A republic in northern Africa, bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. Occupied until 1912 by Turkey, the area that is now Libya passed to Italy after its victory in the Turko-Italian War of 1912. The colonies of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were united into Libya in 1934. During World War II, the colony was occupied by the Allies with Tripolitania and Cyrenaica under British administration, using "M.E.F." stamps (Middle Eastern Forces), while Fezzan-Ghadames was under French administration, using its own issues.
On Dec. 24, 1951, the independent Kingdom of Libya was established. In September 1969, the monarchy was overthrown, and the Libyan Arab Republic was established. The new regime, under Col. Muammar al-Qadaffi, espoused a pan-Arab, socialist and Muslim fundamentalist philosophy that has led to ongoing conflicts with Libya's neighbors. During 1977, it fought several clashes with Egypt, and during 1977-87, it occupied portions of Chad, until driven from that country.
Libya has been an active supporter of
terrorist organizations throughout the world. In 1986, the United States
imposed economic sanctions and froze Libyan assets in the United States.
In 1992, the United Nations imposed limited economic sanctions,
strengthened in 1993, in retaliation for Libya's refusal to extradite
two terrorists believed to be responsible for the bombing of airplane
flights over Scotland and Niger.