Foreign Relations of Libya Under Muammar Gaddafi - United States

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In early 2004, the U.S. State Department ended its ban on U.S. citizens using their passports for travel to Libya or spending money there. U.S. citizens began legally heading back to Libya for the first time since 1981.

On 15 May 2006 David Welch, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, announced that the U.S. had decided, after a 45-day comment period, to renew full diplomatic relations with Libya and remove Libya from the U.S. list of countries that foster terrorism. During this announcement, it was also said that the U.S. has the intention of upgrading the U.S. liaison office in Tripoli into an embassy. The U.S. embassy in Tripoli opened in May, a product of gradual normalization of international relations after Libya accepted responsibility for the Pan Am 103 bombing. Libya's dismantling of its weapons of mass destruction was a major step towards this announcement.

The United States suspended its relations with Gaddafi's government indefinitely on 10 March 2011, when it announced it would begin treating the National Transitional Council in Benghazi as legitimate negotiating parties for the country's future.

On 15 July 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that America would now recognize the National Transitional Council as the legitimate government of Libya, thus severing any and all recognition of Gaddafi's government as legitimate.

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