Flag of Libya

Language: Arabic

Currency: Dinar (LYD)

Calling code: 218


Libya, whose official name is the State of Libya, is a sovereign country of North Africa, located in the Maghreb. Its capital is Tripoli. It borders the Mediterranean Sea to the north, to the west with Tunisia and Algeria, to the southwest with Niger, to the south with Chad, to the southeast with Sudan and to the east with Egypt.


Since the arrival of the Arabs in the 7th century, Libya has been a land of Islamic religion and has had Arabic as the predominant language. In the sixteenth century the Spanish empire and the Order of Malta occupied Tripoli until the beginning of the Ottoman domination in 1551. Libya participated in the Berber wars of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Ottoman government continued until the Italian occupation of Libya, which brought the colonial period of Italian Libya (1911-1943). During the Second World War the country was the battlefield of the campaign in North Africa. It became independent as a kingdom in 1951, ruled by Idris I until a military coup overthrew it in 1969; this event marked the beginning of a stage of brutal repression of all dissent. The most prominent of the coup leaders was Muammar Gaddafi, who seized power during the Cultural Revolution and kept it until the 2011 war, in which NATO supported the rebels who rose up against him. Libya has experienced instability and political violence that have seriously affected trade and oil production.The European Union has launched an operation to prevent the trafficking of people who exploit refugees fleeing the war to settle in Europe.

Since 2014, there has been a duality of political bodies that claim to be the Government of Libya. The House of Representatives, resulting from the June 2014 elections, is recognized in international circles as the Legislative Legislative Chamber, but does not control territory in the capital, Tripoli; It meets in the Cyrenian city of Tobruk and supports a so-called Interim Government based in the city of Al Baida. As of August 2014, the duality occurred with the General National Congress (CGN, see also: National General Congress); but nowadays it can be confirmed that the CGN has already concluded its activity. On December 17, 2015, an agreement was signed in Sjirat to form a unified and provisional Government, under which a Presidential Council, a nine-member collegial presidency - headed by Fayez al-Sarraj - and a Government of National provisional agreement of seventeen, until the holding of new elections within a period of two years. The General Congress of the Nation was integrated into the new structures and its former members formed a new Chamber of an advisory nature, the Superior Council of State. But the House of Representatives refused to confirm the Presidential Council.

Therefore, the current duality is between the House of Representatives of Tobruk - recognized only as a legitimate Parliament - and the Presidential Council and Government of National Agreement of Tripoli. The United Nations continues to support the dialogue between the two.


Travel Destinations in Libya

Ancient Sabratha is famous for its magnificent Roman ruins that were largely untouched due to its isolation.

Leptis Magna is an ancient Roman port town situated near modern city of Khoms. It's been largely preserved due to its seclusion.



In the II millennium BC the territory of present-day Libya and the west of it were inhabited by various Berber tribes. Later, in Cyrenaica, in one of the tribes, the political association Libu (a variant of Rebu) was formed, after which both this land and all Africa known to the Greeks later received the name “Libya” in contrast to the internal terra incognita, which since the time of Herodotus was called “Ethiopia”. However, until the beginning of the 20th century. the toponym Libya was not used in reference to any specific area. It was not until 1934 that it was put back into use as the name of an Italian colony (Italian: Libia italiana) in North Africa. Libya gained independence in 1951.

Modern normative Russian name
In 1966, the rules for the Russian transfer of Arabic geographical names were officially approved. According to the transcription rules, the country should be called "Libia" (arab. ليبيا‎). However, the country retained the traditional form of the name "Libya", borrowed from the Byzantine Greek language. In 1986, the Dictionary of Geographical Names of Foreign Countries also recorded the normative spelling of the name in the traditional form "Libya", which is mandatory for use by all Soviet ministries, departments, institutions, enterprises and organizations.


History of Libya

Archaeological evidence shows that another 8,000 years BC there were Neolithic cultures in Libya.

In historical time, Libya is associated with the territory under the control of other states and civilizations - these are primarily Phenicia, Carthage, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Vandals, Byzantium. Although there are Greek and Roman ruins in Libya in Cyrene, Leptis Magna and Sabrat, there is little evidence of these cultures.

According to Herodotus, the Phoenicians organized trading points in Libya through which merchants from Tire conducted trade with the Berbers (Herodotus 430 BC. History 4). In the V century BC. Carthage, the largest of the Phoenician colonies, spread its possessions throughout North Africa, creating a Punic civilization. On the Libyan coast, the Punic settlements were Ea (aka Eya) (lat. Oea, modern Tripoli), Labdah (later Leptis Magna) and Sabrata. These three cities are called Tripoli (literally - three cities), and this place is the modern capital of Libya.

The ancient Greeks occupied eastern Libya when emigrants from the overpopulated island of Thera, on the advice of the Delphic oracle, began to seek a place of settlement in North Africa. In 631 BC they founded the city of Cyrene. Over 200 years, they founded four more significant cities: Barka (Al-Marge), Euchesparids (later Berenice, now Benghazi), Tevhira (later Arsinoe, now Tukra) and Apollonia Kirenskaya (Susa), port of Cyrene. Together with Cyrene, these cities formed the Pentapolis (“five cities”).

