We are publishing the FIDE Answer to the ACP Open Letter dated 8 June 2004.
Read the FIDE Answer.
Elista, 8 June 2004
Mr. Joel Lautier
President of ACP
Dear Mr. Lautier,
I am aware of the fact that you have written an open letter to me where you address some concerns regarding the forthcoming World Chess Championship in Tripoli, Libya. I am not sure why you choose to contact me in this way through the mass media, instead of normal means of communication, and for future communication I suggest you contact me through the FIDE secretariat.
In your letter you "demand" that FIDE provide written evidence from the Libyan authorities stating that Israeli players will be granted visa upon arrival in Tripoli. First, Mr. Lautier, let me remind you that you are in no position to make demands from FIDE. Second, I can assure you that the FIDE official representatives upon my instructions and in close cooperation with the Libyan organizer, have worked hard to secure that all players including the Israelis, will get visa upon arrival.
The Libyan authorities has twice confirmed in writing that all qualified players will get visa and based on my personal contact with the Libyan leader H.E Moammar Al Ghaddafi, I am absolutely confident that this problem is solved. As I read your letter you seem to be of the opinion that the Israeli players are excluded from the World Chess Championship. I really cannot understand how you reach such a conclusion, but let me inform you about the reality of the matter. The Israeli players have either failed to sign the Players Undertaking or signed with conditions or withdrawn from the Championship after the deadline.
I understand that you have been in contact with the Libyan embassy in Paris and that they have confirmed that applicants for visa must not have" an Israeli visa or a trace of passage on Israeli territory". However, this can hardly come as a surprise to you since it has been the standard procedure not only for Libya, but also for many other countries in that region. This is exactly the very reason why the Libyan authorities have decided to issue the visas upon arrival. To secure a smooth handling of visa and to avoid misunderstandings from Libyan embassies all over the world, we have agreed to the present procedure.
I am somewhat surprised that you don&rsquot see the importance of having the World Chess Championship in Libya, during the time when the country is opening up to the international community in a way that has been widely appreciated by many top leaders of the world. The Libyan Chess Federation is a regular member of FIDE and the World Championship has the full backing of the Libyan Olympic Committee. We are confident that everything possible will be done to secure an excellent Championship fully in line with all FIDE regulations.
Regarding the issue of accompanying persons, coaches, spouses etc I agree that there is a problem and we have to amend the regulations. Libya however has fulfilled its obligations according to the present regulations.
When it comes to the announcement of the final list of participants, FIDE is only following the World Championship regulations and I suggest that you study the details. After the deadline for the players to sign their Undertaking, there is a procedure, whereby it takes several weeks to fill the vacancies.
FIDE has already published the final list of the participants as well as the pairings on its official site.
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