rice visits libya, rice lands in libya Friday, rice in Tripoli
Nasser Nasser/AP

Condoleezza Rice Lands in Libya

September 05, 2008 03:49 PM
by Cara McDonough
The historic visit is the first time in 50 years that a U.S. secretary of state has visited the African nation, marking a new diplomatic era between the two countries.
Prior to her trip, Rice said that her visit meant the United States is prepared to forgive prior enemies. “It demonstrates that when countries are prepared to make strategic changes in direction, the United States is prepared to respond,” she said, as reported in the Daily Telegraph.

Rice, who landed in Libyan capital Tripoli on Friday, plans to hold a landmark meeting with the country’s leader, Moammar Gadhafi. The United States restored relations with Tripoli in 2005 after Gadhafi renounced terrorism, abandoned the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, and agreed to compensate victims of two major Libyan terrorist acts, the 1986 La Belle disco bombing in Berlin, Germany and the 1988 Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, CNN reports.

Since then the United States has praised Libya for helping fight terrorism in North Africa, as well as agreeing to help United States crack down on Iran’s nuclear program. U.S. relations with Libya have remained somewhat strained, however. But Rice seemed optimistic about her trip. She said that she recognizes Libya “is a place that is changing and I want to discuss how that change is taking place.”

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