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Vol 43 No 23

Published 22nd November 2002


Libya

Hasty engagement

Friends and aspiring friends rush to embrace him but Gadaffi is in no hurry

A big new hotel and high-rise housing blocks are going up in Tripoli. Libya says it wants to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Resolution of the dispute over the 1988 Lockerbie aircraft bombing is in prospect, followed by the return of United States' oil companies. Western business executives and opinion-formers are already flocking in. Officially, Libya stands on the edge of President George W. Bush's government's 'axis of evil' but its international supporters see evidence that Colonel Moammar el Gadaffi's Jamahiriya ('state of the masses') is changing fast.

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