- The Washington Times - Monday, January 6, 2003

TRIPOLI, Libya, Jan. 6 (UPI) — Libya Monday rejected a decision by U.S. President George W. Bush to extend 15 years of U.S. sanctions.

Libyan Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassouna al Shawoush said in a statement the U.S. decision to renew sanctions in force since January 1986 "did not take into consideration the norms of foreign relations which should be based on understanding, mutual interest and settling disputes through dialogue."

He described the decision as "a routine and repetitive procedure."

He stressed that the "policy of sanctions and economic embargo were leftovers from the Cold War."

Al Shawoush urged the U.S. administration to "drop" what he called the "policy of complicating things" and to take into consideration the interests of its citizens and economic institutions that have been deprived of conducting business in Libya for more than 15 years.

He stressed that Libya wanted "dialogue between the two countries and steps aimed at rebuilding mutual confidence."

Last week, Bush extended sanction son Libya by one year. Sanctions were placed for Libya's role in the bombing of a Pan Am airliner over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in December 1988.

The U.N. Security Council lifted sanctions on Libya in 1999 after Tripoli handed over two Libyan security agents suspected of involvement in the bombing. The two were tried by a Scottish court in Holland. On was convicted but the other was found innocent

The lawyer of the families of the victims of the ill-fated airline announced last October that an initial agreement was reached with Libya under which Tripoli would pay them $2.7 billion in compensation.

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