Friday, September 5, 2008

Rice to Visit Lybia

Despite Gadhafi's 2003 decision to abandon weapons of mass destruction, renounce terrorism and compensate victims of the 1986 La Belle disco bombing in Berlin and the 1988 Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, not all questions have been settled.

Empty fund for victims
Even as Rice prepared for her landmark face-to-face meeting with Gadhafi, a fund set up last month to compensate U.S. and Libyan victims of those bombings remained empty.

A leading Libyan reformer, Fathi al-Jhami, whose case has been championed by the Bush administration and by Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden, remained in detention, where he has been near continuously since 2002. Rights groups say hundreds of other political prisoners are still being held.

Libya, now an elected member of the U.N. Security Council, has voted with the United States on issues related to Iran's nuclear program and has helped with the Darfur crisis. But its support on other key issues, notably the Middle East peace process, is far from clear.

Among the biggest question marks is the often unpredictable behavior of Libya's mercurial supreme leader, the sunglasses-clad Gadhafi, who has cultivated images as both an Arab potentate and African monarch since taking power in a 1969 coup.

Read it all here.

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