Friday, February 13, 2004

Liberia: US given right to search "Liberian" ships

U.S. Navy forces can board thousands of commercial ships in international waters to search for weapons of mass destruction under a landmark deal signed this week between the United States and Liberia, the world's No. 2 shipping registry.

... David Osler of London-based Lloyd's List, a leading shipping industry publication, said the U.S.-Liberian accord was the first he knew of sanctioning U.S. searches of commercial ships at sea.

Panama, the top country among flags of convenience, has no such agreement and isn't currently negotiating one, Deputy Foreign Minister Nivia Rossana Castrellon said in Panama City.