Published December 19, 2003
Major events in relations between Libya and the United States.
— Sept. 1, 1969: Libyan military officers depose the conservative monarchy of King Idris. Col. Moammar Gadhafi emerges as leader of the revolutionary government and orders the closure of a U.S. Air Force base. The last U.S. servicemen leave in June 1970.
— Dec. 2, 1979: Some 2,000 Libyans ransack the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, chanting support for the radical Islamic regime that took power in Iran earlier in the year.
— Aug. 12, 1981: President Reagan, citing alleged Libyan involvement in terrorism, orders U.S. jets to attack targets in Libya.
— Dec. 11, 1981: Concerned about the safety of Americans in Libya, the Reagan administration asks them to leave. It also invalidates use of U.S. passports for travel to Libya.
— April 14, 1986: Convinced that Libya was responsible for a deadly bombing at a Berlin discotheque frequented by American servicemen, Reagan orders jets to attack five targets in Libya. An estimated 40 Libyans, including Gadhafi's baby daughter, are killed.
— Dec. 21, 1988: Pan Am Flight 103, with 259 people aboard, most of them Americans, is bombed over Lockerbie, Scotland. All aboard the U.S.-bound flight perish, along with 11 more on the ground.
— April 15, 1992: U.N. Security Council imposes sanctions on arms sales and air travel against Libya to prod Gadhafi into surrendering two suspects wanted in the Pan Am 103 bombing.
— April 14, 1999: Libya surrenders the two Libyans for trial. The U.N. Security Council quickly suspends sanctions but does not lift them — meaning they can be re-imposed.
— Jan. 31, 2001: Scottish court convicts Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi of the Lockerbie bombing and sentences him to life imprisonment. A second Libyan is acquitted.
— Aug. 15, 2003: Libya officially accepts responsibility for Lockerbie, agreeing to pay relatives of each victim at least $5 million. Washington says it will maintain U.S. sanctions and keep Libya on its list of state sponsors of terrorism, but will not oppose lifting of U.N. sanctions.
— Sept. 12, 2003: U.N. Security Council votes to lift the sanctions.
— Dec. 19, 2003: President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair announce that Gadhafi has admitted trying to develop weapons of mass destruction but now plans to dismantle all such programs following nine months of talks.