The Romans united both regions of Libya, and for 400 years Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were considered prosperous Roman provinces. Despite the dominance of Roman merchants and the military, the general character of the cities remained Greek and Punic.

In the V century Tripolitania was captured by vandals (Kingdom of Vandals and Alans). After the Vandal war in the VI-VII centuries, Libya was part of Byzantium. In 642-643, it was conquered by the Arabs and included in the Arab Caliphate.


Middle Ages

The resettlement of Arab tribes (Banu Hilal and Banu Suleim) to Libya in the 11th century led to the gradual Arabization of the local population. Islam has spread. The process of feudalization of the Arab military nobility was accompanied by the deprivation of the Berber leaders of their rights and privileges. The Berber leaders repeatedly revolted against the Arabs, but were defeated each time.

In 1551, Libya was captured by the Ottoman Empire. From the beginning of the XVII century, Libyan ruled Janissaries Bey. They turned the coast into a base for piracy in the Mediterranean.

In 1711, the local dynasty of Karamanli established itself in Libya, a virtually independent state was created. Vassal dependence on Turkey was limited to paying tribute and recognition of the spiritual supremacy of the Sultan.


XIX century

In 1819, the ruler of Libya, Yousef Pasha, under the threat of hostilities of the English and French squadrons, was forced to sign a declaration to end piracy. In 1830, a trade agreement was signed with France.

In 1835, after a popular uprising in Libya against high taxes and as a result of the intra-dynastic struggle, the Karamanli dynasty fell, and the Ottoman Empire restored the direct control of Libya.

In the middle of the XIX century, the Turkish authorities carried out reforms in Libya - slavery and the slave trade were prohibited (in 1855), the first secular educational institution was opened in 1858, a printing house was built, where in 1866 the first Libyan newspaper began to print.


XX century

Until 1911, Libya was part of the Ottoman Empire.

From 1911 to 1942 it was an Italian colony.


Allied occupation

In 1943, as a result of the defeat of the troops of the Italo-German coalition, Libya was occupied by England and France.

In 1947, London began to discuss the creation of Libyan territory, in Cyrenaica, on the route between Benghazi and Tobruk, or Tripolitania, a joint British-American combined-arms military base (including army, naval and aviation infrastructure). Such a base allowed the United States and Great Britain to realize their interests in the production of Libyan and Middle Eastern oil, and control the eastern Mediterranean. For Britain, this was especially true, since the British needed a new base because of the large-scale withdrawal of troops from Egypt and Palestine.



December 24, 1951 - Libya was proclaimed an independent sovereign state - the United Kingdom of Libya, led by King Idris I.

September 1, 1969 - the overthrow of the King of Libya, Idris I, by a group of Libyan army officers who were members of the Movement of Free Officers of the Socialist Union Socialists, led by Captain Muammar Gaddafi. Proclamation of the Libyan Arab Republic (LAR).



March 28, 1970 - the evacuation of British military bases.

June 11, 1970 - the evacuation of American bases.

October 7, 1970 - the expulsion of Italian settlers.

April 17, 1971 - Egypt, Syria, and Libya signed an agreement establishing the Federation of Arab Republics.

On August 29, 1973, Egyptian President A. Sadat and Libyan President M. Gaddafi announced the unification of Egypt and Libya.



March 2, 1977 - LAR was renamed the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

On December 5, 1977, at the initiative of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, a meeting of those members of the League of Arab States who opposed any peaceful settlement with Israel convened in Tripoli. The participants condemned the position of Egypt. It was decided to form the Front of Persistence and Counteraction, the main task of which was proclaimed the struggle to eliminate the Egyptian President A. Sadat as "a traitor to the interests of the Arab nation."

In 1986, the word “Great” was added to the name “Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya”, and the full name of the state was “Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya”. Before the civil war, a lot of money was spent on social benefits.

In a 2002 report by the US State Department, “Features of International Terrorism in 2001,” Libya was named a state supporting terrorism.

As a result of the civil war, with military support from a number of NATO countries and their allies, in 2011, the Gaddafi government was overthrown and the Jamahiriya abolished. The authorities in Libya began to try to implement the National Transitional Council.


Libya's nuclear program

In the early 1980s, the Soviet Union built the Tadjoura Nuclear Research Center (NRC) (currently REWDRC (inaccessible link). Archived February 8, 2016. - Renewable Energies and Water Desalination Research Center) with a research reactor with a capacity of 10 MW and thermonuclear installation TM-4A.

At present (2009), no work is being carried out on the TM-4A tokamak due to the lack of specialists.

The nuclear power plant construction program (with the help of Soviet specialists) was mothballed in the 1980s due to international sanctions against Libya.

