VIENNA, Austria (AP) - In a new signal that Libya is serious about renouncing its weapons of mass destruction, U.N. officials said Wednesday the North African country has ratified the nuclear test ban treaty.
Libya's nuclear program was far from producing a weapon and the treaty is 12 nations short of the 44 ratifications needed for it to enter into force. Still, the announcement by the U.N. agency overseeing the agreement appeared to be a further sign of commitment by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to give up nuclear weapons ambitions.
The Vienna-based agency - known as the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Organization - said that in ratifying the pact earlier this month, Libya agreed to host a monitoring station at Misratah. That would be part of a network of 337 stations being set up worldwide to verify compliance with terms of the treaty.
Libya announced Dec. 19 it was giving up its weapons of mass destruction after months of secret talks with the United States and Britain. It said then it would sign the test ban treaty and become a party to the convention prohibiting chemical weapons.