NATIONAL

U.S. increasing contacts with Libya

WASHINGTON, FEB. 26. The White House has formally announced that in recognition of Libya's decision to renounce weapons and programmes of weapons of mass destruction and its reintegration with the international community, the United States will be taking five steps to encourage Libya to continue in this path.

The Secretary of State has rescinded the restriction on the use of American passports for travel to Libya; the Treasury Department will be issuing a general licence for all travel-related expenditures to Libya; American companies with pre-sanctions holdings in Libya will be authorised to negotiate terms of re-entry subject to further approval; Washington has invited Libya to open an Interest Section in this city which will then lay the ground for more extensive diplomatic relations in the future; and the administration has committed to increasing contacts and exploring cooperation in humanitarian projects, the White House has said in a statement.

"The United States will approach relations with Libya on a careful, step-by-step basis. We have made clear that progress in our bilateral relationship will depend upon continued, good faith implementation by Libya of its own public commitments on WMD, missiles and terrorism," the statement issued by the Press Secretary said.