Libya sought to acquire nuclear weapons as early as the 1970s. Since Libya signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, it was assisted in the development of nuclear programs by other countries (in particular, the USSR and France). At the same time, the Center for Nuclear Research was established in the suburbs of Tripoli Tadzhura (Tajoura). In 1981, a 10 MW research reactor manufactured in the USSR was launched (light water, pool type, IRT-1, 20 kg of uranium, 80% enrichment). Work on the creation of uranium and plutonium bombs in Libya began in the 1980s. In the 1970s, 1200 tons of uranium concentrate were purchased, and by 2004 its amount reached 2263 tons.

Libya bought a uranium ore processing plant (probably in Belgium) in 1984, and in 1985 (in China or the USSR) 39 kg of uranium hexafluoride. In addition to Soviet specialists, German uranium enrichment experts worked in Tadjoura. At this time, several attempts were made to acquire (or build) a more powerful reactor, but the economic sanctions imposed in 1988 prevented these plans from being realized. Decisions to accelerate the creation of nuclear weapons were made in 1995, and already in 1997, the first two hundred centrifuges for uranium enrichment were purchased from Pakistan. At the plant in Janzur, 12 kilometers west of Tripoli, preparations began at the same time for the production of centrifuges of their own production. Installation of centrifuges began in Al Hasan in 2000. Two tons of uranium hexafluoride (enough to produce one nuclear explosive device) was obtained through Pakistan from North Korea in 2001, at the same time that Chinese technological schemes for the production of a nuclear bomb were received from Pakistan. 10,000 centrifuges were purchased in 2002 from Pakistan.

In October 2003, a ship carrying parts of centrifuges from Malaysia to Libya was detained in the Mediterranean Sea.

In 2004, work related to the nuclear program was carried out in more than 10 locations in Libya. In 2004, Libya acknowledged the violation of the nonproliferation regime and announced the termination of secret programs (in which companies from South Africa, Switzerland, Singapore, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey also participated), but three months later it became known that Libya had secretly received a new batch of centrifuges.


War in Libya

In 2011, popular unrest began in Libya, which later turned into a civil war. The center of the uprising was the port city of Benghazi. For the first time after the 1969 revolution, a tricolor flag with a crescent and a star was raised over the city, which was the state flag in 1951-1969.

On February 15, 2011, police clashed with protesters in Benghazi against the arrest of one of the "religious activists". 500-600 people went to the city administration building demanding the release of the activist, after which they went to the central square, where the skirmish took place. In the city of El Beida, anti-government protesters seized and hanged two unarmed police officers who tried to disperse the demonstrators. The UN Security Council condemned the Libyan authorities for the use of force against the demonstrators and called for those responsible for the loss of life to be brought to justice. According to the Air Force, in their statement, the members of the Security Council demanded an immediate cessation of violence in Libya. The statement said that the authorities of the country must "reckon with the legitimate demands of their people." According to the international human rights organization Human Rights Watch, clashes in Libya have killed about 300 people. In turn, a representative member of the International Criminal Court in The Hague said the day before that the number of victims of clashes in Tripoli had reached 800 people.

Libyan authorities have arrested dozens of people from other Arab countries on charges of belonging to a "foreign network" created to destabilize the situation in the country. Protesters in Benghazi chanted anti-government slogans calling for the resignation of Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Ali Mahmoudi. There have been calls for the overthrow of the leader of the Libyan revolution, Muammar Gaddafi, who has been in power since 1969.

On March 18, 2011, the UN Security Council adopted resolution number 1973 on the announcement of a ban on flights over the territory of Libya and the protection of its citizens. On March 19, the shelling of the Libyan capital Tripoli by the air forces of European states began.


Later, French warplanes fired on civilian targets in the coastal cities of Misrata, Zuwara and Benghazi. Gaddafi himself made a statement on Libyan television that he intends to arm the country's population in order to resist the aggression of Western states.

By May 15, the rebels established control over most of the city of Misurata, occupied the settlement of Daphnia and approached the city of Zliten in the west, and advanced to the settlement of Tavarga in the south.

At the end of August, rebel forces, with the support of NATO aviation and special forces of some Western countries and the Persian Gulf (Qatar, Saudi Arabia), managed to take the capital Tripoli. The Transitional National Council of Libya was recognized as the only legitimate authority by most countries of the world.

October 20, 2011 during the storming of Sirte, Muammar Gaddafi was brutally killed. Also killed were his son Muttazim and Abu Bakr Younis Jaber, head of the Jamahiriya People's Defense Committee. Three days later, the PNS announced the end of the civil war.

As a result of the civil war and foreign intervention, the Transitional National Council, recognized at that time by Western countries, received power over most of the country's territory. On August 3, 2011, he officially renamed the country "Libya", returning to the state the former flag, which was used by the Libyan monarchy led by King Idris in 1951-1969.


State of Libya

At the very beginning of the civil war, opponents of Muammar Gaddafi on February 27, 2011 created a temporary body of power - the Transitional National Council.

