Libya’s Reconciliation with the West Essay

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As current events continue to unfold, a part of the Arab world is at a major crossroads, pursuing a change in foreign policy and a new attitude toward the West not witnessed in at least three decades. A departure from international isolation is preceding a steadily growing rapprochement with the world’s military hegemon. This poses the prospect of a future as a key player in not only its own regional affairs but in major global politics, as well as the opportunity for greater economic growth and development and the establishment of integrated multilateral trade. But the country in question is not Iraq or Iran or any of the other familiar members of the Persian Gulf- it is Libya, one of the most isolated and overlooked states in…show more content…
Libya’s reconciliation with the West is most important in the aspects of relations with the United Nations, the United Kingdom, and the United States, which will be the greatest focus of this paper.

In 1942, the Allies of World War II ousted Italy from Libya, a colony it had held since 1911, and France and Britain began to administer separate parts of the country. After becoming the first country to gain its independence through the United Nations in 1951, Libya entered a short period of constitutional monarchy under King Idris al-Sanusi. In 1959, the discovery of oil led the previously poor Libya to become extremely wealthy as oil began to be transported via pipeline and exported to foreign markets. U.S.-Libyan relations between 1951 and 1969 were relatively good both politically and economically. The U.S. supported the U.N. resolution giving Libya independence and both countries ultimately established embassy-level missions in one another’s capital.1 U.S. access to Libya’s oil market was also strong as two American companies were granted 14 million acres of oil fields.2

But unequal distributions of wealth within the country as well as pan-Arab ideas rejecting Western influence soon fueled popular resentment and led to revolution. In
1969, Idris was deposed in a bloodless coup by a small group of army officers led by 28- year old Colonel Mu’ammar Abu Minyar al-Qadhafi, whose regime embarked on a

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