NBC Weapons: March 28, 2004


: The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inspectors confirmed that Libya's sole chemical weapons factory was disabled and has inventoried material at two storage facilities, confirming that the chemical weapons stockpiles actually totaled 50,700 pounds of mustard gas and 2.9 million pounds of nerve gas precursor chemicals. The OPCW oversees compliance with the 1993 international treaty banning chemical weapons, which Libya joined last month. Under a timetable outlined in the treaty, Libya is committed to destroying all its chemical weapons and the capacity to produce them by April 29, 2007. Gadhafi's regime also is working with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to dismantle its nuclear weapons programs. 

On March 18, U.S. officials said that Libya would send a delegation to Washington by the end of the month. They would lay the groundwork for Tripoli reestablishing a diplomatic presence known as an 'interests section'. An 'interests section' is required to work under the auspices of a "protecting power" nation which has full diplomatic relations with the United States and the United Arab Emirates is finalizing the legal framework to become Tripoli's protecting power. Washington has also allowed US firms to start returning to the oil-rich nation. - Adam Geibel

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, online at




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