Libya Foreign Policy

In terms of foreign policy, Libya severed all military ties to Great Britain and the USA after the overthrow of 1969 (withdrawal of all British and American troops in 1970); instead, it has forged ever closer ties with the USSR since around 1974. In the Middle East conflict, Libya became one of Israel’s fiercest opponents; It supported the PLO politically, and technically and militarily supported the Palestinian-Arab guerrilla activities against Israel. A severe border conflict (1976) and v. a. The reconciliation policy of the Egyptian President A. al-Sadat towards Israel (since 1977) led to a break with Egypt that lasted several years. The pan-Arab activities of Gaddhafi were closely interrelated with Libya’s anti-Israel policy in the Middle East. After a “Union of Arab Republics” (Libya, Egypt and Syria; decided in 1971) and a state union with Tunisia (announced in 1974) could not be realized, Gaddhafi sought a merger with Syria in 1980, which, however, was not realized at the state level. However, both countries supported Iran in the First Gulf War in the 1980s.

In the conflict over the future of the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara, Libya supported the liberation struggle of the Frente Polisario against Morocco, which has claimed this area since the mid-1970s. At the end of 1980 Libya intervened in the civil war in Chad (peace treaty 1989). The border dispute over the Aouzou strip in northern Chad, which had been occupied by Libya since 1973, was only settled by the International Court of Justice in The Hague, which awarded the area to Chad on February 3, 1994.

According to prozipcodes, the relationship between Libya and the western world of states was strained for a long time, v. a. as a result of Libyan support from numerous terrorist organizations around the world and, since 1990, through the construction of a chemical factory (Rabta), in which the production of poison gas is said to have been possible and which was replaced by a new chemical plant in 1995. While the EU states avoided conflicts with Libya, one of their most important oil suppliers, the US retaliated against terrorist attacks, for example. with air raids on Tripoli and Benghazi (April 1986), the shooting down of two Libyan fighter jets over the Mediterranean (1981 and 1989) and the imposition of an economic embargo (1986). During the 2nd Gulf War in 1991, Libya took an extremely cautious position (verbal condemnation of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait). Lockerbie assassination ). On April 15, 1992 and (in addition) on December 1, 1993, sanctions by the UN Security Council and on August 5, 1996 also by the USA against Libya came into force (including an air transport and arms embargo in 1992, and the freezing of Libyans in 1993 Bank balances abroad). After Libya brought the two alleged Lockerbie plane bombers to a court on April 5, 1999, the sanctions imposed in this connection were suspended or relaxed. Since then, Libya has tried, in some cases successfully, to overcome its international political isolation (including resumption of diplomatic relations with Great Britain in 1999), to become active as a mediator in African crisis and war regions (e.g. in Sudan in 1999) and to maintain its position within the OAU (among others Gaddhafi initiated to strengthen the African Union.

In the summer of 2000, inter alia through the mediation of Libya and the Gaddhafi Foundation hostages held in Jolo, Philippines released. The UN sanctions imposed in 1992 were finally lifted in September 2003 after Libya pleaded guilty for the Lockerbie attack and paid compensation for the families of the victims of this attack and a bombing of a French airliner in 1989 (170 deaths). With the contractually agreed compensation payments on September 3, 2004 to 163 victims (mainly Germans) of the attack on the West Berlin discotheque “La Belle” initiated by Libya in 1986 (around 230 injured, three dead), relations between Libya gradually normalized and Germany; the perpetrators were sentenced to several years imprisonment in 2001 in Berlin.

In December 2003, Libya announced the destruction of its weapons of mass destruction and the cessation of developing such weapons. International inspectors were also allowed to oversee the disarmament process; the International Atomic Energy Agency is supposed to ensure compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty check. As a result, in April 2004 the USA largely lifted the economic sanctions it had imposed on Libya since 1986 and renewed the diplomatic relations that had been broken off since 1980. In 2004, the European Union also ended its embargo policy, which had existed since 1986. In 2008, the temporary arrest of Gaddhafi’s son and his wife in Switzerland sparked a serious diplomatic crisis between the two countries. In the course of the Libyan civil war, the International Court of Justice issued an arrest warrant for Gaddhafi on June 27, 2011 for crimes against humanity. After his death on October 20, 2011, a new era began for Libya in terms of foreign policy.

Libya Foreign Policy