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The World

U.S. to send ambassador to Libya

July 12, 2007|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The United States took another step in restoring normal diplomatic relations with Libya on Wednesday when President Bush nominated a U.S. ambassador to the once-outcast nation.

The White House said that Gene Cretz, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, is Bush's pick for the post.

The nomination, which requires confirmation by the Senate, continues a process that began when Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi agreed to dismantle his weapons of mass destruction programs. The U.S. broke off diplomatic ties in 1981.

Libya was held responsible for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. The attack claimed 270 lives, most American. Kadafi later agreed to pay $2.7 billion in reparations.

Bush's announcement came on the same day that Libya's Supreme Court upheld the death sentences of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor convicted of infecting more than 400 children with the AIDS virus. The six, who have been in Libyan custody since 1999, have said they are innocent.

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