Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Kirsti Garlock, 202 225-5021, May 16, 2006

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For IMMEDIATE Release

Hyde Comments on Normalization

of Diplomatic Ties with Libya

(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-IL), Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, commented today on the decision by the Bush Administration to normalize diplomatic relations with Libya:

“Libya’s removal from the list of state sponsors of terrorism represents a significant step in the progression of U.S-Libyan relations following that country’s decision to divest itself of weapons of mass destruction, as well as its recent cooperation in the fight against global terrorism.

“However, Libya’s continued failure to resolve outstanding claims for past acts of terrorist aggression, including the La Belle Discotheque bombing of 1986 and the Egypt Air Hijacking of 1985, will serve as a significant stumbling block in the path toward full normalization of relations with the United States. While we can never forget the pain and loss inflicted by these cowardly attacks, it is my hope that the Libyan Government will see the wisdom in helping to close this regrettable chapter in our mutual history by resolving these claims without further delay.

“We also hope the Libyan Government will honor pledges made to the families of the victims of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988.

“In the months ahead, the Committee will examine this decision closely and urge the Libyan government to reconcile its new attitude with its terrorist past.”

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