Monday, May 15, 2006

Timeline: US-Libya relations

Monday 15 May 2006, 20:25 Makka Time, 17:25 GMT

The United States has announced it is restoring full diplomatic ties with Libya after a freeze of more than two decades.

The following is a timeline of relations between the United States and Libya over the past quarter century:
December 1979: An angry mob chanting pro-Iran slogans sets fire to the US embassy in Libya.

February 1980: After declaring Libya a "state sponsor of terrorism," the United States closes its embassy in Tripoli.

January 1986: the US president, Ronald Reagan, orders a halt to economic and commercial relations with Libya, freezes Libyan assets in the United States.

April 1986: US planes bomb Tripoli, Benghazi and the home of the Libyan president, Muammar Qadhafi, in reprisal for bombing of West Berlin disco used by US servicemen, in which three people died and 230 injured. At least 15 people died in the US airstrikes, including Qadhafi's adopted baby daughter.

December 1988: Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York is blown up over Scotland, killing 259 people on board and 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie.

April 1999: Libya hands over two suspects in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. They stand trial in the Netherlands under Scottish law. The European Union suspends sanctions against Libya.

January 2001: The suspects of the Pan Am bombing are found guilty and given a life sentence.

March 2003: Libya accepts civil responsibility for the bombing and agrees to pay about $2.7 billion to the families of victims.

September 2003: Weeks after Libya accepts responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing, the UN Security Council votes unanimously to lift sanctions imposed on Libya in 1992.

December 2003: Libya says it will abandon weapons of mass destruction programmes and allow in international weapons inspectors.

June 2004: The United States resumes limited diplomatic ties and opens a diplomatic office in Tripoli.

September 2004: The US president, George W. Bush, formally ends the US trade embargo on Libya.

September 2005: Bush waives some defence export restrictions to allow US companies to participate in destroying Libya's chemical weapons.

May 2006: United States announces it is restoring full diplomatic ties with Libya.



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