On July 7, 2012, for the first time in 40 years, elections were held in the country to the constituent assembly - the General National Congress. Electoral Commissioner Nuri al-Abbar noted that 101 out of 1,554 polling stations across the country failed to open for voting.

On August 8, 2012, there was a transfer of power from the GNA to the General National Congress. Muhammad al-Maqrifa was elected chairman of the General National Congress and became head of state.

On February 20, 2014, elections were held for the Libyan Constitutional Assembly. In the elections, 60 members of the Assembly were elected from 650 candidates, who within 120 days must prepare a draft Constitution of the country, which will determine the basic principles of government, government systems, the status of tribes, and the place of Sharia law. Then the document will be submitted to a referendum.

On May 16, 2014, in Libya, the volunteer soldiers of the Libyan National Army, led by Major General Khalifa Haftar, attacked the bases of the Islamist group "February 17 Martyrs Brigade" in Benghazi in eastern Libya, thereby giving rise to an armed conflict in Libya. Interim Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah Abdurrahman al-Thani described Haftar's attack as "acting outside the legitimacy of the state and a coup," ordering regular security forces to take control of the situation.

On May 22, Khalifa Haftar, in an interview with the Egyptian newspaper Al-Watan, said that his supporters "will not stop until the government and the General National Congress, which has lost all legitimacy, are overthrown, and the Libyan people live in peace." Haftar expressed confidence that the armed police units, “as soon as they are beheaded, will not last long. We were supported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Air Defense, Special Forces, tribes join one after another, and these groups still exist only in Tripoli and several regions of the country.”

On 25 August 2014, the General National Congress appointed Omar al-Hasi as prime minister, parallel to the incumbent prime minister, Abdullah Abdurrahman al-Thani. On August 29, 2014, al-Thani resigned with the entire cabinet of ministers.

On November 6, 2014, the Islamist-influenced Libyan Constitutional Court announced the dissolution of parliament. Later, the parliament refused to recognize the decision of the Constitutional Court, arguing that the decision was made at gunpoint.

By the end of 2015, there were two cabinets of ministers in the country. The internationally recognized government was based in Tobruk. And in Tripoli, there was a cabinet of ministers representing the Islamist General National Congress. On December 17, 2015, in the Moroccan city of Skhirat, the warring political forces signed a document on the creation of a unity government. The agreement was signed by members of the two parliaments existing in the country and other participants in the political process. In addition, part of the coast of the country is controlled by the Islamic State, and in the southwest (Fezzan), the Tuareg armed formations are the de facto authorities.


Political structure

Organization of power

After the civil war, control passed to the National Transitional Council, which included 31 representatives of the largest Libyan cities. He was subordinate to the military formations that waged a civil war in Libya with forces controlled by the government of the country, led by Colonel Gaddafi. In July 2012, the council held free elections following the ouster of Gaddafi.

In August 2012, the Transitional Council handed over power to the legitimately elected parliament, the General National Congress.

In fact, Libya is currently a conglomerate of several quasi-states. Each of the regions of Libya has its own specifics; the standard of living, safety on the streets, the development of infrastructure in them are very different.

In August 2014, the General National Congress was replaced by a popularly elected parliament, the Libyan House of Representatives, chaired by Aguila Salah Issa. Due to the aggravation of the situation, the meetings of the chamber are held in Tobruk. On August 12, members of the House of Representatives voted for the election of the President of Libya through direct elections, decided on the immediate elimination of all armed groups of former rebels.

In December 2015, with the support of the UN Security Council, the Government of National Accord or Unity (GNA) and the Presidential Council were formed, headed by Faiz Saraj. Cabinet meetings are held in Tripoli. The GNA is the internationally recognized, legitimate government of Libya. The House of Representatives initially supported the new government, but subsequently withdrew this decision, entering into a confrontation with the GNA. In the east sits an alternative government subordinate to the House, headed by Abdullah Abdurrahman al-Thani. The House of Representatives also supports the commander-in-chief of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar.

At the beginning of 2019, about 90% of the territory of Libya is under the control of Haftar. The central government actually controls only Tripoli and the surrounding area.

The desert southwestern region of Fezzan, populated mainly by nomads, declared its autonomy at the end of September 2013.

To the north of it lies the Western Mountains region, centered on Zintan, which actually has its own sizable army.

The city of Misurata, east of Tripoli, has effectively become a relatively prosperous city-state, closed to other Libyans. The power in it belongs to the council, which includes influential businessmen elected by the townspeople from among themselves. They were able to withdraw all armed groups from the city and even send their own army to Tripoli. The city was surrounded by a chain of roadblocks, allowing only those people who a Misurata resident could vouch for to enter. Thanks to this, security was ensured in the city. Misurata has the country's largest seaport.

To the south and east of Misurata are Bani Walid and Sirte, cities devastated for supporting Gaddafi during the civil war. On the coast east of Sirte, there are several oil ports under the control of the so-called "Oil Facilities Protection Guard" headquartered in Ajdabiya.

