Libya: Background and U.S. Relations
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Libyan-U.S. rapprochement has unfolded gradually since 2003, when the Libyan government accepted responsibility for the actions of its personnel in regard to the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 and announced its decision to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction and long range missile programs. In response, U.S. sanctions were gradually removed, and, 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. Full diplomatic relations were restored on May 31, 2006, when the United States upgraded its Liaison Office in Tripoli to an Embassy. Libya was removed from the lists of state sponsors of terrorism and states not fully cooperating with U.S. counterterrorism efforts in June 2006. Until late 2008, U.S.-Libyan re-engagement was hindered by lingering disagreements over outstanding legal claims related to U.S. citizens killed or injured in past Libyan-sponsored or supported terrorist attacks. From 2004 onward, Bush Administration officials argued that broader normalization of U.S.-Libyan relations would provide opportunities for the United States to address specific issues of concern to Congress, including the outstanding legal claims, political and economic reform, the development of Libyan energy resources, and human rights. However, some Members of Congress took steps to limit U.S.-Libyan re-engagement as a means of encouraging the Libyan government to settle outstanding terrorism cases in good faith prior to further normalization.
- Government and Political Science