French veto threat delays UN vote on Libya sanctions
The United Nations Security Council delayed a vote formally lifting sanctions on Libya until Friday, September 12. The postponement came after France threatened to veto the move if it did not gain greater compensation for the relatives of people killed in the 1989 UTA airliner bombing over Niger, Africa.
After a series of talks, the council agreed on Tuesday, September 9, to grant Paris a last chance to negotiate a compensation package with Libya that would match the Lockerbie deal signed last month for $2.7 billion. The settlement spurred Britain to take action to end international sanctions against the Arab state.
The French government received $34 million from Tripoli in 1999 after a Paris court convicted six Libyans in absentia for the UTA attack. Last week, Kadhafi increased this amount by approximately $300,000 per family.
In light of Libya’s transfer of the two Lockerbie suspects in 2001, the UN Security Council dropped its sanctions against Tripoli. But under the UN resolution, the ban on arms sales and air links to Libya could not be lifted permanently until Libya acknowledged responsibility for the bombing. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)