US, Libya re-establish direct diplomatic ties after more than two decades
The United States and Libya formally restored direct diplomatic ties, after a 24-year break, when US Middle East envoy William Burns opened a US liaison office in the capital of Tripoli.
The move came six months after Libyan president Col. Moamer Kadhafi agreed to dismantle the country's nuclear, chemical and biological warfare programs and renounce the pursuit of such weapons.
Burns inaugurated the US Liaison Office in Tripoli and resumption of direct diplomatic ties, said a statement issued by the US office at the conclusion of his visit.
"This occurs 24 years after the withdrawal of American personnel and the closure of the US embassy."
Burns noted that "Libya would be taking its own steps to establish diplomatic representation in the US," the statement said.
"Both sides confirmed that these actions would assist the step-by-step process of strengthening relations as Libya fulfills each of its commitments and the US continues to respond in kind."
Earlier, Burns held talks with Kadhafi and delivered a message from President George W. Bush, JANA news agency reported.
It said the message emphasized the Bush administration's policy of "pursuing the process of normalising political, economic, commercial and cultural relations with Libya."
The State Department statement said the two sides discussed "Libya's commitment to support the global war on terrorism, to repudiate the use of violence for political purposes, and to implement its pledge to cease all support for terrorism." (Albawaba.com)
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