Libya declares its intention to dismantle its Weapons of Mass Destruction, December 19
'We ascertained there wasn't a secret agenda against us', Libya announced its landmark deal on weapons of mass destruction in a statement, obtained by the Guardian. The following is an edited version Saturday December 20, 2003.
After an agreement was reached regarding the Lockerbie case, the Libyan side ascertained that there wasn't a secret agenda on the American and British side against Libya and was assured of their good intentions towards Libya.
This encouraged Libya to go forward and open the remaining files of mutual concern, beginning with weapons of mass destruction in which the American administration and the British government were continuously asking Libya to cooperate. They are looking for transparency and confirmation that Libya has no such weapons. They want to know the size and nature of the Libyan programme in this field.
For this reason, the British prime minister was continuously sending letters and personal envoys who met with the leader Muammar al-Gadafy and asked him for cooperation because this will open horizons of collaboration and enable Libya to obtain defensive weapons.
And they promised that Libya would get great economic benefits. Libyan students will be able to obtain admission to western universities to study in fields previously restricted for them. This will speed up the restoration of American- Libyan relations ... and improve them.
Coordination took place between the Libyan Intelligence, the CIA and MI6 which required calling for experts from the three agencies to examine and discuss the nature of those programmes and to help Libya to prepare its files before entry into international treaties that prevent the proliferation of biological chemical and nuclear weapons.
Some of the [Libyan] programmes were identified by these experts as dual use or that they might lead to military use. We confirmed together that they would be under international supervision owing to the fact that Libya will be a party to those treaties and therefore they will not be used except for civilian purposes.
This regards the equipment that can have dual use or research that might lead to obtaining weapons, or military tasks.
The work has been concluded since three months. It began last March and since between one month and two weeks it was decided that the task was finished and the countries agreed to announce the completion of this job.
Muammar al-Gadafy ... confirmed that the circumstances [of announcing the breakthrough] may not be suitable as a result of the situation in Iraq and elsewhere, but the British prime minister, Tony Blair, and the American president, George Bush, insisted that the time had come to announce the news, for this will be considered a success for the Libyan, American and British diplomacy ...
They urged the leader Muammar al-Gadafy to announce that now, even though they are aware of the sentiments of Arab and Islamic states.
Source: Guardian newspaper, http://politics.guardian.co.uk/foreignaffairs/story/0,11538,1110933,00.html.
'PM welcomes Libyan WMD announcement', Prime Minister Tony Blair has welcomed Libya's decision to rid itself of Weapons of Mass Destruction, December 19, 2003.
This evening Colonel Qadhafi has confirmed that Libya has in the past sought to develop WMD capabilities, as well as longer range missiles. Libya came to us in March following successful negotiations on Lockerbie to see if it could resolve its WMD issue in a similarly co-operative manner. Nine months of work followed with experts from the US and UK, during which the Libyans discussed their programmes with us. As a result, Libya has now declared its intention to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction completely and to limit the range of Libyan missiles to no greater than 300 kms, in accordance with the parameters set by the Missile Technology Control Regime.
The Libyan government has undertaken that this process will be transparent and verifiable. Libya will immediately adhere to the Chemical Weapons convention and conclude with the International Atomic Energy Agency an Additional Protocol to its Safeguards Agreement. We have offered our support to Libya in presenting its programmes to these international bodies and are prepared to offer assistance with dismantlement.
This courageous decision by Colonel Qadhafi is an historic one. I applaud it. It will make the region and the world more secure. It shows that problems of proliferation can, with good will, be tackled through discussion and engagement, to be followed up by the responsible international agencies. It demonstrates that countries can abandon programmes voluntarily and peacefully. The Libyan government has stated that weapons of mass destruction are not the answer for Libya's defence. No more are they the answers for the region. Libya's actions entitle it to rejoin the international community. I have spoken to Colonel Qadhafi to say that, as the process of dismantlement goes forward, I now look forward to developing a productive relationship with him and with Libya.
Today's announcement is a further step in making the world a safer place. The UK, US and our partners are determined to stop the threat of WMD. We have played a leading role in the IAEA, with our closest allies, on the issue of Iran and nuclear weapons. We strongly support the Six Party talks on North Korea. We have enforced Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq. We have played a leading role in the Proliferation Security Initiative designed to interdict the passage of cargoes which could be used in WMD programmes. These actions show that we are serious about effective multilateral action against WMD.