In Benghazi, which also formally declared autonomy, the Council of Cyrenaica rules.


Libya and the West

In December 1979, the US embassy in Libya was attacked by a pro-Iran mob.

In the 1980s, Libya, under the leadership of the leader of the Libyan revolution, Muammar Gaddafi, took advantage of high oil prices to finance the armed struggle against the West around the world (financing terrorist groups).

In August 1981, the US Navy conducted maneuvers off the coast of Libya. On August 20, 1981, an air battle took place. Two Libyan Su-22s were shot down.

In March 1986, the American fleet again approached the coast of Libya. On March 24, two Libyan patrol boats were sunk.

Libyan instructors trained rebels from all over the world, setting up training camps on their territory, supplying the rebels with weapons, explosives and money. A number of terrorist attacks were carried out by members of the Libyan special services themselves.

In particular, according to American intelligence services, in 1986, the task of organizing a terrorist attack with as many victims as possible was assigned to employees of the Libyan embassy in the GDR. The discotheque La Belle, one of the most popular vacation spots for US military personnel in West Berlin, was chosen for the attack. As a result of the explosion on the evening of April 5, three people died on the spot and more than 250 people were injured.

On the night of April 15, by order of US President Ronald Reagan, American aircraft from air bases in the UK and aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean carried out a retaliatory action, striking military targets in the Libyan capital of Tripoli and the city of Benghazi. About 40 Libyans were killed, including Gaddafi's adopted daughter, and more than 200 people were injured. Two of Gaddafi's sons were also injured.

This led to even more tragic events. In 1988, a Pan Am plane was blown up over Scotland. It is believed that this was Gaddafi's revenge for the death of his daughter.

Libya's relations with France were not easy either. Since gaining independence in 1951, Libya has consistently stood in the way of French interests in North Africa. After Muammar Gaddafi came to power (1969), the confrontation only escalated. Libyan troops fought with Chad, Libyan money armed and trained extremists from Morocco and Algeria. The confrontation reached its climax on September 19, 1989, when Libyans blew up a French airline UTA airliner with 170 passengers on board in the skies over Niger.

In April 1992, the UN Security Council, at the request of the United States and Great Britain, imposed international sanctions against Libya.

In November 1991, the United States, Great Britain and France charged Libya with the involvement of its citizens in the explosions of an American aircraft over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988. The explosion of a Boeing 747 over Lockerbie on December 21, 1988. and an airliner of the French airline UTA in 1989. On January 21, 1992, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution No. 731 calling on Libya to cooperate in the investigation of these events. In connection with Libya's refusal to comply with the requirements of this resolution, on January 31, 1992, the UN Security Council, by ten votes in favor with five abstentions (China, India, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Cape Verde), adopted Resolution No. 748 on the imposition of sanctions against Libya (ban on air traffic, military-technical cooperation, reduction of diplomatic missions, etc.). And on November 11, 1993, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution No. 843 on the imposition of additional sanctions against Libya, which generally boiled down to the following.

1. A ban on air flights (with the exception of cases authorized by the Security Council) from Libya and respectively to Libya of civil and military aircraft, as well as on the supply of spare parts for aircraft of all types and ground navigation and auxiliary equipment. It was ordered to close all foreign offices of the Libyan Air Transport Company.

2. A ban on the supply to Libya of all types of weapons and military equipment, including spare parts for already delivered equipment, as well as the sending of military and technical specialists to Libya.

3. Freezing of all financial assets of Libya abroad, including investments, shares, dividends, excluding proceeds from transactions with oil, gas and agricultural exports from Libya after December 3, 1993.

4. Ban on the import of process equipment and spare parts for oil refineries and oil and gas transportation systems in accordance with the approved list. The ban did not apply to the supply of drilling equipment.

5. Demand to reduce the staff of the Libyan diplomatic and trade missions abroad.

6. Introduction of regulations on the procedure for lifting sanctions, according to which sanctions can be lifted in full within 90 days after the unanimous decision of the Security Council, sanctions can be re-imposed only by the appropriate decision of the Security Council.


In 2003, after the American occupation of Iraq, Muammar Gaddafi changed his policy. He announced a renunciation of the development of weapons of mass destruction, allowed international experts into the country and announced his desire to settle the issue of compensation for the victims of the terrorist attacks, despite Libya's declared non-involvement in them. In January 2004, Libya agreed to pay $170 million to the relatives of victims of the Niger attack.

A specially created International Foundation for Charitable Associations, which is headed by one of the sons of Gaddafi, settled the issue of compensation for victims of air attacks. In August 2004, the turn finally reached the victims of the explosion in West Berlin. Libya agreed to pay monetary compensation to the victims of the La Belle disco bombing on April 5, 1986. The total amount of compensation is $35 million (€28.4 million). At the same time, Libya refused to pay compensation to the families of the dead and injured Americans. Moreover, Libya demanded that the United States pay compensation to the Libyans who suffered during the retaliatory air raid on Tripoli and Benghazi.

