TITLE:LIBYAN CHEMICAL WEAPONS (11/03/93)
LIBYAN CHEMICAL WEAPONS
(VOA Editorial) (360)
(Following is an editorial, broadcast by the Voice of America November 3,
reflecting the views of the U.S. government.)
Libyan dictator Muammar Al-Qadhafi is continuing Libya's chemical weapons
program in defiance of international efforts to ban chemical weapons
1roduction, stockpiling and use. In recent years, the Qadhafi regime has
turned to private contractors from Thailand and other countries to
construct facilities for storing a variety of chemical weapons, including
nerve gases. The government of Thailand recently moved to prevent its
citizens from assisting Libya's chemical weapons build-up. The United
States welcomes this action by the Thai government.
Three years ago, the United States determined that the facility at Rabta, 60
miles south of Tripoli, was the largest chemical weapons plant in the
developing world. The chemical agents believed to be in production at
Rabta include mustard gas -- used with terrible effect in the First World
War -- and a lethal nerve gas called sarin.
Such weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a major state sponsor of
international terrorism should be a serious concern to all nations. Some
30 insurgent and terrorist groups worldwide have received Libyan training,
weapons, money and other forms of support. Libya's intelligence service
was directly responsible for the bombings of Pan American flight 103 in
1988 and UTA flight 772 in 1989. More than 400 men, women and children
lost their lives in those savage acts of international terrorism. The
Qadhafi regime still refuses to comply with U.N. resolutions calling on
Libya to hand over for trial in the United States and Britain those
suspected in the Pan Am bombing and to cooperate with the French
investigation of the UTA bombing.
In addition to supporting terrorism and subversion, the Libyan dictator has
launched his military on campaigns of aggression against Chad in 1980 and
again in 1983. In April 1987, Qadhafi suffered a disastrous defeat in Chad
-- losing nearly a quarter of his invasion force.
Chemical weapons vastly increase Libya's capacity for aggression and
terrorism. The United States calls on all nations to help keep such
weapons of mass destruction out of Qadhafi's hands.
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