On his state visit to Libya, French President Nicolas Sarkozy signed a memorandum of understanding on nuclear energy cooperation with long-time Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi. The July 25 memorandum clears the way for French access to Libyan uranium and outlines an agreement on the eventual construction of a nuclear desalination plant to provide drinking water to the littoral desert country. (Continue)
Vowing to take sole responsibility for destroying its chemical weapons, Libya has annulled its contract with the United States. The Libyan government cancelled the agreement, effective June 14, because of dissatisfaction with its provisions on liability, financing, and facility ownership. (Continue)
The United Kingdom has agreed to offer Libya security assurances and strengthen their mutual security relationship in an effort to encourage other countries to follow Libya’s lead in abandoning its chemical and nuclear weapons programs. (Continue)
A multinational effort removed and returned more than 40 kilograms of fresh Soviet-origin highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Poland to Russia, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced Aug. 10. Separately, another operation removed the last remaining quantity of fresh HEU from Libya. (Continue)
The United States is set to re-establish full diplomatic relations with Libya, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced May 15. The same day, President George W. Bush filed a report that will allow Libya to be taken off of the list of state sponsors of terrorism by the end of June, easing related sanctions. (Continue)
The United States is considering aiding Libya with the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile, but Department of Defense officials are expressing reservations about spending the department’s limited threat reduction funds on a potentially expensive project. (Continue)
France and Libya March 15 signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement, the first of its kind for Tripoli since its 2003 pledge to comprehensively dismantle its nuclear and chemical weapons programs.
France ’s commitment to assist Libya’s civil nuclear program would not have been possible only a few years ago when Tripoli suffered under UN Security Council sanctions. Those international measures were adopted following the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, and the 1989 bombing of a French flight over Niger. Additionally, the United States imposed sanctions under the 1996 Iran-Libya Sanctions Act to hinder Tripoli’s ability to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD). (Continue)
The European Union took steps in October to engage more broadly Syria and Libya, two countries whose proliferation behavior had been previously an obstacle to deeper ties.
The EU foreign ministers agreed Oct.11 to lift completely an almost 20-year arms embargo on Libya, a step that allows EU countries to export arms and other military equipment to that country. Such transfers, however, are still governed by the EU’s Code of Conduct on Arms Exports, as well as national export control laws. The Code of Conduct, which is not legally binding, lists several criteria to guide EU members’ arms sales. It also requires a state approving a weapons transaction that has been denied by another member to consult with the government who initially vetoed the sale. (See ACT, May 1998.) (Continue)
President George W. Bush lifted most remaining U.S. sanctions on Libya Sept. 20, two days before Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance Paula DeSutter told Congress that verification of Libya’s disarmament tasks is “essentially complete.” (Continue)
A May 28 report from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei fills in some key missing details about Libya’s now-dismantled nuclear weapons program, while acknowledging that holes remain in the account. Additionally, Tripoli has disclosed that some materials it ordered from foreign sources remain unaccounted for, prompting concerns in Washington that third parties may have acquired them. (Continue)
The White House announced April 23 that it is easing additional sanctions on Libya as a reward for Tripoli’s progress toward dismantling its chemical and nuclear weapons programs...
The United States and United Kingdom have agreed “in principle” to allow Libya to keep at least some of its medium-range Scud B missiles, a Department of State official told Arms Control Today April 21...
Libya continues to move forward in fulfilling its December 2003 pledge to eliminate its nuclear and chemical weapons programs, as well as its long-range missiles...