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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 December, 2003, 15:52 GMT
World reaction to Libya's decision
Leaders around the world have welcomed Libya's decision to abandon its programmes for developing weapons of mass destruction.

United States President George W Bush

President Bush
Bush wants Libya's move to serve as an example
"When leaders make the wise and responsible choice, when they renounce terror and weapons of mass destruction, as Colonel Gaddafi has now done, they serve the interest of their own people and they add to the security of all nations.

As Libya becomes a more peaceful nation, it can be a source of stability in Africa and the Middle East.

Should Libya pursue internal reform, America will be ready to help its people to build a more free and prosperous country."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair

"This courageous decision by Colonel Gaddafi is an historic one. I applaud it. It will make the region and the world more secure. It shows that problems of proliferation can, with good will, be tackled through discussion and engagement, to be followed up by the responsible international agencies."

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw

"He needs to be applauded in unqualified terms for what he has done. I believe it is very statesmanlike and courageous... If Saddam had come to us a year ago or more... then the situation in Iraq would have been a very different one."

Libya Foreign Minister Mohamed Abderrahmane Chalgam

"Libya wants to solve all problems and we want to focus on development and advancing our country. This (weapons) programme does not benefit our people or country... We want to have ties with America and Britain because this is in the interest of our people."

French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin

Dominique de Villepin
Dominique de Villepin: praised the US and UK
"Libya is heading down the path of disarmament. It's a success for the entire international community.

France acclaims the diplomatic efforts of Britain and the United States, which allowed this result to be achieved.

This confirms the efficiency of the political approach to bringing a peaceful response to the major challenge of proliferation. We are strong when the international community moves forward united."

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov

"We regard Tripoli's decision as a responsible act that will help strengthen the international non-proliferation regime and also efforts to improve security in the Middle East and Africa.

Moscow believes this will be an important contribution towards making the Middle East nuclear-free, something that the international community desires."

Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom

"By really enforcing this decision, Libya will find its way back to the bosom of the international community."

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher

"I hope that other countries in the region ... would follow such an example ... get rid of and put an end to any nuclear weapons production programme... You know, of course, who I mean."

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa

The Libyan move "emphasizes the need for Israel to comply with all the regulations that prohibit the proliferation of weapons... There should be no exceptions that would allow Israel [to have such weapons],"

South African Department of Foreign Affairs

"This move will further create the conditions for Africa to achieve its vision of having a continent free of weapons of mass destruction which is in line with policies of the African Union."

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda (in a press conference)

"It's good from the viewpoint that it means a step forward to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons."

Chinese foreign ministry statement via spokesman Liu Jianchao

"China believes that political and diplomatic means are an efficient way of solving non-proliferation issues, and it supports strengthened international dialogue and co-operation in this respect."

Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio

"Spain wishes Libya to occupy its proper place among nations under the rule of law."

Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer

"It illustrates a point: that if the world is strong and robust in confronting the proliferation of these weapons, it can be successful."

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

According to AFP news agency, Mr Berlusconi said Italy had a hand in the agreement and that it had paid "particular attention" to the problem.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
"This decision by Colonel Gaddafi will make the region and the world more secure"

The BBC's Carole Walker
"The government says Libya was close to developing a nuclear weapons capability"

Gaddafi: In from the cold
20 Dec 03  |  Africa

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