UN vote frees Libya from economic sanctions
The United Nations (UN) Security Council ended 11-year-old sanctions against Libya September 12, paving the way for the release of $2.7 billion in compensation for the families of the more than 270 victims of the Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988.
Adopting its resolution by a vote of 13 to 0 with the United States and France abstaining, the council officially ended the sanctions that were suspended in 1999 after Libya allowed two suspects in the Pan Am bombing to stand trial in Scotland.
Libya and the families of the 170 victims of the UTA flight reached a new compensation agreement September 11, thus ending the threat of a French veto of the resolution.
The series of sanctions, imposed between 1992 and 1994, included an air and arms embargo, a ban on the sale of certain oil equipment to Libya, and a freeze on financial assets. The resolution also dissolved the Security Council committee set up to monitor the sanctions and removes the issue from the agenda.
The United States and France did not object to the ending of sanctions after Libya reached compensation agreements with the families of the victims of both the Pan Am flight and the 1989 bombing of a French UTA flight over Niger.
With Libya's agreement to pay compensation to the Pan Am families, a formal acceptance of its responsibility for the action of its officials, and a renunciation of terrorism, Tripoli fulfilled the last of the requirements set out by the Security Council in order to end the sanctions, stated Washington File.
US Ambassador to the UN James Cunningham, emphasized that the US decision not to veto the resolution "must not be construed by Libya or the world community as tacit US acceptance that the Government of Libya has rehabilitated itself" nor as a "decision now to modify US bilateral measures regardless of future Libyan behavior."
Bilateral sanctions on Libya will remain "in full force" until Tripoli addresses US concerns on a range of serious issues from human rights to weapons of mass destruction, said Cunningham.
Libya has tied the payment of some funds to changes in US bilateral measures and has imposed an eight-month time limit in which the steps must be taken unless Libya agrees otherwise. "The United States will intensify its efforts to end Libya's threatening actions. This includes keeping U.S. bilateral sanctions on Libya in full force," the ambassador said in remarks to the council after the vote.
Cunningham cited a list of issues: Libya's poor human rights record, rejection of democratic norms and standards, irresponsible behavior in Africa, and history of involvement in terrorism. He said that "Libya is actively pursuing a broad range of WMD (weapons of mass destruction), and is seeking ballistic missiles. In those efforts, it is receiving foreign assistance - including from countries that sponsor terrorism.” — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)