Europeans agree to steps against Libya


LUXEMBOURG, April 21, 1986 (UPI) -- European Community foreign ministers, under U.S. pressure to take steps against Libya in response to terrorism, agreed Monday to reduce drastically the number of Libyan diplomats in Western Europe and restrict their movements.

The 12 foreign ministers also agreed to cut their embassy staffs in Tripoli, toughen visa and residence permit requirements for all Libyan nationals and close their borders to Libyan citizens who have been expelled from another nation for involvement in terrorism.


Dutch Foreign Minister Hans van den Broek, who presided over Monday's meeting, said the decision to take sanctions against Libya ''reflects our grave concern about state terrorism and our serious intention to fight it, not only in the diplomatic field, but also with concrete measures.'' It was the European Community's third meeting in eight days on the subject of terrorism.

The measures approved Monday bolstered a package of diplomatic sanctions approved hours before the April 15 U.S. airstrike on Libya, triggered by the bombing of a West Berlin nightclub that killed a U.S. soldier and a Turkish woman.


The Reagan administration welcomed the European agreement, which came as West German police announced they had arrested a Palestinian in the nightclub bombing and Italian police said they had arrested a former Libyan diplomat and another Libyan citizen on charges of plotting to assassinate U.S. Ambassador Maxwell Rabb and the Egyptian and Saudi ambassadors.

''They send a clear message to (Col. Moammar) Khadafy that the Europeans, like the United States, will not tolerate this scourge,'' said State Department spokesman Bernard Kalb.

In Luxembourg, the Dutch foreign minister said the European Community was seeking talks with Arab countries on cooperating in the fight against terrorism and that similar contacts would be made with members of the Warsaw Pact, including the Soviet Union, and non-aligned countries.

''Europe is endeavoring to build, together with other countries, a dam against terrorism and stress Europe this way wants to forestall military intervention,'' he said.

The United States said it had proof of Libyan involvement in the Berlin bombing and has been pressuring Western allies to take steps to isolate Libya.

At the meeting Monday, van den Broek said the European ministers agreed to:

--Reduce the number of Libyan diplomats and consular staff to a minimum and cut the European representations in Libya.


--Make movements of diplomats and consular staff outside the cities where they are established subject to a regime of official authorization.

--Toughen the granting of visas and residence permits to Libyan nationals.

--Examine how each community country can reduce the staff of non-diplomatic libyan bodies, including trade, tourism and airline offices and students.

--Close borders to Libyan citizens expelled elsewhere for involvement in terrorist activities.

--Investigate the abuse of diplomatic privileges and immunity so as to establish stricter controls.

''It is evident that the package is also a signal to other countries involved or possibly planning involvement in terrorist activities,'' said van den Broek, who added practical details of enforcement would be worked out.

''Each European country has a different relationship with Libya and it is not possible to regulate them all in one go, but our decisions were unanimous,'' he said.

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