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McCain says Libya may get US goods

Associated Press / August 15, 2009

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TRIPOLI, Libya - A delegation of US senators led by John McCain met with Libya’s leader yesterday to discuss the possible delivery of nonlethal defense equipment. The visit and Washington’s offer of military equipment was another sign of the improving ties between the former longtime adversaries.

“We discussed the possibility of moving ahead with the provision of nonlethal defense equipment to the government of Libya,’’ McCain said during a press conference. He gave no details on the kind of military equipment Washington is offering.

A halting, five-year rapprochement between the two countries began in 2003 when Moammar Khadafy renounced terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Earlier this year, Washington posted an ambassador to Libya for the first time in 36 years.

McCain, however, said the United States remains concerned about Libya’s record on human rights and political reform.

“As we move ahead with the many ways in which the United States and Libya can work together as partners, there remain areas where real work needs to be done,’’ McCain said. “The status of human rights and political reform in Libya will remain a chief element of concern.’’

The American delegation also included Senators Joseph I. Lieberman, Susan M. Collins, and Lindsey O. Graham.