The start of a new relationship is how the US Secretary of State described her historic visit to Libya. Condoleeza Rice’s been meeting with Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi – the first senior contact in more than 50 years.
For years, the White House condemned Gaddafi as a major supporter of terrorism, but after their talks, Rice said the trip proved that Washington had no permament enemies. “I think we are off to a good start. It is only a start but after many, many years, I think it is a very good thing that the United States and Libya are establishing a way forward,” Rice told a news conference after talks with Gaddafi at a compound
bombed by U.S. warplanes in 1986.
Human rights abuses are still thought to be rife in the north African country. But in recent years, Gaffafi has cooled his anti-Western rhetoric and sought to bring Libya back into the international fold.
The reconciliation process began in 2003 when Libya’s accepted responsibility for the Lockerbie attack, and ended its nuclear weapons programme.