Arab League chief arrives in Libya

By SADEK AL-TARHUNI  |  March 3, 2002 at 8:24 AM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, March 3 (UPI) -- Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa arrived in Libya on Sunday in an effort to convince Libyan leader Col. Moammar Qadhafi to withdraw his threat of backing out of the 22-member Arab organization.

Arab League sources in Tripoli said Moussa was set to meet Qadhafi in the Libyan city of Sirte, about 250 miles east of the capital.

The sources said Moussa and Arafat would also discuss "Arab developments and (the) Middle East peace initiative."

During a speech Saturday, Qadhafi threatened to withdraw from the Arab League and called on his country's popular conferences to "adopt a decision for pulling out Libya" from the group, which he described as becoming "a comedy and children play."

The Libyan leader said he was "not honored of belonging to the Arabs and if the decision is in my hand we would have withdrawn from the Arab League as of today."

In 1998, Libya threatened to withdraw from the Arab League because of its members' position vis-à-vis accusations of Libya in the 1989 bombing of the Pan Am airliners over Lockerbie, Scotland. It backed out on its threat following a visit to Tripoli by former Arab League Secretary-General Esmat Abdel Meguid.

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