Ship Leaves Libya with Last of Nuke Equipment

A cargo ship left Libya (search) on Saturday carrying the last of the equipment that Moammar Qaddafi's government had used for its nuclear weapons program, a White House spokesman said.

The ship steamed for the United States laden with 500 tons of material containing "all known remaining equipment" associated with Libya's nuclear program, which it agreed last year to abandon.

The equipment included "all centrifuge parts and all equipment from its former uranium (search) conversion facility," spokesman Sean McCormack (search) told reporters covering President Bush's long weekend at his Texas ranch.

The shipment also contained all of Libya's longer-range missiles, including five Scud-Cs, McCormack said.

In addition, "All Libya's known chemical munitions have been destroyed," he said, and stocks of mustard gas were removed from vulnerable warehouses and stored in a single, secure facility.

Libya acknowledged stockpiling 44,000 pounds of mustard gas and disclosed the location of a production plant in a declaration submitted Friday to the world's chemical weapons watchdog.

Libyan Col. Mohamed Abu Al Huda handed over 14 file cartons disclosing Libya's chemical weapons programs to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (search), said general director Rogelio Pfirter.

The Hague-based OPCW oversees compliance with the 1993 international treaty banning chemical weapons, which Libya joined last month.

Libya also declared thousands of tons of precursors that could be used to make sarin (search) nerve gas, and two storage facilities, Pfirter said. The production and storage facilities were near Tripoli and in the south of the country, Pfirter said.

Pfirter said the Libyan development program and the production of potential weapons ended in the early 1990s, and the mustard gas had not been weaponized. "They were tested but not used," he said.

Last week, Libya made the first concrete move to eliminate its stockpiles when it destroyed 3,300 bombs specifically intended to carry chemical payloads.

U.S. experts plan to open discussions with Libyan weapons scientists beginning Sunday about retraining them for peaceful projects, McCormack said.

In December, Libya agreed to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction programs.

The country is trying to end its international isolation and restore relations with the United States.