Condoleezza Rices visit opens new era in US-Libya relations


By flying to Tripoli and shaking the hand of Colonel Gaddafi, Miss Rice effectively ended three decades of hostility between the oil-rich desert nation and America, an enmity that claimed lives in the 1980s when Libyan-backed terrorists perpetrated attacks such as the Lockerbie bombing.

"This demonstrates that the U.S. doesn't have permanent enemies," Miss Rice said.

"It demonstrates that when countries are prepared to make strategic changes in direction, the United States is prepared to respond.

"Quite frankly I never thought I would be visiting Libya and so it it is quite something.

"This trip is acknowledging how far the U.S.-Libyan relationship has come, but it is the beginning and not the end of the story.

After talks with Mohammed Abdel-Rahman Shalgam, Libya's foreign minister, she was due to join Col Gaddafi for iftar, the important ceremonial evening meal during Ramadan that ends the day's fasting during daylight.

Her trip comes after Col Gaddafi's regime publicly gave up attempts to create its own programme for producing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, a diplomatic coup achieved without the use of military force.

But while the state department boasts Libya as one of its successes in the Arab world, Col Gaddafi remains an unpredictable and enigmatic figure.

In comments made to the state media there was no sign he was anxious to cosy up to his former enemies in America.

"All we want is to be left alone," he said.

Col Gaddafi, a leader who straddles the divide between Africa and the Arab world, used typically colourful language to express admiration for Miss Rice in an interview last year.

"I support my darling black African woman," he said.

"I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders.

"Yes, Leezza, Leezza, Leezza ... I love her very much. :lol:

"I admire her, and I'm proud of her, because she's a black woman of African origin."
Condi is still single isn't she? What's the bet a lot more than talking is going on in Gaddafi's tent? :twisted:

No mention of democratic reform then, surprise surprise...
They want to rejoin polite international society and improve their economy but don't have the resources or technical skills to do so. We have lots of cash and trained people and want to exploit their oil and gas reserves. Match made in heaven - all they had to do was bin the WMDs, say sorry for a few things and pay a bit of compensation that compared to what they can expect to come rolling in once they start trading with the West again is piddling and they're laughing all the way home.

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