Lockerbie compensation fund could free Libya from economic sanctions
Libya has agreed to establish a $2.7 billion compensation fund for the families of the people killed in the 1998 Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. The move could remove the Arab state from the US list of terrorist-supporting nations, subsequently ending international sanctions that have been in effect since the attack.
The deal, which was reached Wednesday August 14, 2003, will be followed by a letter addressed to the United Nations (UN), confirming that Libya has taken full responsibility for the bombing, reported AP.
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Switzerland will manage the account from which claimants will be compensated. The Libyan government will pay up to $10 million for each victim, attorneys stated. Money transfers are due to be completed by August 15.
The US and British governments are expected to send letters to the United Nations (UN) Security Council stating their belief that Libya has met the conditions for having sanctions lifted.
US President George W. Bush approved a one-year extension of American sanctions against Libya this past January. The embargo has been extended repeatedly since 1988, when the Libyan leadership was held responsible for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
Bush stated that although the Libyan government handed over the two suspects involved in the bombing, the leadership did not met its full obligations in accepting responsibility for the actions of its officials in the attack or paid the due compensations, as outlined in the UN Security Council resolutions.
In light of Libya’s transfer of the two suspects in 2001, the UN Security Council dropped its sanctions against the North African country. But under the UN resolution, the ban on arms sales and air links to Libya could not be lifted permanently until Libya acknowledges responsibility for the bombing.
US economic sanctions against Libya have been extended annually since 1986, when former President Ronald Reagan labeled the North African state as “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States." The Lockerbie bombing was added to the list of conditions for the embargo, in which most of the victims were Americans. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)