Gaddafi praised
Photo: AFP
Report: McCain praises Gaddafi for peacemaking
US senator says Congress would support expansion of US-Libya ties

US Republican Senator John McCain praised Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi for his peacemaking role in Africa and said Congress would support expanding ties, Libyan state news agency Jana said on Friday.


US-Libyan relations have dramatically improved since Tripoli's decision in December 2003 to give up its weapons of mass destruction programs, with diplomatic ties resuming in June 2004 after a break of more than two decades.


"McCain and the delegation accompanying him confirmed the importance of expanding further the relations between Libya and the United States. The Congress would back the measures to be taken to achieve this aim," Jana said. It gave no details.


Since Washington ended its major sanctions on Libya, US energy companies including ExxonMobil and Chevron have been active in Libya.


McCain, heading a four-member Congressional delegation, held talks with Gaddafi's son Mouatassim, the powerful national security adviser, before meeting Gaddafi himself.


"Senator McCain and the delegation with him expressed their deep happiness to meet the leader and praised him for his wisdom and strategic vision to tackle issues of concern to the world and his efforts to sustain peace and stability in Africa," Jana said.


Gaddafi is the chairman of the African Union and attended the July G8 summit of world leaders in Italy, where he met and shook hands with Obama.


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