As a "reward" for the country’s decision to give up weapons of mass destruction, U.S. President Bush has lifted Washington's trade embargo on Libya.
Most of the sanctions were suspended in April, when Libya announced it was abandoning its weapons program. Libya is now expected to pay more than $1 billion in compensation to the families of the victims of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988.
However, the U.S. is keeping several "terrorism-related" sanctions in place. Libya, which has acknowledged responsibility for the bombing over Lockerbie in Scotland, had threatened to cancel compensation payments if the sanctions had not been lifted by Wednesday.
President Bush formally revoked all remaining trade sanctions, which affected general trade, aviation and the importing of Libyan oil. A freeze on Libyan assets in the United States has also been lifted.
"This step is taken in response to actions that Libya has taken over the past nine months to address concerns by the international community about its weapons of mass destruction programs," U.S. State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said.
Ereli said Libya remained on Washington's list of state sponsors of "terrorism", and was subject to relevant sanctions. "I would also note that our diplomatic representation in Libya is that of a liaison office. We certainly don't have full diplomatic representation there," he said. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )