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    TRIPOLI SHOWS READINESS FOR COOPERATION WITH IAEA

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    VIENNA, February 24 (RIA Novosti correspondent Borislav Pechnikov) - The disarmament process in Libya can be completed in June 2004. Mohamed ElBaradei, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who is visiting Libya, has made a statement to this effect.

    Mr ElBaradei said he had come to Libya, among other things, to find the channels through which Libya and other countries (Iran, North Korea, Malaysia) had received uranium enrichment equipment.

    The IAEA chief will also focus on the verification of Libya's nuclear programs and facilities. Moreover, Mr ElBaradei will meet the Libyan authorities to discuss prospects for the signing of a protocol to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which will help integrate Libya into the global non-proliferation regime, according to a source in the IAEA. (Tehran, which had, although indirectly, admitted that it had received uranium enrichment centrifuges through commercial channels, already signed the protocol).

    According to the IAEA information and public relations department, considerable progress has been made at disarmament talks on laser centrifuges, which are fit for enriching uranium and producing weapons-grade plutonium.

    This is where Tripoli is very cooperative towards the IAEA and it is willing to provide comprehensive information on this point, said the department.

    The IAEA is making cautious moves while holding disarmament talks with Libya, the source said, adding that things would hopefully be settled soon as far as Libya's nuclear programs were concerned.

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