After Libyan-British talks: Libya ready to pay compensation for Lockerbie victims
Relatives of the victims of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing have cautiously welcomed a Libyan statement indicating Tripoli was ready, in principle, to pay them compensation.
Libyan Foreign Minister Abderrahmane Chalgam, made the announcement after talks between his leader, Colonel Gadaffi, and visiting UK Foreign Office Minister, Mike O'Brien. Jim Swire, a spokesman for the families of the Lockerbie victims, said the Libyan announcement should be regarded as an important move forward, the BBC reported.
O'Brien was planned to hold further discussions with Libyan officials on Thursday before returning to London. Libya has never admitted responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270 people. "This is the first time, I think, that an important member of the Libyan regime has made a comment like this," Swire conveyed. "But of course paying compensation is only one of the things that Libya has to do if she wants to get the UN sanctions permanently removed."
According to O'Brien, the Libyan leader had "said the right things" on a range of issues, including the fight against terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. After three hour of talks at Sirte, a coastal town about 320km (200 miles) east of Tripoli, O'Brien was cautiously optimistic. "But we've got to be sure that Libya is going to deliver on what he is promising," said the British minister.
He added Tripoli was ready to ink up to 20 international conventions relating to weapons of mass destruction and was further considering signing others - including the chemical weapons convention. Additionally, O'Brien commented Libya expressed willingness to considering inspections of suspected nuclear sites.
On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Mohammed Abderrahmane Chalgam said that Libya was looking into the issue of responsibility, and was "ready to get rid of this obstacle". Chalgam stressed Libya's wish to better relations with the UK and the US.
"We have to extend and expand our bilateral relations with Britain and also we are completely keen to arrive at reconciliation and normalization with the US," he said. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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