Gadhafi urges end to all WMD

  1. Gadhafi urges end to all WMD

    BRUSSELS, Belgium (CNN) -- Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has appealed to all nations to follow his country's example and eliminate all weapons of mass destruction.

    "This is a true opportunity for real historic peace," Gadhafi told journalists in Brussels Tuesday during his first official visit to Europe in more than 15 years.

    "We say to America and we declare to Europe, we say confidently and we say it loudly, we should not waste this opportunity."

    Speaking through a translator, Gadhafi said: "Libya calls on all countries, from America to China, to discard and get rid of all WMD. Libya has become an example to be followed.

    "The noose will be tightened gradually on those with weapons of mass destruction.

    "Libya has secured itself more by discarding such programs. ... The whole world pledges and honors the security of Libya because Libya has forged the road on the path of peace."

    Gadhafi also appealed to the West not to force his country back to its old days of sponsoring and harboring what he called "liberation fighters."

    "We hope we won't be forced to go back to those days when we would bomb our cars, or put explosive belts around our women, so that we will not be searched and harassed in our bedrooms and in our own homes, as is taking place in Iraq and Palestine," he said.

    "The victims are women and children, and the battlefield has become the kitchen, and the lounge. "We don't want to be forced to do that."

    Gadhafi emerged from talks with European Commission President Romano Prodi to tell reporters that Libya was ready to cooperate with the United States and Europe on security, economic and cultural problems.

    "Libya did its duty when duty had to be done by force," Gadhafi said. "Libya fought America and shot down its pilots and aircraft, but now time has come to reap the fruit and the seeds of this armed struggle, namely peace and stability.

    "Britain and America, who fought us one day, are now looking for investments, cooperation, trade, friendship between us," he said.

    History has proven there is no gain to be found in fighting, he said, calling on all countries to make the Mediterranean "free of all military fleets and maneuvers."

    "The Mediterranean was used for evil in the past and now we want to use it for good," he said. "We have tried to use the Mediterranean as a bridge for armies, invasions, but the result was negative, both parties lose.

    "I believe that Europe has learned the lesson and will not continue colonization," Gadhafi said. "For this reason Libya, which was a leader in the third world liberation, now has decided to lead the peace movement all over the world."

    Gadhafi arrived at the European Commission, the European Union's executive branch, in a white limousine, accompanied by his foreign and trade ministers to discuss "full normalization" of relations.

    Dressed in a brown cloak and black cap, he waved and gave a clenched fist salute to a crowd of onlookers before entering the commission's headquarters.

    As Gadhafi paused to shake hands with Prodi for photographers, a man rushed forward to try to hand him a letter before being hustled away by a male bodyguard. (Security scare)

    A couple of Gadhafi's trademark female bodyguards, dressed in blue camouflage fatigues, rushed to his side.

    A Bedouin tent was erected in Brussels for Gadhafi, who analysts say has embarked on a strategy to end the former pariah state's international isolation.

    The colonel, who has ruled Libya for 34 years, has said he wants to participate in EU aid and trade programs. He also wants an end to an EU arms embargo against Libya.

    The EU invited Gadhafi after he ended Libya's WMD program -- a move that impressed both London and Washington.

    In January, Libya turned over to the United States equipment it said it was using to build a nuclear bomb.

    Libya also settled the Pan Am and UTA airliner bombing cases. The 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jumbo jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, killed 270 people; the French UTA airliner bombing over the Niger desert killed 170 people in 1989.

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair visited Tripoli last month, confirming that Western nations were willing to believe that Libya's days as a sponsor of terrorism were over.

    They also hope Libya might now be an ally in the war against al Qaeda.

    Last week, Washington eased sanctions it imposed on Libya in the mid-1980s -- a time when former U.S. President Ronald Reagan called Gadhafi a "mad dog" and U.S. jets bombed Tripoli in retaliation for terrorist acts.

    U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has said that while Libya's terror record needs a comprehensive examination, the nation's recent cooperation has been impressive.

    CNN Senior International Correspondent Sheila MacVicar said: "Washington is now well on its way to lifting Libya from its blacklist of states that sponsor terrorism, a move that could end years of international isolation for Tripoli and move it closer to normalization."

    German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer welcomed Libya's rapprochement but noted "obstacles" remained, including his government's demand for compensation from Libya for victims of the 1986 bombing at a West Berlin disco known as a hangout for American troops.

    Two U.S. soldiers and a Turkish woman were killed and 229 people injured in the attack allegedly ordered by Gadhafi.

    EU officials said they also would raise the case of six Bulgarian medics detained in Tripoli since 1999 on charges they deliberately infected hundreds of children with the AIDS virus.

    CNN Senior International Correspondent Sheila MacVicar contributed to this report.

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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    Has Gadhafi flip flopped?
  4. by   BeachNurse
    Quote from spacenurse
    Has Gadhafi flip flopped?
    In this instance he has, but I wonder if there is in existance a long history of changing his mind back and forth only to change it back and forth again ?
  5. by   fergus51
    He has been working for a few years to improve relations with the west. He needs money and to guarantee his own security (he isn't loved by muslim radicals or Americans).
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    U.S. Oil Companies to Resume Work in Libya
    On Friday President Bush lifted most trade sanctions on Libya opening the door for U.S. oil companies to begin working in Libya for the first time in 18 years. The Wall Street Journal reports ConocoPhillips, Hess and Marathon Oil have all begun taking initial steps to get back into Libya.
    REUTERS , Washington
    Saturday, Apr 10, 2004,Page 7
    Eager to tout improved relations with Libya for abandoning its weapons programs, the White House omitted the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing from the list of terrorist attacks cited on Thursday by national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, angering victims' families.
    After the backlash, the White House scrambled to minimize the damage issuing a letter of apology by Rice to the Lockerbie families, some of whom said they had been sickened by the administration's stance.
    "We did not include attacks that were the work of a government, such as the Libyan government's bombing of Pan Am 103. This was a mistake, for which I want to apologize to you and all the families who lost relatives on that terrible day," Rice said the letter provided to reporters.,00.html
    Investment in oil open to all: Libya
    A spokesman for UK Trade and Investment, the Government body which encourages exports from Britain, said: "UK companies are now free to trade with Libya, and any goods for non-military purposes are fine."