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Libya: Pace of Normalization Slower Than Expected


Libya's top diplomat in Washington has said relations with the U.S. are not improving as quickly as expected after last month's decision by the Bush administration to restore full diplomatic relations with Libya.

On Friday in Washington, Ali Aujali, chief of Libya's U.S. diplomatic office, said Libyans are having trouble obtaining U.S. visas.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State David Welch, who appeared with Aujali at a conference on U.S. - Libya relations, said that the restoration of diplomatic ties did not absolve Libya of responsibility for past actions.

But Welch also said that the U.S. will likely remove Libya from its list of nations that sponsor terrorism next week, following the end of a 45-day review period on June 29.

In 2002, Libya agreed to pay 10 million dollars to each U.S. family that lost a relative in the 1989 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. But to date Libya has paid only 8 million of the amount. Aujali said Libyan lawyers are in the U.S. trying to work out a deal with the Lockerbie families.

Welch said he plans to travel to Libya next month.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.