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Libya
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Libya

The Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya or Libya (Arabic: ليبيا) is a country in North Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, located between Egypt on the east, Sudan on the southeast, Chad and Niger on the south and Algeria and Tunisia to the west. Its capital city is Tripoli.

(Note that in ancient Greece, Libya is used in a broader meaning, encompassing all of North Africa west of Egypt. Indeed, sometimes the name refers to the entire continent of Africa. The three traditional parts of the country are Tripolitania, Fezzan and the Cyrenaica.) In Greek mythology, Dido came from Libya.

الجماهيرية العربية الليبية الشعبية الإشتراكية
al-Jamāhīrīyah al-‘Arabīya al-Lībīyah ash-Sha‘bīyah al-Ishtirākīyah
(In Detail) (In Detail)
Official language Arabic
Capital Tripoli
"Leader of the Revolution" Moammar Al Qadhafi
President Zentani Muhammad az-Zentani
Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem
Area
- Total
Ranked 16th
1,759,540 km²
Population
 - Total (Year)
 - Density
Ranked 103rd
5,499,074
3.1/km²
Currency Libyan dinar
Time zone UTC +2
Independence
 - Declared
(From Italy)
December 24, 1951
National anthem Allahu Akbar
Internet TLD .ly
Calling Code 218

Table of contents
1 History
2 Politics
3 Municipalities
4 Geography
5 Economy
6 Demographics
7 Culture
8 Miscellaneous topics

History

Main article: History of Libya

Tripoli and Cyrenaica were Roman colonies; and were conquered by Arab Muslims in the 7th century. By the 19th century it was an increasingly independent Ottoman province; and came under the control of Italy in 1911.

After the Second World War Libya was granted independence, as a condition of the Allied peace treaty with Italy. Since 1969 Libya has been ruled by Colonel Moammar al-Qadhafi, who came to power in a coup and deposed the Libyan monarchy.

Qadhafi rejected both Soviet Communism and Western capitalism and claimed that he was charting an independent course, portraying himself as a champion of "oppressed peoples" and Third World nations seeking to assert their independence on the international stage.

U.S-Libyan relations almost deteriorated when in December 2 1979, Libyan mobs sacked the United States embassy in Tripoli. Qadhafi referred to the incident it as a "spontaneous demonstration" and denied any involvement. In May 1980, the United States withdrew all United States diplomats but did not break off diplomatic ties with Libya.

In 1980, the Libyan government paid Jimmy Carter's brother, Billy Carter, $220,000 to persuade better diplomatic relations between the two nations.

On May 6, 1981, a more than year after Ronald Reagan became president of the United States, the United States government blamed the Libyan government for sponsoring international terrorism. All Libyan diplomats were expelled from the United States and the United States officially broke diplomatic relations between the two nations. The Libyan embassy was also shut down.

The Reagan administration saw Libya as an unacceptable player on the international stage because of its backing of Palestinian terrorist groups, its support for revolutionary Iran in its 1980-1988 war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq (see Iran-Iraq War), and its assistance for "liberation movements" in different parts of the world, many which were conducted by separatist terrorists such as: the Irish Republican Army (IRA), Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

In March 1982 the U.S. declared a ban on the import of Libyan oil and the export to Libya of U.S. industrial technology items, most of which where used for oil; Europe did not follow suit.

The U.S. attacked Libyan patrol boats from January to March 1986 during clashes over over access to the Gulf of Sidra, which Libya claimed as territorial waters but was not recognized internationally. Qadhafi had long referred to it as the "line of death". Later, on April 14, 1986, Reagan ordered major bombing raids against so-called "terrorist sites" Tripoli and Benghazi that killed approximately 60 people following U.S. accusations of Libyan involvement in a bomb explosion at the German LaBelle nightclub frequented by U.S. servicemen on April 5, which had killed 3. Among the victims of the April 14 bombing raid was the adopted daughter of Qadhafi.

