In reaction to Libya being implicated in a terrorist attack on a discotheque in Berlin and the bombing of a passenger aircraft over the United Kingdom, as well as threats made by Libyan leaders against its Member States, the European Community imposed several sanctions including an embargo on the export of arms and other military equipment to Libya through decisions related to combating terrorism taken in 1986 in the framework of European Political Cooperation.
In April 1999 the European Union decided to suspend certain restrictive measures taken against Libya on the basis of UN Security Council Resolutions 748 (1992) and 883 (1993). This decision was taken in the Common Position 1999/261/CFSP concerning Libya. However, four restrictive measures, including the arms embargo, remained in force.
In October 2004, the Council of the EU lifted the embargo in reaction to Libya dismantling its weapons of mass destruction programs, a settlement on compensation for dependents of victims of the 1986 Berlin discotheque attack and the need for cooperation with Libya on migration of Africans to Europe.