About-Face on Libya Signals Hope for Iran, N. Korea: Rice

Secretary hails historic trip as US officially renews ties with former foe
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2008 2:34 PM CDT
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, left waves her hand after arriving in Tripoli, Libya. Rice begins a four-nation tour of North Africa in Tripoli today.   (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Iran and North Korea, take heed: America’s reconciliation with Libya proves that Washington has no permanent enemies, Condoleezza Rice said today. The secretary of state, meeting in Tripoli with onetime international pariah Moammar Gadhafi, said her historic trip “demonstrates that when countries are prepared to make strategic changes in direction, the United States is prepared to respond,” AFP reports.

But Rice said “there is a long way to go” in improving relations between the countries. Still, the visit marks full renewal of relations with Libya, which has suspended its nuclear program—an act the US hopes Tehran and Pyongyang will follow. Gadhafi, the Arab world’s longest-serving leader, insisted all his country wants from the US “is to be left alone.”