Libya applauds lift of U.S. sanctions

Sept. 21, 2004 at 8:32 AM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Libya Tuesday applauded Washington's decision to lift most economic sanctions, a move bound to give a strong boost to Libyan-U.S. relations.

The official al-Shams newspaper said the decision proves the United States' credibility and determination to upgrade relations between the two countries.

"Quiet and sober diplomacy succeeded in crossing stages which would eventually lead to the re-establishment of full relations between Libya and the U.S.," the paper said.

President Bush signed an executive order ending the national emergency declared in 1986 under the International Emergency Powers Act. The president's action removes economic restrictions on aviation services with Libya, paving the way for direct flights, and unblocks some $1.3 billion in assets that were frozen under the Libya Sanctions.

Terrorism-related sanctions on Libya remain in place, however.

Monday's move was the result of Libya's renunciation of its program to make weapons of mass destruction.

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