The United States and Libya have signed a trade and investment agreement aimed at easing economic cooperation between the two countries, culminating two years of intensive diplomatic negotiations. The agreement is the latest sign that the relations between the two countries are increasingly improving and also pave the way for explore Libya’s untapped oil wealth. It also came after the first trade mission to Libya in February led by Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Nicole Lamb-Hale and representatives from 25 American companies. The deal aims to provide the means that will allow each of the two countries to study and discuss any issue of common interest including trade relations and the study of any difficulties that may face their bilateral trade relations and providing solution as well, according to a joint statement.
The US delegation’s visit in February was the latest in a gradual thaw in American-Libyan relations. In May 2007, then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice removed Libya from the U.S. list of State Sponsors of Terrorism due to Libya’s stated abandonment of its weapons of mass destruction program – believed to include nuclear weapons – back in 2003.