Libya Compensates Terrorism Victims

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November 2, 2008 @ 4:49 UTC

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Terrorism and Security, International Relations

Libya paid victims (and their family members) $1.5 billion in recent weeks as compensation for their suffering. This opens the door to a considerable improvement in Libyan-American relations, which Libya has wanted for years.

The U.S. will now be able to invest big time in Libya, which is an oil rich country, and ends Libya’s legal liabilities in U.S. terrorism cases.

United States President George W. Bush signed an executive order last Friday ‘restoring Libyan immunity from terrorism-related lawsuits and dismissing pending cases over compensation as part of a deal reached this summer,’ American news network CNN reported Saturday.

Although families of the individuals killed by Libyan supported terrorism will never see their loved ones back, regardless of what Tripoli does, they will now at least feel some sense of justice.

David Welch, the top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East, rightfully called Libya’s willingness to compensate American terrorism victims “historic.”

Libya has been an enemy of the United States for decades. The overture, however, is an important sign that its leader Moammer Gaddafi understands that the best way to get ahead in the world is by having good relations with the Americans.

American business men too are delighted with the deal: they believe that the deal may result in billions of dollars in extra profits in the coming years and decades. Libya has a lot of petroleum below the surface of the earth, but currently lacks the infrastructure to do something with it. Libya’s compensation for terrorism suspect and Bush’s decision to rehabilitate it mean that American businesses can finally invest in Libya, in order to produce and sell more oil.

The deal with Libya is yet another sign of the tremendous change in Bush’s foreign policy, ever since Donald Rumsfeld resigned as Secretary of Defense and was replaced by Robert Gates. Both Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice believe that diplomacy is more effective than Rumsfeld and his fellow neoconservatives believe, and have long advocated more ties with ‘enemy regimes.’

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