Kadhafi Receives EU Ambassadors for First Time since 1992

Published June 18th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Libyan president Moamer Kadhafi received European Union ambassadors Sunday for the first time since 1992 to deliver messages on "unresolved questions between the EU and Africa," the state-run JANA news agency said. 

Libya has spent most of the past decade in international isolation, after the United Nations imposed sanctions in 1992 when Libya refused to turn over two Libyan suspects in the 1988 explosion of a Pan Am airplane over Lockerbie, Scotland that killed 270 people. 

The sanctions -- which included a ban on air travel -- were suspended in April 1999 after Tripoli handed over the suspects, who are now being tried before Scottish judges in The Netherlands. 

Following the lifting of sanctions last year, most EU countries resumed relations with Libya and sent ambassadors to Tripoli. 

In April 2000, Libyan Foreign Minister Abdel Rahman Shalgham made a first contact with those ambassadors to protest their absence from a ceremony with Kadhafi marking the 85th anniversary of a battle between Libyan fighters and Italy's colonial army. 

The ambassadors told Shalgham their absence was not "a coordinated step" and that they had not known Kadhafi would be at the ceremony. 

European Commission President Romano Prodi raised the possibility of Khadhafi visiting the commission's headquarters in Brussels in a phone conversation with the Libyan president back in December. 

But most EU members balked, saying it was premature to invite a leader accused of terrorism. 

Prodi also met Kadhafi in April at a Europe-Africa summit in Cairo, during he berated Europe - TRIPOLI (AFP) 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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