P.M. BRIEFING : Bonn OKs Chemical Export to Libya

From Times wire services

The West German government today approved the export of about 275 tons of a chemical used to make fertilizers to Libya, a month after customs police seized the shipment on suspicion it could be used to make poison gas.

A spokesman for the Economics Ministry said its export control office cleared shipment of the 17 chemical containers from the North Sea port of Bremerhaven where they were held. "On the basis of agreement by several experts, we decided the substance could not be misused for the production of chemical weapons," the spokesman said.

The shipment was halted in connection with a scandal over the role of West German companies in building a suspected chemical weapons factory in the Libyan desert.

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