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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 (Revised)
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 15, 2006

Libya's Decision To Eliminate WMD and MTCR-Class Missile Programs: An International Model

“Abandoning the pursuit of illegal weapons can lead to better relations with the United States and other free nations. Continuing to seek those weapons will not bring security or international prestige, but only political isolation, economic hardship, and other unwelcome consequences,” President G eorge W. Bush

On December 19, 2003, the Libyan G overnment announced that it had of “its own free will” decided to “be completely free of internationally proscribed weapons.” In addition to ending its WMD programs, Libya decided to restrict itself to missiles with a range that comply with the standards of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Libya also declared its intention to comply fully with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Biological Weapons Convention, and to sign the International Atomic Energy Agency Additional Protocol and accede to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). It announced that it offered to undertake these remarkable steps “with all verifiable transparency, including immediate international inspection.”

The Verification Process

After the December 19 th statement, Libya looked to the United States, the United Kingdom and relevant international bodies to assist in implementing its decision and verifying its eliminations—an intensive effort which was conducted from January through September 2004.


  • Nuclear weapon design documents received from the black market network of Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan were transferred from Libya to the U.S.
  • Centrifuges to enrich uranium, related equipment, documents and containers of uranium hexafluoride were transferred to the U.S.
  • More than 15 kilograms of fresh highly-enriched uranium reactor fuel were returned to Russia .


  • In January 2004, Libya acceded to the CWC and soon thereafter destroyed more than 3,600 unfilled chemical bombs in the presence of OPCW inspectors.
  • In consultation with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Libya with U.S. assistance will destroy its bulk stocks of chemical agent and precursors.


  • Libya provided full access to its biological facilities and personnel.
  • Libya reaffirmed its commitment to the BWC, and submitted BWC Confidence Building Measures in 2005.

  MTCR-Class Missiles

  • All elements of Libya 's SCUD C missile force were removed.
  • Libya has agreed to eliminate its SCUD B missile force.

  The Libyan Model: A Path for Others to Follow

In all of these areas, Libya provided extensive documentation and access to personnel and facilities. Libya 's openness, cooperation, and commitment to implementing its decision were fundamental to the success of the elimination and verification process. The United States hopes that states with even more threatening WMD and missile programs will see Libya 's experience as a model to emulate.

 Future Consultations 

In September 2004, Libya , the U.S. , and the UK established the Trilateral Steering and Cooperation Committee (TSCC) to oversee the final stages of elimination of Libya 's WMD and MTCR-class missile programs and to promote cooperation.


Released on May 15, 2006

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