > May
Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 15, 2006

Significant Events in U.S.-Libyan Rapprochement

April 5, 1999 - Two Libyan suspects in Pan Am 103 bombing are transferred from Libya to a Scottish court in the Netherlands for trial.

October 4, 2001 - U.S. and UK begin meetings with Libyan officials to secure Libyan compliance with requirements of the UN Security Council resolutions regarding Libya's support for international terrorism, including the Pan Am 103 bombing.

August 15, 2003 – Libya accepts responsibility for the actions of its officials in the Pan Am 103 bombing, announces establishment of an escrow account to provide up to $2.7 billion to the families of the victims, pledges to cooperate in the investigation, and renounces terrorism to the UN Security Council.

September 12, 2003 – The UNSC lifts its sanctions on Libya. Pan Am 103 families receive over $1 billion from the escrow account.

December 19, 2003 – Libya announces its intention to dismantle its WMD and MTCR-class missile systems.

January 18, 2004 – U.S and UK experts arrive in Libya to begin assistance in the verifiable elimination of Libya’s WMD and MTCR-class missile programs.

February 8, 2004 – The U.S. re-opens its Interests Section in Tripoli.

February 26, 2004 – In response to Libyan cooperation on the WMD track, including removal of nuclear weapon design documents, centrifuge components, and containers of uranium hexafluoride as well as SCUD C missile guidance sets, the U.S. announces:

    • Revocation of the passport restriction on U.S. travel to Libya,
    • A general license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) permitting American citizens to incur travel-related expenses in order to travel to Libya,
    • A general license from OFAC permitting U.S. companies with pre-sanctions holdings in Libya to begin negotiation on the terms of their re-entry,
    • An invitation to Libya to open an Interest Section in Washington, and
    • Medical and education exchange delegations are authorized.

April 22/23, 2004 – In response to further Libyan cooperation on the WMD track, the U.S. announces further steps:

    • A general OFAC license is issued to permit the resumption of most commercial activity and financial transactions with Libya. This does not include authorization of scheduled air service or codesharing for flights or unblocking of frozen assets. Export controls to Libya are maintained consistent with Libya’s continued presence on the State Sponsors of Terrorism List.
    • The President terminates the applicability of the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) to Libya,
    • Intent to terminate the Protecting Power arrangements with Belgium and transition to a U.S. Liaison Office, and
    • Drops U.S. objection to Libyan membership in the WTO.

September 17, 2004 – Major milestone in the elimination of Libya’s WMD and MTCR-class programs with all declared items either destroyed/removed or slated for destruction pursuant to trilateral agreements or international regimes.

September 19, 2004 – The President terminates the national emergency for Libya and the remaining requirements for OFAC licenses (resulting in release of Libya's blocked assets and authorization for aviation activities), and adopts a general policy of making U.S. Government assistance programs available to U.S. persons doing business in Libya; Pan Am 103 families receive over $1 billion from escrow account.

June 28, 2004 – The U.S. Liaison Office (USLO) in Tripoli officially opens, marking resumption of direct diplomatic presence.

July 8, 2004 –Libyan Liaison Office opens in Washington, DC.

September 17, 2005 In a joint statement with Secretary Rice on the margins of UN General Assembly, Libyan Foreign Minister Shalgam reiterates Libya’s commitment to renunciation of terrorism.

September 28, 2005 President Bush signs two Presidential Determinations allowing refurbishment and sale of Libyan C-130s held in the U.S. and assistance by U.S. firms to Libyan efforts to destroy chemical weapon stockpiles.

February 28, 2006 – President Bush waives prohibitions on Export-Import Bank activity in Libya.

May 15, 2006 – The U.S. begins the process of rescinding Libya’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, announces its intention to upgrade the U.S. diplomatic presence in Tripoli to an embassy, and does not certify Libya as not cooperating fully with USG anti-terrorism efforts.


Released on May 15, 2006

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