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Libya Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Mar 08, 2004

This Travel Warning is being issued to reflect the lifting of U.S. passport restrictions. Libya remains on the U.S. Government's State Sponsors of Terrorism List. The United States Department of State warns U.S. citizens traveling to Libya to exercise caution and note the U.S. Treasury general license for transactions relating to travel to, from, and within Libya and residence in Libya. This Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Libya issued November 20, 2003.

The U.S. recently lifted restrictions on the use of U.S. passports for travel to Libya. While Libya has taken steps to cooperate in the global war on terrorism, the Libyan Government remains on the U.S. Government's State Sponsors of Terrorism List. Although Libya appears to have curtailed its support for international terrorism, it may maintain residual contacts with some of its former terrorist clients.

Recent worldwide terrorist alerts have stated that extremist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in the region. Therefore, any American citizen that decides to travel to Libya should maintain a strong security posture by being aware of surroundings, avoiding crowds and demonstrations, keeping a low profile, and varying times and routes for all required travel. In light of these security concerns, U.S. citizens are urged to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.

There is no U.S. Embassy in Libya. Therefore, the U.S. Government is unable to provide any assurances of the safety of travel to Libya by U.S. citizens. U.S. Government interests are represented by the Government of Belgium, which, as a protecting power, can provide only limited emergency services to U.S. citizens.

United Nations sanctions on Libya were lifted on September 12, 2003. Many U.S. sanctions, however, remain in place. Most financial and commercial transactions with Libya and designated persons by " U.S. persons" are prohibited, unless licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). " U.S. person" means someone subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including any U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States, wherever located, or any person within the United States. This restriction also applies to corporations, partnerships and associations.

OFAC has issued a general license for transactions relating to travel to, from, and within Libya and residence in Libya. The general license authorizes the purchase of airline tickets, hotel rooms, etc. However, certain restrictions on payments will continue to apply to these transactions; for example: while there are no restrictions on how payment may be made to travel service providers in the U.S. for any travel-related expenses, the use in Libya of credit cards and checks drawn on U.S. banks remains prohibited. Travelers should be prepared to engage in cash-only transactions while in Libya. Additionally, while in Libya, U.S. persons are authorized to open and maintain bank accounts at a financial institution in Libya to pay for maintenance, residence and travel-related transactions while in Libya.

Americans who decide to travel to Libya despite this Travel Warning should exercise a high level of caution. Updated information on travel and security in Libya may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or, from overseas, 1-317-472-2328. Those travelers should consult the Department of State's latest Consular Information Sheet for Libya, which includes further details on the Treasury Department sanctions, and the current Worldwide Caution and Middle East and North Africa Public Announcements, which are available on the Department's Internet site at http://travel.state.gov.

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