Libya has agreed to allow snap UN nuclear arms inspections, just a day after declaring it was giving up plans to build an atomic bomb, a Western diplomat said on Sunday. \nLibya, widely praised for announcing on Friday that it was ditching efforts to build the bomb and other banned weapons, told the head of the UN nuclear watchdog on Saturday it was ready to sign up to inspections, the diplomat said. \nThe surprise moves, which could lead to the end of US sanctions and the return of US oil companies, mark an about-face for Muammar Qaddafi, Libyan leader for 34 years. \n"We are turning our swords into ploughshares and this step should be appreciated and followed by all other countries," Libyan Prime Minister Shokri Ghanem said of Friday's statement, adding that economic progress was more important than arms. \nBut Britain, which played a key role in talks that persuaded Tripoli to abandon its arms ambitions, said the fate that befell Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who was ousted in April by US-led forces, may have prompted the move. \n"We showed after Saddam Hussein failed to cooperate with the United Nations that we meant business and Libya, and I hope other countries, will draw that lesson," Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon told Sky television. \nmeeting \nIn Tripoli, the official Jana news agency said British Prime Minister Tony Blair had "expressed his hope and desire" to meet Qaddafi "and discuss international affairs with him." \nThe agency said Blair made the offer in a telephone conversation with the Libyan leader. It did not say when this took place and gave no further details. \nEarlier in London, Blair's office said there were no plans for the prime minister to meet Qaddafi, as British Sunday newspapers also reported. \nAn official said Blair spoke to Qaddafi through a translator on Thursday. In a half-hour conversation, they agreed the final wording of Libya's statement on its weapons. \nUS intelligence officials said Qaddafi seemed the driving force behind Libya's decision and his motivation may have ranged from concerns about the Iraq war and a desire to end isolation to concerns about domestic threats to his own rule. \nTripoli acted swiftly to show it was serious. \nA top official met the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna on Saturday to discuss its proposals to accept stricter IAEA nuclear safeguards. \nThe Vienna-based Western diplomat said Libya told Mohammed ElBaradei it would open its atomic facilities to unannounced inspections, a deal going beyond the basic demands of the main nuclear arms control treaty. \nLibya is a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, allowing limited IAEA inspections, but said it was now willing to sign the treaty's Additional Protocol, which allows far more intrusive checks. Iran signed it on Thursday after pressure from Washington over an alleged arms program. \nintent to sign \n"The Libyans confirmed they want to sign the Additional Protocol in their meeting with ElBaradei," said the diplomat. \nLibyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abderrhmane Chalgam said in Algiers: "Our delegation is still in negotiations in Vienna." \nThe separate Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Libya would have to adopt the Chemical Weapons Convention before inspections for such arms could be made. \nLibya was freed of broader UN sanctions this year after accepting responsibility for the Dec. 21, 1988, downing of a US airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people. \nWashington left its sanctions in place, accusing Tripoli of seeking biological and chemical arms. \nSome US officials said at the weekend it was too early to say when, or if, the US would lift its embargo. \nFrench Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin called on the international community to help pressure Libya to conclude talks on compensating families of victims of a French airliner bombing in 1989, saying the Libyan arms deal "creates a new context." \n"The discussions under way have allowed significant progress, including in these last few days. We therefore hope a definitive settlement can be reached in the next few weeks (on the UTA bombing case)," he told the French daily newspaper Le Figaro in an interview due to be published yesterday. \nTripoli's announcement on Friday was the culmination of secret negotiations with Britain and the US launched at about the time of the Iraq invasion in March. \nUS President George W. Bush said he hoped others would follow Qaddafi's example.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
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