Libya lashed out Sunday, June 10, against a US government travel warning for Americans not to visit Libya, saying the measure would not help repair the tortured and acrimonious relations between the longtime foes.
"This measure does not serve the will of the two countries to establish relations of cooperation, nor the interests of American companies," said Libyan government spokesman Hassuna Shaush.
Libya "is much safer than many American cities and the Libyan people do not nourish any hostility toward other people," Shaush said. The spokesman accused the United States of "meeting the demands of the Zionists, who press for continued American sanctions" against Libya.
The State Department on Thursday advised US citizens not to travel to Libya, citing anti-US sentiment in "some segments" of the population and some elements of the Libyan government."
On the same day, the US Senate took up Thursday a bill seeking a five-year extension of the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA), which bans investment by foreign firms in both Iran and Libya's oil sectors, although US President George W. Bush is lobbying for only a two-year extension.
Despite Tripoli's handing over two suspects to a special court in the Netherlands for trial in the PanAm 103 bombing ― where one suspect was convicted and the other acquitted earlier this year ― the US has maintained all its restrictions on financial and monetary transactions with Libya.
Washington is still waiting for Libya to take additional actions, including compensating the families of the victims of the bombing, before considering a full lifting of the UN sanctions or a review of its unilateral restrictions.
The United States has no embassy in Tripoli and US citizens must obtain special permission from the State Department to travel to Libya. ― (AFP, Tripoli)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)