Timeline: Gaddafi's 42-year relationship with the West

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China.org.cn, March 24, 2011

                                                                                                                                                  (1969 --- 1999)





Dozens of African immigrants are killed by Libyan mobs in the west of Libya who were said to be angry at the large number of African laborers coming into the country.




In the Netherlands, a Scottish court convicts Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer, of murder in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. A second Libyan, Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, is acquitted. 




Libya reaches a political agreement with the United States and Britain to accept civil responsibility and pay up to $10 million per victim, $2.7 billion in total. The UN Security Council lifts sanctions imposed on Libya in 1992. At the end of the year, Libya announces it will abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs and open its territory to international weapons inspectors. 



British Prime Minister Tony Blair visits Libya, the first such visit since 1943. The United States lifts a long-standing trade embargo on Libya. In October, EU foreign ministers agree on a full lifting of the EU-Libya arms embargo imposed in 1986. 



Libya's first auction of oil and gas exploration licenses herald the return of US energy companies for the first time in more than 20 years. 



The United States says it is restoring full diplomatic ties with Libya. 




Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi apologizes to Libya for damage inflicted by Italy during the colonial era and signs a $5-billion investment deal by way of compensation. In September, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meets Gaddafi in Tripoli, which marks the first visit by a US secretary of state since 1953. Rice says relations between the United States and Libya have entered a "new phase." 




Gaddafi makes a controversial first visit to former colonial power Italy. Gaddafi and US President Barack Obama shake hands during the G8 summit in Italy. Later the convicted Lockerbie bomber Megrahi is set free on humanitarian grounds based on his apparent terminal illness and arrives home to a hero's welcome. Britain condemns the celebrations in Tripoli.



Libya suspends visas for citizens of the Schengen area -- 25 European countries, including nations such as Switzerland, which are not EU members. The same year, a group of journalists are arrested in an apparent power struggle within ruling elite. Gaddafi later orders their release. 




Anti-Gadhafi protests begin in Libya. The UN Security Council authorizes a no-fly zone over Libya and air strikes to protect civilians. 



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