International inspectors have arrived in Libya to begin dismantling the country's
chemical weapons capabilities.
Libya signed the Chemical Weapons Convention on Thursday, joining about 180
other countries which have signed the treaty banning chemical weapons since
As the first step in the disarmament process, Libyan officials handed inspectors
a summary of Libya's chemical weapons programs and a description of its stockpiles.
Details of Libya's chemical capabilities were not immediately released.
Inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
will now begin assessing and removing chemical weapons materials.
A nuclear disarmament team from the International Atomic Energy Agency is
already in Libya, working to dismantle the country's nuclear program.
Late last year, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi vowed to give up all of his
country's weapons of mass destruction capabilities, including nuclear, biological
and chemical stockpiles. Mr. Gadhafi hopes that by doing so, he can bring an
end to economic sanctions that have been in place against Libya since the 1980s.
U.S. and European officials have said they hope Libya's decision to abandon
its weapons programs will serve as an example for other countries that have
not yet signed the chemical weapons treaty.