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U.S. keeps Libya sanctions for now

From John King
CNN Washington Bureau

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, pictured late last year.
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, pictured late last year.

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George W. Bush
Arms Control

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush signed an order Monday that keeps in place sanctions on Libya first enacted during the Reagan administration in January 1986.

But Bush noted "positive developments" such as Libya's decision to take responsibility for the Pan Am 103 bombing and its recent promise to verifiably dismantle its weapons of mass destruction program.

"As Libya takes tangible steps to address those concerns, the United States in turn will take reciprocal tangible steps to recognize Libya's progress," Bush said in his order -- an annual decision on whether to leave the sanctions in place.

Bush went on to say that Libya's most recent declaration about its weapons programs marked "the beginning of a process of rejoining the community of nations, but its declaration of December 19, 2003, must be followed by verification of concrete steps."

The decision to keep the sanctions in place was widely expected.

In an exclusive interview with CNN in late December, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, said that although his country had certain programs and machines, it had no chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear arms. (Full story)

A few days earlier in December, Libya agreed to dismantle those programs and allow U.N. weapons inspectors access to key sites.

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