Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Libya: leadership reportedly unhappy at US spin on disarmament

On Monday, US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham took reporters on a tour of a US military installation and showed them the materials shipped out of Libya.
"Libya was quite unhappy with this dog and pony show because it hurts them domestically (and) in the Arab world," said the Vienna-based official close to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which is headquartered in the Austrian capital.

"It looks like unilateral US disarmament of Libya, and Libya wants it recognized as disarmament under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and IAEA auspices," the official, who asked not to be named, told reporters in Washington. (link)
This issue was addressed in yesterday's State Department briefing with deputy spokesperson Adam Ereli ...
QUESTION: So you don't -- you don't think this could, in some way, the great show, embarrass Libya, because while they're cooperating with you and the international community, the Arab world, obviously, has a different view and Qadhafi is criticized in the Arab press for, you know, cowing before the United States; making a show of it only heightens that impression.

MR. ERELI: I don't -- this is not a design to embarrass anyone. It was simply designed to demonstrate the kind of materials that are involved here. And anybody who sort of thinks that this is sending a message of seeking to cow anyone is really misreading it.

As I said before, this is a very cooperative process, and it is a process that is being led by, initiated by, and supported by Libya and the international community. (link)