US removes Libya from list of state sponsors of terrorism, to restore normal diplomatic ties
The Bush administration has decided to restore normal diplomatic ties with Libya for the first time in over a quarter century after taking Moammar Gadhafi's country off a U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, State Department officials said Monday.
"This is not a decision that we arrived at without carefully monitoring and assessing Libya's behavior," Assistant Secretary of State David Welch said, according to the AP. Welch stated the United States would soon upgrade its diplomatic office in Tripoli to a full embassy.
There have been no normal relations with Libya since 1980. The State Department for several years listed Libya among nations the U.S. government considered as official sponsors of terrorism.
Removing Libya from the list of countries the United States considers to be state sponsors of terrorism means a 45-day public comment period will statrt on Monday, after which Libya would be removed from the list.
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