Interviewed by Le Figaro newspaper before a visit by President Jacques Chirac of France, al-Qadhafi on Wednesday said Libya still waited to be properly recompensed for its decision.

"To tell you the truth, we have been a little disappointed by the reaction of Europe, the United States and Japan. They haven't really rewarded Libya for its contribution to international peace," he said.

"And we're still waiting. If we are not recompensed, other countries will not follow our example and dismantle their own programmes."

Al-Qadhafi said it was a point particularly made by North Korea and Iran, both of which are alleged to have weapons of mass destruction programmes.

"They say to us: 'What did you get in return? What did you obtain from the international community? So why do you want us to dismantle our programme?'"

Sanctions dropped

Libya emerged from the diplomatic cold, shedding a reputation as a sponsor of international terrorism, when it surprisingly renounced the development of weapons of mass destruction late last year.

Libya admitted responsibility for
the 1988 Lockerbie bombing

It was part of a spectacular diplomatic reversal by al-Qadhafi - who took power in a coup in 1969 - which has also included admitting responsibility for a wave of attacks such as the 1988 Lockerbie plane bombing.

The United States and the European Union have since dropped most sanctions slapped on Libya after the attacks, while last month Brussels removed an arms embargo.

European leaders - Chirac's trip on Wednesday comes after visits by Britain's Tony Blair, Italy's Silvio Berlusconi and Germany's Gerhard Schroeder - have also called in on al-Qadhafi, no longer considered a pariah.
 
But the Libyan leader outlined some of the rewards he is looking for.

"A country that gets rid of its weapons of mass destruction should at least obtain guarantees from the international community on its national security," he said.

Libya should also be helped to develop its military material for civilian use, including being given "civilian-use technology in return for abandoning military technology", he said.