In October 2004, Libya was completely freed from international sanctions.

On January 29, 2006, Libya announced the closure of its embassy in Denmark in protest against a series of cartoons published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. These cartoons depicted the Prophet Mohammed as a terrorist.

The easing of international sanctions allowed Libya to breathe a little easier, and it used this to launch a diplomatic offensive.

First of all, Gaddafi's meetings with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as a representative of the European Union and the head of the former metropolis have become more frequent. Tripoli is seeking compensation from Rome for the actions of Italian troops that occupied Libya from 1911 until the end of World War II. Rome is primarily concerned about oil supplies and illegal immigration.

Italy promised Libya to finance the construction of 2,000 kilometers of roads, if only Tripoli would comply with agreements signed in July 2003 to combat illegal immigration. According to this document, camps for refugees from various African countries should be built in Libya and joint maritime patrols should be organized.

Tripoli has become a transit base for immigrants to Europe thanks to Gaddafi's "pan-African" policy. After entry visas for people from African countries were canceled in Libya, thousands of refugees from Central and South Africa rushed to the coast of Libya in order to move to Europe.

In order to curb illegal immigration, on October 11, 2004, the Foreign Ministers of the EU member states supplemented their decision to lift trade and economic sanctions against Libya with a decision to lift the arms embargo introduced in 1986. The main supporter of the lifting of these sanctions has become Italy, which will supply Libya with high-speed patrol boats to patrol the waters between the Libyan coast and the Italian island of Lampedusa.

In 2011, the countries of the West and the Persian Gulf took part in military actions in Libya in the implementation of UN Security Council resolution S/RES/1973 (2011).


Relations with Russia

On April 17, 2008, Russia wrote off $4.5 billion of Libya's debt in exchange for a multi-billion dollar contract for Russian companies. January 30, 2010 Russia and Libya signed a contract worth 1.3 billion euros for the purchase of Russian weapons, including small arms. On September 1, 2011, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that Russia recognizes the Transitional National Council of Libya. The Libyan Embassy in Moscow sided with the rebels and raised the flag of the Transitional Council. On the same day, a representative office of the Jamahiriya was opened at the headquarters of the Eurasian Youth Union.

Despite the violent overthrow of the Gaddafi regime by a military coalition of Western countries, Russia retains its position in Libya's domestic politics. Libyan military leader Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar turned to Moscow for support. Presidential candidate Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the murdered head of the Libyan Jamahiriya, has officially asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for support.


Ban on issuing visas to citizens of the Schengen area

In February 2009, the Libyan authorities stopped issuing visas to citizens of the Schengen area, the reason for this was the diplomatic conflict between Switzerland and Libya that has been lasting since 2008. The conflict began with the arrest in Geneva of Gaddafi's son and his wife for beating servants, in response to this, Libya imposed a ban on the entry into the country and activities on its territory of the Swiss. Switzerland made great diplomatic efforts to resolve this situation, which resulted in an agreement on the normalization of diplomatic relations. However, already in September 2009, this agreement was terminated due to the arrest of two Swiss businessmen in Libya. The Swiss side has compiled a "black list" of persons who are prohibited from entering the territory of Switzerland, and hence the countries of the Schengen agreement, it included, among other things, Gaddafi and members of his family, in response to this, Libya stopped issuing entry visas to citizens of states belonging to to the Schengen area.


Heads of state

Governor General (Italy):
01/01/1934 - 06/28/1940 Italo Balbo
07/01/1940 - 03/25/1941 Rodolfo Graziani, Marquis di Negelli
03/25/1941 - 07/19/1941 Italo Gariboldi
07/19/1941 - 02/02/1943 Ettore Bastico
02/02/1943 - 05/13/1943 and. about. Giovanni Messe

UN High Commissioner (Netherlands):
12/10/1949 - 12/24/1951 Adrian Pelt

12/24/1951 - 09/01/1969 Idris I

Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council:
09/01/1969 - 03/02/1977 Muammar bin Mohammed Abdul Salam Abu Minyar bin Hamid al-Gaddafi

Revolution Leader:
03/02/1977 - 10/20/2011 Muammar bin Mohammed Abdul Salam Abu Minyar bin Hamid al-Gaddafi

Chairman of the Transitional National Council:
03/05/2011 - 08/08/2012 Mustafa Muhammad Abd al-Jalil

Chairman of the General National Congress:
08/08/2012 - 08/09/2012 and. about. Mohammed Ali Salim
08/09/2012 - 05/28/2013 Mohammed al-Maqrif
05/28/2013 - 06/25/2013 and. about. Juma Ahmad Atiga
06/25/2013 - 08/05/2014 Nuri Abu Sahmein

President of the Libyan House of Representatives:
08/05/2014 - present Aguila Salah Isa



Advantages: Significant reserves of oil and gas (OPEC member country), in the south, in the Fezzan region - huge reservoirs of fresh water (Nubian aquifer). Until 2010, the richest country in Africa with the highest HDI and the best social conditions. Participation in international energy projects with Italy and Germany. Important geotransport position (Maghrib, southern coast of the Mediterranean).

