- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 21, 2004


President Bush yesterday signed an executive order lifting sanctions against Libya, rewarding the country for agreeing to dismantle its weapons programs.

The move, announced by White House spokesman Scott McClellan, is expected to trigger the release of more than $1 billion to families of victims of the Pan Am 103 crash.

Libya had threatened to cancel the compensation payment if the sanctions were not lifted by tomorrow.

High-level discussions on the final phase of Libya’s disarmament pledges were held Friday in London. Officials said the discussions were productive.

State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said Libya had taken significant disarmament actions in the past nine months. Among other steps, he said, Libya has turned over to U.S. custody “all critical elements” of its undeclared nuclear-weapons programs.

Tripoli also eliminated one class of Scud missile and agreed to eliminate another, Mr. Ereli said.

Rep. Tom Lantos of California, ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, said, “This victory is thanks to more than two decades of tough multilateral sanctions and firm diplomacy sustained through Democratic and Republican administrations.”

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