US senators discuss military equipment for Libya

Last Updated: Saturday, August 15, 2009 - 00:32

Tripoli: A delegation of US senators led by John McCain met with Libya`s leader Friday to discuss the possible delivery of non-lethal defence equipment.
The visit and Washington`s offer of military equipment was another sign of the improving ties between the former longtime adversaries.

"We discussed the possibility of moving ahead with the provision of non-lethal defense equipment to the government of Libya," McCain said at a news conference. He gave no details on the kind of military equipment Washington is offering.

A halting, five-year rapprochement between the two countries began in 2003 when Moammar Gadhafi renounced terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Earlier this year, Washington posted an ambassador to Libya for the first time in 36 years.

Senator McCain, however, said the US remained concerned about Libya`s record on human rights and political reform.

"As we move ahead with the many ways in which the United States and Libya can work together as partners, there remain areas where real work needs to be done," McCain said.
"The status of human rights and political reform in Libya will remain a chief element of concern."

The US State Department`s 2008 human rights report on Libya says problems include reported disappearances, torture, arbitrary arrests and the detention of political prisoners.

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First Published: Saturday, August 15, 2009 - 00:32

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