Libyan Minister Meets Rice, Signs Pacts

Washington visit latest chapter in makeover for former pariah state
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2008 5:49 PM CST
Libyan Foreign Minister Abdel-Rahman Muhammad Shalgam, center, arrives for a signing ceremony at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2007. Despite unresolved terrorism and human rights...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – In the latest sign of a remarkable turnaround in relations between the countries, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today hosted Libyan Foreign Minister Abdel-Rahman Shalqam, who later signed agreements on science and technology. Leader Moammar Gaddafi's renunciation of terrorism and enmity with the West has opened relations, the Washington Post reports, with economic sanctions lifted in 2006.

Though some issues remain surrounding compensation due from Libya to victims of the 1998 airliner bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, relations are on the upswing. "Libya made an historic decision to stop its weapons of mass destruction program, and we want to work on ways to improve our relations," a National Security Agency spokesman says.