First US envoy in 36 years arrives in Libya
Tripoli, December 28, 2008
The first US ambassador to Libya in three decades arrived in Tripoli on Saturday, in a further sign of the two nations' improving ties.
Gene Cretz, a career US diplomat whose foreign postings have included Tel Aviv, Damascus, Cairo, Islamabad, New Delhi, and Beijing, said he would strive to broaden links between Tripoli and Washington.
'I'm happy to be in Libya,' he told reporters on his arrival at Tripoli airport, naming business and tourism among his priorities for expanded co-operation.
US-Libyan ties have improved dramatically since Libya's December 2003 decision to abandon the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and the subsequent resolution of disputes over bombings that Washington long blamed on Libya.
US officials said the last big obstacle to normal ties was removed when Libya in October paid $1.5 billion into a fund to settle claims by the families of US citizens killed in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, the 1986 attack on a West Berlin disco and other such incidents.
After Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi seized power in a 1969 coup, US-Libyan ties became increasingly strained because of his support for what the United States regarded as international terrorism.
The United States withdrew its ambassador from Tripoli in 1972 and all US diplomats left after a mob attacked and set fire to the US Embassy in 1979.
The two countries re-opened lower-level missions in each other's capitals in 2004 and upgraded them to full embassies in 2006.-Reuters
More Government & Laws Stories
- Saudi sets up panel on labour disputes
- Sand-dredging bill is hit by funding row
- Saudi rejects Maliki's charges on funding militants
- Independent foreign policy non-negotiable: Qatar
- Bahrain to crack down on bogus investments
- Bahrain urged to set up national plan to fight cyber crime
- Galfar ex-CEO gets 15 years' jail over bribes
- New law on family violence on the way in Bahrain
- Four blast suspects are remanded in Bahrain
- Bahrain to step up war on terror
- Norton Rose Fulbright moves London head to Dubai
- DSG ‘ready to implement Smart Dubai Strategy’
- Iraqi women protest new draft law
- Bahrain police 'face more danger in line of duty'
- Saudi names Brotherhood as terrorist group
- Qatar outraged over terror claims
- Bahrain PM condemns exploitation of children
- Qatar will not alter foreign policy: source
- Bahrain accuses Iran of fomenting trouble
- 'Put security before rights' in Bahrain: publisher
- 'Hizbollah trained Daih blast suspect'
- Key terror blast suspects named in Bahrain
- $2.6m Royal Fund for martyrs set up
- Bahrain to draw up new anti-terror laws
- GCC ROW: Qatar voices surprise over envoys pull out
- GCC tobacco tax rise ‘will fuel illicit trade’
- Saudi, UAE, Bahrain withdraw envoys from Qatar
- Bahrain explosion draws global condemnation
- GDN photographer hurt in blast is discharged
- Iran playing increasing role in Bahrain unrest