| Shukri Ghanem |
|Died||2012-04-29 (Age 69)|
|Alma mater||Garyounis University, Tufts University|
BBC Radio 4 interview
On 22 February 2004, Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme that Libya had played no part in either the 1988 Lockerbie bombing or the shooting of WPC Yvonne Fletcher in London in 1984.
Pressed on why his government has offered to pay $2.7 billion (or $10 million dollars to each of the 270 Lockerbie victims' families) in compensation, Ghanem insisted that this was merely an effort to “buy peace” following years of crippling economic sanctions and was not an admission of guilt.
Libyan TV has been covering the latest in a series of visits by International weapons inspectors. Yet just six months ago their presence would have been hardly imaginable. In a souk café I asked local people what they thought of this latest revolution in Libyan politics.
- “We’ve been waiting for this for decades. It’s wonderful. It will help us avoid starvation, to avoid a war,” says one man.
Although hardly visible through the pipe smoke, customers in this bustling café in Tripoli’s old town had clear views on one thing. It’s best to make friends with the West.
- “Libya should have done this 5 years ago, make friends with famous countries like America and Britain. Though it’s important that we don’t become colonies of these countries,” says another customer.
- “I don’t believe there were ever any WMD's to give up. It’s impossible that they could have existed.”
A short taxi ride away, in a quieter more leafy area of central Tripoli lays the freshly renovated British Embassy. Ambassador Anthony Layden believes the Colonel’s decision on WMD has more to do with pragmatism and self-survival than any wars in Iraq, or new found friends in the West:
- “35 years of total state control of the economy has left them in a situation where they’re simply not generating enough economic activity to give employment to the young people who are streaming through their successful education system. I think this dilemma goes to the heart of Colonel Gaddafi’s decision that he needed a radical change of direction.”
|Ex-Libyan oil minister's body found in Danube|
|Document:Libya: Fine, but why Britain||article||20 March 2011||Brian Barder||David Cameron seemingly Gung Ho on toppling the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, while Barack Obama takes a back seat|
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