Index

Testimony before the House International Relations
Africa Sub-Committee
Ronald E. Neumann
July 22, 1999

Thank you for inviting me to speak to you on the current status of US
Libya policy, an area where patience and our diplomatic initiatives
have brought a significant success. It has been some time since
hearings have been held on this subject, so I will begin with how we
got to where we are. Approximately eighteen months ago, UN sanctions,
in place since 1992, were having an impact on Libya. But the symbolic
dimensions -- the ban on air travel and mandate to reduce Libyan
diplomatic presence -- were seen as increasingly futile, International
support for new pressure on Libya was declining, Sanctions fatigue was
setting in. Others in the region and our own allies believed it
important for all concerned to try to bring the matter to a close. But
Libya was coming no closer to surrendering the suspects in the Pan Am
103 bombing. Against this backdrop, Secretary Albright met with the
families of the Pan Am 103 victims in August 1997. She listened
carefully to them and was moved by their pain, and she promised to do
something to provide the victims and families with some measure of
justice and closure as the 10th anniversary of the tragedy approached.

We began months of discussion with the British and the Dutch. Our goal
was to fulfill the UNSC-mandated requirement of an UK or US trial for
the two indicted Libyans. We and the British had insisted since the
1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 and the 1991 indictment of Fhima and
Megrahi that the suspects could be tried only in a US or an UK court.
Colonel Qadhafi had suggested that he would accept a Scottish trial in
a third country. We decided to call his bluff. We established a
Scottish court applying Scottish law and providing Scottish legal
safeguards in the Netherlands. This was no easy feat; it required new
legislation to be passed by the Dutch parliament, an order in council
to be adopted by the British government, an UK-Netherlands agreement,
and the strong support of these two allies.

On August 24th of last year, we unveiled our plan and said to Libya:
You have repeatedly expressed support for a third country trial venue,
As Secretary Albright said, "take it or leave it." We expect you now
to surrender the two suspects for trial before a Scottish court seated
in the Netherlands. We and the UK presented our initiative to the UN
security Council, and members endorsed it unanimously. Secretary
Albright met again with the Pan Am 103 families on October 26 to
explain the initiative. Most of the families supported our efforts,
including most of those who had originally been reluctant. Secretary
Albright committed that there would be no negotiations and that she
would seek tougher sanctions if Libya did not surrender the suspects.
We refused to negotiate. There was no secret deal.

Instead, from August to April, we worked through UN Secretary General
Annan to provide clarifications -- primarily of legal aspects -- of
our initiative. We assured the Libyans that once surrendered the
suspects would be tried fairly and in strict accordance with Scottish
law. We provided no guarantee of where the evidence would lead or how
the trial would conclude. The trial would be a genuine criminal
proceeding -- not a political show trial. On April 5, Libya
surrendered the suspects -- thanks in large part to the efforts of
Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Abdullah, Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the
US Prince Bandar Din Sultan, South African President Mandela, Egyptian
President Mubarak and UN Secretary General Annan. But our clear
determination to see the suspects surrendered for trial in a Scottish
court was of critical importance.

Upon surrender of the suspects, UN sanctions were suspended, in
accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1192. I would stress
that US unilateral sanctions remain in place. Resolution 1192 also
asked that Secretary General Annan report to Council members within
ninety days on Libyan compliance with the remaining Security Council
requirements. These additional requirements -- outlined in three
resolutions -- demand that Libya: renounce and end all support for
terrorist activities, acknowledge responsibility for the actions of
its officials, cooperate with the trial and pay appropriate
compensation. We continue to require that they be fully fulfilled. We
met twice in New York -- first with the UN Secretary General and the
British and then with the Secretary General, the British and the
Libyans. We invited the Libyans to attend this meeting in order to
make clear to them what the resolutions require, that we are serious
about full compliance and that such compliance is not impossible. We
also made clear our view that we would not agree to terminate UN
sanctions until compliance had been demonstrated by Libyan actions.

As a practical matter, we won't be able to assure ourselves that Libya
is cooperating fully with the trial until after it is substantially
under way.

On June 30, 1999, the Secretary General reported to the Council that
Libya had made assurances it would fulfill all the requirements but
had not yet done so. The Council responded with a Council Presidential
Statement that welcomed the positive signs from Libya but confirmed
that Libya had not complied fully, and that sanctions would not be
lifted until Libya does so. The Council expressed its gratitude to the
Secretary General for his efforts and requested that he follow
Libya-related developments and report accordingly. In other words
instead of acceding to calls by some for an immediate lifting of
sanctions, the world community is now clearly on record as agreeing
that additional requirements remain and that they must be fulfilled.

The Council's unanimous position was heavily influenced by U.S.
diplomatic efforts. We were forthright about our intention to veto any
resolution that would have tried prematurely to lift sanctions.

However, much of the world has been quick to welcome Libya back into
the community of nations. On the political front, a number of nations
ha reestablished diplomatic relations, and Libya has become much more
active in regional organizations. On the economic front, immediately
following the suspension of UN sanctions proscribing direct air travel
to and from Libya, foreign airlines opened direct routes to Tripoli.
Foreign firms have also welcomed Libya's indications of interest in
large infrastructure projects, including in the petroleum sector, and
aircraft purchases. We have taken a different route, emphasizing the
need for Libya to take positive actions to end its support for
terrorism and meet all the requirements of the UNSC resolutions before
unilateral or multilateral sanctions can be lifted.

We acknowledge Libya's recent declarations of its intention to turn
over a new page, but, given its history, such statements are not
enough. Positive actions are essential if Libya is to be re-integrated
into the international community, beginning with full cooperation in
the Pan Am 103 trial, and full compliance with the remaining UNSC
requirements. We recognize that Libya has publicly declared its
intention to play an active, constructive role in regional conflicts.
It will be important to test that this rhetoric is supported by
constructive and consistent actions. There are several problem areas,
where Libya can demonstrate a changed attitude through helpful,
concrete action.

We expect Libya to fulfill all of the UNSC requirements: renounce and
end all support for terrorist activities, acknowledge responsibility
for the actions of its officials, cooperate with the trial and pay
appropriate compensation. Only when Libya has complied fully will we
be able to consider lifting U.S. sanctions against Libya. Right now,
such steps would be premature. At the same time it is important to
make clear that we have no hidden agenda. We have get Libya clear,
specific benchmarks that it must meet if it is to become a responsible
and constructive member of the international community. We have set
goals Libya can meet if it has the will to do so.