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Libya to sit on Security Council

  • Story Highlights
  • Libya enters U.N. Security Council after renouncing terrorism, abandoning WMD programs
  • Nation rehabilitated over last four years; U.S. restored full relations last year
  • Two-year term begins in January 2008, but it will not have power of veto
  • Families of those killed in 1988 Lockerbie plane bombing denounce the move
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UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- Four years after renouncing terrorism and abandoning its WMD programs, Libya Tuesday won a two-year term on the U.N. Security Council.

The U.N. General Assembly approved Tripoli's candidacy for a spot on the 15-member council with 178 votes.

In May 2006, the United States restored full diplomatic relations with Libya and removed it from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, where it had been for 27 years.

Three years earlier, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi had made an abrupt about-face after the fall of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, renouncing support for terrorism and agreeing to give up Libya's missiles and weapons of mass destruction.

In early 2004, Libya handed over its nuclear components and documents related to the country's WMD program, which were taken to a U.S. facility in Tennessee.

Later that year, the United States ended a 18-year trade embargo against Libya and lifted a ban on Americans traveling there.

While Tripoli has worked to re-establish itself in global good graces, it has fallen short in living up to commitments it made under a settlement agreement with the families of victims of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.

"They have not fully paid the restitution to the families," said Katherine Flynn, the mother of one of the 270 people were killed in the attack.

A Libyan intelligence agent was convicted of planting the bomb that blew the plane up over Scotland.

Flynn said she found it "outrageous that there's even a concept of putting Libya, who has been sanctioned by the United Nations and has not fulfilled its obligation ... with regard to those sanctions" on the 15-member Security Council.

"I cannot understand how a nation already under U.N. sanctions is going to become part of the Security Council that puts sanctions on countries," Flynn added. "This is absolutely an abomination as far as I'm concerned."

Libya's two-year term will begin in January 2008, but as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, it will not have veto power.

Tripoli is also trying to polish its tarnished image by hosting peace talks Oct. 27 on the conflict in Darfur. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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