Libya strikes compensation deal on French airliner bombing
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi announced that a deal has been reached to increase monetary compensation for relatives of people killed in the 1989 French UTA airliner bombing over Niger, Africa. An agreement would pave the way for ending UN sanctions against Tripoli that have been in effect since 1988.
Libya has never admitted responsibility for the UTA bombing, which killed 170 people, however did pay $34 million to France after a Paris court convicted six Libyans in absentia for the attack. The exact amount of the increase is not known, however Tripoli has allegedly offered approximately $300,000 per family, reported Reuters.
The move follows a dispute in the UN Security Council after Britain took action to end sanctions against the Arab state when Kadhafi announced the payment of $2.7 billion to families of those killed in the 1988 Pan Am airliner bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. France threatened to use its power to veto the decision unless Libya increased compensation for the UTA attack.
"The problem over the UTA case is over and the Lockerbie case is now behind us. We are opening a new page in our relations with the West," said Kadhafi in a televised speech on the 34th anniversary of the coup that brought him to power.
According to London-based lawyer Saad Djebbar, Libya’s increase offer would come only if French President Jacques Chirac called Khadafi and promised that France would not block an end to UN sanctions.
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)