And today's decisions show that recent events and political determination are opening up possibilities which just a few years ago would have been unthinkable. We must work now to create new partnerships, across geographical and cultural divides, backed by tough international rules and action.
We have identified the security threat of the early 21st century. It is the combination of terrorism and the development of nuclear or chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction.
September 11th showed the world this new form of terrorism knows no limits to the innocent lives it will take. WMD are the means by which it could destroy our world's security, and with it our way of life.
Today's announcement shows that we can fight this menace through more than purely military means; that we can defeat it peacefully, if countries are prepared, in good faith, to work with the international community to dismantle such weapons. Those countries who pursue such a path will find ready partners in the US and in the UK, as Libya will see. We never have wanted, as our opponents falsely claim, to dominate the world, to wage war on Muslims or Arabs, to interfere with the legitimate rights of sovereign nations.
We have only ever wanted to make peace in our world lasting and stable, built on sure foundations, peace for people of all faiths, all cultures, all nations who desire the good of their citizens and the wider world.
Tonight is a further step on that journey.
Source: 10 Downing Street website, http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page5086.asp.
'President Bush Welcomes Libyan Decision to End WMD Programs', December 19, 2003.
THE WHITE HOUSE
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. I have called you here today to announce a development of great importance in our continuing effort to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Today in Tripoli, the leader of Libya, Colonel Moammar al-Ghadafi, publicly confirmed his commitment to disclose and dismantle all weapons of mass destruction programs in his country. He has agreed immediately and unconditionally to allow inspectors from international organizations to enter Libya. These inspectors will render an accounting of all nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and will help oversee their elimination. Colonel Ghadafi's commitment, once it is fulfilled, will make our country more safe and the world more peaceful.
Talks leading to this announcement began about nine months, ago when Prime Minister Tony Blair and I were contacted through personal envoys by Colonel Ghadafi. He communicated to us his willingness to make a decisive change in the policy of his government. At the direction of Colonel Ghadafi, himself, Libyan officials have provided American and British officers with documentation on that country's chemical, biological, nuclear and ballistic missile programs and activities. Our experts in these fields have met directly with Libyan officials to learn additional details.
Opposing proliferation is one of the highest priorities of the war against terror. The attacks of September the 11th, 2001 brought tragedy to the United States and revealed a future threat of even greater magnitude. Terrorists who killed thousands of innocent people would, if they ever gained weapons of mass destruction, kill hundreds of thousands -- without hesitation and without mercy. And this danger is dramatically increased when regimes build or acquire weapons of mass destruction and maintain ties to terrorist groups.
The United States and our allies are applying a broad and active strategy to address the challenges of proliferation, through diplomacy and through the decisive actions that are sometimes needed. We've enhance our intelligence capabilities in order to trace dangerous weapons activities. We've organized a proliferation security initiative to interdict dangerous materials and technologies in transit. We've insisted on multilateral approaches like that in North Korea to confront threats. We are supporting the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency to hold the Iranian regime to its treaty obligations.
We obtained an additional United Nations Security Council Resolution requiring Saddam Hussein to prove that he had disarmed, and when that resolution was defied, we led a coalition to enforce it. All of these actions by the United States and our allies have sent an unmistakable message to regimes that seek or possess weapons of mass destruction. Those weapons do not bring influence or prestige. They bring isolation and otherwise unwelcome consequences.
And another message should be equally clear: leaders who abandon the pursuit of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and the means to deliver them, will find an open path to better relations with the United States and other free nations. With today's announcement by its leader, Libya has begun the process of rejoining the community of nations. And Colonel Ghadafi knows the way forward. Libya should carry out the commitments announced today. Libya should also fully engage in the war against terror. Its government, in response to the United Nations Security Council Lockerbie demands, has already renounced all acts of terrorism and pledged cooperation in the international fight against terrorism. We expect Libya to meet these commitments, as well.
As the Libyan government takes these essential steps and demonstrates its seriousness, its good faith will be returned. Libya can regain a secure and respected place among the nations, and over time, achieve far better relations with the United States. The Libyan people are heirs to an ancient and respected culture, and their country lies at the center of a vital region. As Libya becomes a more peaceful nation, it can be a source of stability in Africa and the Middle East.
Should Libya pursue internal reform, America will be ready to help its people to build a more free and prosperous country. Great Britain shares this commitment, and Prime Minister Blair and I welcome today's declaration by Colonel Ghadafi. Because Libya has a troubled history with America and Britain, we will be vigilant in ensuring its government lives up to all its responsibilities. Yet, as we have found with other nations, old hostilities do not need to go on forever. And I hope that other leaders will find an example in Libya's announcement today.
