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Libya Reveals Mustard Gas Stockpile - 2004-03-06


Libya has issued its initial chemical weapons declaration, saying its stockpile includes more than 20 metric tons of mustard gas.

Libya also told the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that is has shut down a chemical weapons plant and has two chemical weapons storage facilities. Libya also says it was trying to develop the nerve gas sarin.

OCPW Director-General Rogelio Pfirter said Libya's disclosures "represent a tangible step toward the ultimate elimination of weapons of mass destruction."

The Libyan documents submitted to the chemical weapons watchdog include a plan for destroying chemical weapons and facilities. That plan will be reviewed by the organization's executive council.

The United States has lifted travel restrictions for Americans on Libya in view of the improving relations between Tripoli and the international community.

But Friday, the State Department said Americans wishing to travel to Libya should exercise caution -- saying it cannot provide any assurances about the safety of travel to the North African country and noting there is no U.S. embassy there.

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