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NFTC & USA*Engage Praise U.S. Announcement on Libya
Date: 5/15/2006

Restoration of diplomatic relations is a positive step forward for both sides


Washington DC - USA*Engage and the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) welcomed today's announcement by the U.S. State Department that the United States would renew diplomatic relations with Libya and remove the country from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.

William A. Reinsch, NFTC President and Co-Chair of USA*Engage, said "This is another positive step in the U.S.-Libya relationship which was achieved as the result of dialogue between the two governments. When the United States is engaged in a country, we have a better idea of what is happening on the ground and much more of an opportunity to influence ideas and behavior in positive ways. We hope today's decision will lead to further improvements in our relationship."

USA*Engage and NFTC worked closely with the State Department during the first phases of our improved relationship with Libya and for some time have urged the completion of the process by removing Libya from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

"This announcement," said Reinsch, "should put our two countries on the road to closer diplomatic and commercial ties, including the potential to be part of the Middle East Free Trade Area."

NFTC is the secretariat for the Middle East Free Trade Area initiative aimed at developing a free trade agreement between the United States and the countries of the region.



USA*Engage ( is a coalition of small and large businesses, agriculture groups and trade associations working to seek alternatives to the proliferation of unilateral U.S. foreign policy sanctions and to promote the benefits of U.S. engagement abroad. Established in 1997 and organized under the National Foreign Trade Council (, USA*Engage leads a campaign to inform policy-makers, opinion-leaders, and the public about the counterproductive nature of unilateral sanctions, the importance of exports and overseas investment for American competitiveness and jobs, and the role of American companies in promoting human rights and democracy world wide.

The National Foreign Trade Council ( is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.