The United States and the United Kingdom pledged that Libya would receive political, economic and military benefits in exchange for dismantling its WMD programs, the son of Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi said today, Agence France-Press reported (see GSN, March 9).
“If we want to be accurate in regards to the weapons of mass destruction, the largest part (of the agreement) was completed in secret talks that lasted nine months between the U.S., British and Libyan intelligence services, before the war on Iraq,” Saif ul-Islam Qadhafi said of his country’s announcement in December that it would end its WMD efforts.
He said Libya’s decision was due to three considerations, which he disclosed today for the first time, according to AFP.
“The first reason is political, economic, cultural and military gains that were promised by the Western party with whom we were negotiating,” he said. “The temptation was really great,” he added.
“The second reason was that our problems with the West were a danger for us. So, if the West tells us it does not [want] to fight us and wants instead to build a partnership with us, why should we insist on being hostile to it?” he said.
“Third, and that’s the main reason — we were developing weapons in preparation for a battle with the enemy,” he said. “Then we saw that the Palestinians have achieved in five years of negotiations (with Israel) more than 50 years of armed struggle from Beirut, Tunis and Amman,” he added.
It was understood that by “the enemy,” Qadhafi’s son was referring to Israel, according to the Agence France-Presse.
“Add to all this the fact that the leader (Muammar Qadhafi) had felt that the Arabs are exploiting him, mocking him and threatening him with the U.S. card,” his son continued. “The leader concluded that if this problem is solved, Libya will end its international isolation and become a dialogue partner to the powerful nations, and that it could work with them to change the Arab situation,” he added.
“If you have the backing of the West and the United States, you will be able to achieve in a few years what you could not achieve in 50,” he said (Agence France-Press/Yahoo!News, March 10).