Bush, Kadhafi speak for first time
US President George W. Bush Monday called Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi to discuss the end of the "painful chapter" between the two countries that included the 1988 bombing of a PanAm flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, the White House said Monday. "The president called Libyan leader Colonel Kadhafi to express his satisfaction that the claims settlement agreement was fully implemented on October 31," said national security spokesman Gordon Johndroe of a 1.5-billion-dollar payment to compensate victims of terrorism.
"The two leaders discussed that this agreement should help to bring a painful chapter in the history between our two countries closer to closure," he said, according to AFP.
Johndroe said while the United States would always mourn loss of life, "the settlement agreement is an important step in repairing the relationship between Libya and the United States."
"The United States will continue to work on the bilateral relationship with Libya, with the aim of establishing a dialogue that encompasses all subjects, including human rights, reform, and the fight against terrorism," he added.
A senior State Department official told reporters on the condition of anonymity that Kadhafi's son Seif al-Islam would meet with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Washington on Tuesday. "He is here on a private visit but very often times when you have significant political figures who come to the US for a variety of different reasons, the secretary as well as others will see them," the official said.