WASHINGTON (May. 14)
The State Department denounced today Libya’s Prime Minister Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, for “propagating” the “big lie” that “the United States was somehow involved” in Israel’s April 10 commando raid on terrorist headquarters in Beirut. Department spokesman Paul Hare made his remarks in response to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency which asked him to comment on Qaddafi’s charge at a press conference in Tripoli yesterday that it was the U.S. not Israel, which sent agents into Beirut three weeks ago to assassinate three terrorist leaders.
Hare said that Qaddafi “is, of course, completely aware of our categorical denials of any allegations of U.S. complicity in the raid and we find incomprehensible his lending credence to what is no more than an embellishment of the previous cannard.” Hare suggested that if Qaddafi “has any facts whatsoever to back up this latest baseless falsehood, he should make them public as soon as possible.”
The State Department offered no comment on another charge by Qaddafi that the Oasis Oil Co., which is partly American-owned, had on its staff in Libya, Israeli agents who carried forged passports and false certificates issued by Israeli authorities and were spying on Libya.
REAFFIRMS SUPPORT FOR BLACK SEPTEMBER
Qaddafi cited no evidence to back up his charges against either the U.S. or Oasis. During his press conference which lasted 5 1/2 hours, he reaffirmed his support for the Black September terrorists and refused to confirm or deny that Libyan Mirage jets purchased from France were transferred to Egypt. Qaddafi hinted that Libya might utilize its newly found oil wealth as a political weapon.
The Libyan leader predicted that the time would come when oil would be used as a “weapon of Arab self-defense” and asserted the “sacred right of a nation to nationalize the resources in its soil.”
Qaddafi said that Libya’s union with Egypt would be proclaimed Sept, 1 as planned and that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat would become the president of the united countries. But he indicated by his replies to questions that the proclamation would be a declaration of intent rather than an implementation, and that matters such as a single currency, joint development budget and adherence to prior treaties, such as the Soviet-Egyptian friendship treaty, would be left to future discussions.