'Israel must destroy WMD'
21/12/2003 14:40 - (SA)
Tripoli - A Libyan newspaper, Al-Jamahiriya, says the international community should pressure Israel to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction, saying Tripoli's renunciation of such arms meant Israel no longer had an alibi for having them.
"The Libyan initiative must encourage the international community to discuss the case of Israel and put pressure on the Israelis to eliminate their weapons of mass destruction
Libya took the world by surprise when it announced on Friday that it had developed weapons of mass destruction and vowed to renounce them.
"Israel's weapons should no longer escape checks by Blix and ElBaradei," said the paper, referring to former UN chief arms inspector Hans Blix and the head of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei.
Blix was recently assigned to lead a new Swedish-financed commission on weapons of mass destruction, which is set to work in 2004 and 2005 on finding ways of limiting the spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
Libya's surprise renunciation was an about-face for Tripoli, which has for years denied having or developing these weapons and came after nine months of secret negotiations with Washington and London.
Although Israel has never confirmed or denied that it possesses weapons of mass destruction, it has been considered a nuclear power since 1969 by the authorities in the United States and experts believe it has at least 200 nuclear