Our understanding with Libya came about through quiet diplomacy. It is a result, however, of policies and principles declared to all. Over the last two years, a great coalition of nations has come together to oppose terror and to oppose the spread of weapons of mass destruction. We've been clear in our purposes. We have shown resolve. In word and in action, we have clarified the choices left to potential adversaries. And when leaders make the wise and responsible choice, when they renounce terror and weapons of mass destruction, as Colonel Ghadafi has now done, they serve the interest of their own people and they add to the security of all nations.
Source: US State Department, Washington File, http://usinfo.state.gov.
'U.S. Security Strategy Induced Libya to Give up WMD Programs', White House fact sheet on steps taken by Ghadafi government, December 19, 2003.
THE WHITE HOUSE
December 19, 2003
The President's National Security Strategy to Combat WMD
Libya has disclosed to the US and UK significant information on its nuclear and chemical weapons programs, as well as on its biological and ballistic missile-related activities: Libya has also pledged to:
-- Eliminate all elements of its chemical and nuclear weapons programs;
-- Declare all nuclear activities to the IAEA;
-- Eliminate ballistic missiles beyond 300 km range, with a payload of 500kg;
-- Accept international inspections to ensure Libya's complete adherence to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and sign the Additional Protocol;
-- Eliminate all chemical weapons stocks and munitions, and accede to the Chemical Weapons Convention;
-- Allow immediate inspections and monitoring to verify all of these actions.
As President Bush said today, Libya must also fully engage in the war against terror.
Libya's announcement today is a product of the President's strategy which gives regimes a choice. They can choose to pursue WMD at great peril, cost and international isolation. Or they can choose to renounce these weapons, take steps to rejoin the international community, and have our help in creating a better future for their citizens.
These actions will make our country more safe and the world more peaceful.
There is no greater danger to our people than the nexus of terrorists and weapons of mass destruction. The risks posed by this dangerous nexus cannot be contained or deterred by traditional means. From the beginning of his Administration the President's national security strategy has committed the US to work with its allies to:
-- Ensure that international agreements against the proliferation of WMD are observed and enforced;
-- Detect, disrupt and block the spread of dangerous weapons and technology;
-- Confront emerging threats from any person or state before those threats have fully materialized; and
-- Improve our capabilities to respond to the use of WMD and minimize the consequences of an attack.
The President's national security strategy gives regimes a choice. They can choose to pursue WMD at great peril, cost and international isolation. Or they can choose to renounce these weapons, take steps to rejoin the international community, and have our help in creating a better future for their citizens.
Libya's announcement today is a product of this strategy. Over the last two years the world community has witnessed our determination to work in partnership with our allies to combat the nexus of terrorism and WMD. Together we have:
-- Enforced UN Security Council resolutions to disarm the Iraqi regime;
-- Removed the terrorist Taliban regime in Afghanistan;
-- Expanded our intelligence capabilities, improved our technology, and increased allied cooperation;
-- Captured or killed key terrorist leaders, disrupted and seized terrorist finances, and destroyed terrorist weapons and training camps;
-- Led the Proliferation Security Initiative to interdict dangerous WMD and their means of delivery.
-- Continued our efforts to secure sensitive technologies in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere;
-- Insisted on a multilateral approach to confront the threat from North Korea; and
-- Supported the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency to hold the Iranian regime to its treaty obligations.
These actions have sent an unmistakable message to regimes that seek or possess WMD: these weapons do not bring influence or prestige -- they only bring isolation and other unwelcome consequences. When leaders make the wise and reasonable choice to renounce terror and WMD, they serve the interests of their own people and add to the security of all nations.
Another message should be equally clear: leaders who abandon the pursuit of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons -- and the means to deliver them -- will find an open path to better relations with the US and other free nations.
Other leaders should find a constructive example in Libya's announcement. Genuine progress by Libya to eliminate its WMD programs will be met by tangible improvements in relations with the world community.
The US and UK have a troubled history with Libya, and serious issues remain. However, Libya has taken a significant step, and with this decision Libya has begun the process of rejoining the international community. As Libya becomes a more peaceful nation, it can be a source of stability in Africa and the Middle East.
Source: US State Department, Washington File, http://usinfo.state.gov.
© 2003 The Acronym Institute.