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Washington State U. Considering Exchanges with Libyan Universities

Washington State University (WSU) in Pullman, Washington is considering the establishment of an exchange program with El Fatah University in Tripoli and Garyounis University in Benghazi, Libya. University president Glenn Terrell admitted that a delegation from that university visited Libya during the Christmas 1977 vacation at the invitation of the Libyan government.

The purpose of the trip, which was financed by the Libyan government, was to investigate the possibility of establishing a program of exchange and cooperation between WSU and the two Libyan universities. Also in the delegation were the WSU student body president, the president of the Board of Regents and the deans of the engineering and science departments.

In a recently released report on their Libyan visit, the delegation recommended that WSU and the two Libyan universities exchange faculty and students and cooperate in a number of scientific research projects. Student body president Mark Ufkez also proposed that WSU invite Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi to come to the U.S. to speak but the university rejected his proposal. The delegation strongly recommended the sale of Washington state agricultural products to Libya.

The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith in Seattle has expressed its concern to Terrell that an American, state-supported university is cooperating with a government that openly supports and finances international terrorist movements like the Palestine Liberation Organization. “We are also interested in knowing,” said David Stahl, ADL Pacific Northwest regional director, “just what the university plans to do about the fact that no Jewish faculty and no Jewish students from WSU would be permitted to take part in the exchange program since Libya does not allow Jews to enter the country.”

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