Weaknesses: Political instability after the assassination of Gaddafi and the overthrow of the Jamahiriya (dual power). Small inflow of investments. Clanism, tribalism, high corruption. Strong exposure to fluctuations in oil prices. Scarce resource base. Most food must be imported. A significant number of migrants are refugees from the countries of Central and South Africa. High level of violence in society. Water shortage in agriculture. Low population density. Reports of human and organ trafficking undermine the confidence of foreign investors.



In the 20th century, Libya was one of the largest suppliers of oil and gas to Italy, but the US-imposed economic sanctions on Libya led to a decline in gas exports, as Libya was unable to purchase new equipment and upgrade infrastructure. Until the beginning of the 21st century, the Spanish company Enagas remained the only importer of Libyan gas, purchasing from it annually 1.5 billion m³ of liquefied gas. Libya has a national oil corporation that was founded in 1970.

In 2003, economic sanctions were eased after Gaddafi promised to end the weapons of mass destruction program.

In October 2004, the operation of the 520 km underwater gas pipeline Greenstream between Libya and Italy (Sicily) began, through which 8 billion m³ of natural gas is exported from the country annually.

The proven gas reserves in Libya are about 1.1-1.3 trillion m³. According to experts, the use of new exploration methods will increase the proven gas reserves to more than 2 trillion m³. Oil reserves are reported to be over 36 billion barrels.

US President George W. Bush allowed American companies to operate in Libya back in April 2004. In September 2004, he lifted all sanctions against this country, but did not exclude Libya from the list of countries financing terrorism, and therefore there are severe restrictions on the import of any products here.

Germany, Italy and a number of other European countries already in 2004 concluded preliminary agreements with Libya in the oil field.

In the 1950s, during oil exploration in southern Libya, under the sands of the Sahara desert, fresh water was discovered, some of the aquifers being 75,000 years old. More than 95% of Libya is desert, and new water sources could irrigate thousands of hectares of farmland. To develop these deposits and pump this water from under the Sahara desert in southern Libya to northern Libya to the Benghazi region on the Mediterranean coast, Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi created the Great River Project in the 1980s, which provides for the construction of a system of pipes, wells and technical infrastructure, which will be able to provide 6.5 million m³ of fresh water per day. The first phase of the project began in 1984 and cost approximately $5 billion. It was implemented by South Korean specialists in modern technologies. The result was an artificial river that collected groundwater from 270 wells in east-central Libya and transported 2 million m³ of water per day through 2,000 km of pipeline to the cities of Benghazi and Sirte. The festive opening of the project was attended by dozens of Arab and African heads of state and hundreds of other foreign diplomats and delegations. Among them was Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak; King Hassan of Morocco Sudanese leader General Omar El Besir and Djiboutian President Hassan Julid. Muammar Gaddafi presented this project as a gift to the third world and told the celebrants: "After this achievement, the US threats against Libya will double ... The United States will do everything under a different pretext, but the real reason will be to stop this achievement in order to leave the people of Libya oppressed." Mubarak stressed the regional importance of the project in his speech at the ceremony. Gaddafi also asked Egyptian farmers to come to work in Libya, where the population is only 4 million, while in Egypt the population of 55 million is concentrated in narrow areas along the Nile and in the region of the river delta.


Manufacturing industry

Unlike most countries in the region, Libya has a relatively developed manufacturing industry. The most important industrial enterprises were founded during the Italian colonial presence. The basis is formed by metal-working and machine-building enterprises of Tripoli. Although most of the equipment at the enterprises remains obsolete (sanctions from the international community), Libya not only provides itself with modern military equipment, but is also the largest arms exporter to African countries.



Agriculture employs 17% of workers, it gives 4.2% of GDP (in 2009).

Irrigated agriculture is developed in the northern part of Libya. Almost all year round potatoes, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, lemons are delivered directly from the field. There are several harvests per year. Crops are grown. Animal husbandry is represented by the cultivation of sheep and camels. Developed poultry farming. Water comes from underground lakes in the Sahara desert by gravity (water sources are half a kilometer above sea level). Tuna, sardine, squid are caught in the Mediterranean Sea. Libya's own production does not meet the country's food needs, most food is imported. Italian spaghetti, Polish milk and Ukrainian pork-free sausages are constantly on sale.


International trade

Export - $16.1 billion (in 2017) - mainly hydrocarbons, with a total value of $15.5 billion, including crude oil (up to 88% of the value of all exports), oil products and associated natural gas. Other export commodities include scrap metal and chemicals.

The main buyers are Italy ($2.9 billion), Germany ($2.57 billion), Spain ($2.27 billion), France ($1.44 billion) and the United States ($1.29 billion). .).

Imports - $8.07 billion (in 2017) - oil products (up to 19% of the total value), food products, machinery and equipment, chemical products, including medicines, textiles, paper products and other consumer goods.