The United Nations imposed sanctions against Libya in 1992 following the Pan Am Flight 103 Lockerbie disaster. The sanctions were lifted on September 12, 2003, after Libya agreed to accept responsibility and make payment of US $2.7 billion to the families of those who died in the bombing. In the same vein, on February 26, 2004, the United States lifted their 23-year travel ban to Libya, although many other restrictions currently remain in place, such as economic sanctions and the ban on flights by U.S. airlines to Libya.

Politics

Main article: Politics of Libya

The Libyan system of government is quite unusual. Qadhafi claims that Libya is a "pure socialist state", and as such the formal institutions of government are purposely quite vague. Qadhafi himself is not even technically the "President" or "Prime Minister" of the country, and instead describes himself as a sort of "guide" or a "leader" to help the Libyan people in socialism. To most people around the world, he is simply referred to as "Colonel Qadhafi". Libya has no constitution, and the laws of the land come from Islamic law, and Qadhafi's "Green Book" of political philosophy. The government is called a "jamahiriya," a modification of the Arabic word "jumhuriya" (republic) that translates loosely as "people's state."

In practice, however, Libya is essentially a dictatorship, with Qadhafi ruling by decree, assisted by a small clique of military and political officials. Libya has been accused of widespread human rights abuses, and state sponsored terrorism.

On December 19, 2003, Libya admitted having had a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program and simultaneously announced its intention to end it and dismantle all existing WMD to be verified by unconditional inspections. Libya also agreed to limit its long range missiles to 300 km. Some of the WMD included mustard gas, which was hidden in a turkey farm. The announcement came after clandestine diplomatic negotiations with the United Kingdom and United States since March 2003. On March 7, 2004, the White House confirmed that the last of Libya's nuclear weapons-related equipment had been sent to the United States.

Municipalities

Main article: Municipalities of Libya

About that same time, Libya was also caught secretly passing nuclear technology which originated in North Korea on to other countries. Furthermore, Pakistan and China were mentioned as contributors to the programs.

Egypt previously had obtained technology directly from Pyongyang, officials said, but the U.S. blocked a shipment of missiles in 2001. Nevertheless, the House subcommittee on terrorism learned a year later Egypt received 24 No-Dong missile engines from North Korea.

'We are still trying to understand the network, to see if other countries have received the [weapons-related] technology, the weapons designs,' IAEA director-general Mohamed El Baradei, who did not cite Egypt, said during a visit to Libya Feb. 23. 2004 'This is of course an important and urgent concern for us.'"

Geography

Main article: Geography of Libya

Economy

Main article: Economy of Libya

Demographics

Main article: Demographics of Libya

Culture

Main article: Culture of Libya

Miscellaneous topics


Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
Algeria | Indonesia | Iran | Iraq | Kuwait | Libya | Nigeria | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | United Arab Emirates | Venezuela


[ Edit {}] Countries in Africa
Algeria | Angola | Benin | Botswana | Burkina Faso | Burundi | Cameroon | Cape Verde | Central African Republic | Chad | Comoros | Democratic Republic of the Congo | Republic of the Congo | Côte d'Ivoire | Djibouti | Egypt¹ | Equatorial Guinea | Eritrea | Ethiopia | Gabon | The Gambia | Ghana | Guinea | Guinea-Bissau | Kenya | Lesotho | Liberia | Libya | Madagascar | Malawi | Mali | Mauritania | Mauritius | Morocco | Mozambique | Namibia | Niger | Nigeria | Rwanda | São Tomé and Príncipe | Senegal | Seychelles | Sierra Leone | Somalia | South Africa | Sudan | Swaziland | Tanzania | Togo | Tunisia | Uganda | Zambia | Zimbabwe
Other areas: Canary Islands | Madeira Islands | Mayotte | Réunion | Saint Helena | Western Sahara


In Greek mythology, Libya was a daughter of Memphis and Epaphus. Poseidon loved her. The country, Libya, described above, was named after her.