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U.S., Libya Optimistic About Meeting

U.S. members of Congress and Libyan President Mu’ammar Al-Qadhafi gave positive feedback at the conclusion of their historic meeting in Tripoli on Monday, news sources reported.

The U.S. is even considering paying for Libya to dismantle its nuclear facilities, according to The Guardian, a U.K.-based daily.

Congressman Curt Weldon spoke of “forgetting the past,” and “turning a new page” with the North African nation to the media.

In an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Al-Qadhafi described the meeting as favorable.

The visit of the seven-member U.S. delegation, the first U.S. diplomatic mission to Tripoli in 30 years, follows Libya’s declaration to open up to international weapons inspectors and halt its fledgling nuclear program.

Thus far, U.S., British and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials have been to Libya for inspections.

Al-Qadhafi also hinted that the U.S. and Libya have been co-operating on apprehending Libyans who fought with the Taliban in Afghanistan, during the interview with the Italian daily. He also implied that Israel was a terrorist state responsible for mass extermination, according to reports.

The U.S. severed ties with Libya in the early 1980s, after Libya was allegedly found to be involved in international terrorist attacks.

Subsequently, both the U.S. and the U.N. imposed sanctions on the state.

Libya has recently agreed to compensate people affected by its terror attacks, which led to the removal of U.N. sanctions.

Congressman Tom Lantos reportedly predicted that relations between Libya and the U.S. would be fully normalized by 2005.