The main suppliers are Italy ($1.23 billion), China ($1.03 billion), Turkey ($0.879 billion), Spain ($0.610 billion) and Tunisia ($0.388 billion). Russia's share - USD 131 million or approx. 1.7%.

Libya is attractive not only as a source of hydrocarbons, but also as a promising market for modern weapons. During the 12 years of sanctions, its armed forces have fallen into disrepair and are in need of modernization.



The main mode of transport in Libya is road. The total length of Libya's paved roads is over 47.6 thousand km. Libya has more than 50 paved airfields, international airports - Tripoli, Sirte, Benghazi. For a country with an area of ​​1,759,540 square kilometers, aviation is an indispensable mode of transport.

Maritime transport plays an important role in transport services in Libya. The main port of the country is Tripoli, and the ports of Benghazi, Al-Bayda, Derna and Tobruk also play an important role. Libya's own cargo maritime fleet has 26 vessels, including 12 tankers.

The railroads in Libya were closed in 1965, and there were no railroads in the country for several subsequent decades.

Currently, there are a number of projects to recreate the railway network. Construction of a railway from Tripoli to the border with Tunisia is underway (the opening of the line was scheduled for 2009). In June 2008, the construction of the Tripoli-Sirte line began, and on August 30, 2008, the construction divisions of the Russian Russian Railways OJSC began construction of a 554-kilometer line from Sirte to Benghazi. In the future, it is planned to build a railway along the entire coast: from the border with Tunisia to the border with Egypt, as well as build a trans-Saharan railway to Niger.



Annual growth - 2.1%.

The population of Libya is relatively homogeneous, the majority are Arabs, Berbers also live in the southwestern part of Tripolitania, small groups of Tuareg live in Fezzan, and tuba in the southeast. There are also small communities of Greeks, Turks, Italians and Maltese. The population of Libya is characterized by the preservation of the tribal organization up to the present time (albeit in a significantly weakened form). This is especially true for Cyrenaica, Fezzan and the Western Mountains region in Tripolitania.


Age structure

0-14 years old: 36% (men - 938,476; women - 899,139)
15-64 years: 60% (men - 1,595,306; women - 1,485,069)
65 years and over: 4% (men 97,770; women 99,690) (2000)

Life expectancy at birth
Total: 75.45 years
men: 73.34 years
women: 77.66 years (2000)


Fertility rate

3.01 children per woman (2010)



Sunni Muslim 97%, Christian (Coptic Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant) 3%, others < 1%.



Definition: Ages 15 and over can read and write.
Among the total population: 95.4%
men: 96.9%
women: 94% (2006)
Infection with the immunodeficiency virus (HIV) - 0.3% (2001 estimate).



The official language in Libya is Literary Arabic, and the main spoken language is the Libyan dialect of Arabic, about 300 thousand Libyans (mainly Tuareg, in the south of the country) speak Berber.

National holidays
Holidays approved after the overthrow of Gaddafi.
February 17 - Revolution February 17 - The beginning of the civil war in Libya in 2011.
May 1 - Labor Day - Celebrating the achievements of workers.
September 16 - Martyrs' Day - Day of remembrance for Libyans who died or refugees during the colonial period and during the February 17 revolution.
October 23 - Freedom Day - Day of liberation from the government of Gaddafi, proclaimed on October 23, 2011.
October 26 - Day of mourning.
December 24 - Libyan Independence Day (1951).

Also noted:
March 28 - Day of the evacuation of British military bases (1970).
June 11 - Day of the evacuation of American bases (1970).
July 23 - Anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution (1952).
October 7 - the expulsion of the Italian colonialists (1970).

Major religious holidays:
Eid al-Fitr is the holiday of breaking the fast.
Eid il-Adha is the festival of sacrifice.
Eid il-Maulid - The birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.


Mass media

TV channels Al-Jamahiriya TV, Al-Madina TV, Al-Jamahiriya Satellite Channel, etc. During the existence of the kingdom, there was a state radio company Radio of the Kingdom of Libya (ar. Etha'at al-Mamlaka al-Libiya).


Armed forces

Before the civil war in the country in 2011, the armed forces consisted of ground forces, naval forces and air forces and numbered 75 thousand people.

When the Government of National Accord was established in Libya in early 2016, part of the Libyan armed forces was called the Libyan army, in contrast to the other part, the Libyan National Army, under the command of Khalifa Haftar and loyal to the government in Tobruk. In fact, under the nominal command of the Ministry of Defense of the NTC in Tripoli are only partially controlled "brigades" - armed formations of former rebels, staffed mainly by former regular military personnel and soldiers. The brigades of the second group are staffed by former rebels, united according to the territorial-tribal principle and Islamists. It is not really a single standing army.

The Libyan National Army (LNA) of Haftar controls most of the country and is fighting against Islamist groups and the government in Tripoli. Includes ground forces, air force, navy, air defense forces.