Libya: Background and U.S. Relations
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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On May 15, 2006, the Bush Administration announced its intention to restore full diplomatic relations with Libya and to rescind Libyas listing as a state sponsor of terrorism and a country not fully cooperating with U.S. counterterrorism efforts. Presidential Determination No. 2006-14 certified that the government of Libya had not provided any support for international terrorism during the preceding 6 months and had provided assurances that it would not support acts of international terrorism in the future. Full diplomatic relations were restored on May 31 when the United States upgraded its Liaison Office in Tripoli to an Embassy. A 45-day congressional notification period ended on June 29, and the Secretary of State removed Libyas listings and ended the associated trade restrictions on June 30, without immediate public announcement. The Administration has not named an ambassador nominee. The changes mark the culmination of an initial period of improvement and rapprochement in U.S.-Libyan relations that began in December 2003, when the Libyan government announced its decision to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction and long-range missile programs. Administration officials have stated that normalization of U.S.-Libyan relations will provide opportunities for the United States to address specific issues of potential concern to Congress, such as political and economic reform, the development of energy resources, and human rights. Since the May 2006 announcement, some Members of Congress and family members of U.S. citizens killed and injured in Libyan-sponsored or supported terrorist attacks have expressed their opposition to changes in U.S. policy. Lawyers for the Libyan government and some victims families have held talks regarding financial claims arising from the bombings of Pan Am Flight 103, the LaBelle nightclub in Berlin, and other incidents.
- Government and Political Science