Libyan leader reiterates condemnation of international terrorism
Libyan President Moamer Kadhafi stressed his condemnation of international terrorism late Wednesday at a meeting in Tripoli with French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, a diplomatic source said.
The meeting at Kadhafi's residence was held on the sidelines of an informal Euro-North African forum attended by foreign ministers from ten Maghreb and European countries.
Kadhafi, who had asked for the meeting with de Villepin, reaffirmed his statement made following the September 11 attacks on the United States that Libya backed efforts to fight against terrorism.
Other issues covered during their discussions included the international sanctions imposed against Libya after the December 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland in which a total of 270 people died. The bombing was blamed on the Libyan secret services, AFP said.
The United Nations suspended the sanctions after Libya handed over two suspects to a Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands. One of them, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, was sentenced to life imprisonment in January 2001.
No details were available of what Kadhafi might have said concerning reported discussions on financial compensation for the victims' families.
According to New York attorney James Kreindler, Libya had proposed the families of each of the victims of the bombing -- the 259 passengers and crew on board the plane and 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie -- would receive 10 million dollars.
According to the offer, the money is to be paid in installments, spread out over time based on the lifting of certain sanctions imposed against Libya, the attorney said.
Both Washington and Tripoli said Wednesday they were not involved in the negotiations leading up to the offer.
The Libyan government categorically denied any connection with the "so-called agreement," saying the discussions had been strictly between Libyan lawyers and businessmen and the victims' attorneys.
Kadhafi's talks with de Villepin also tackled security and stability in the western Mediterranean, the situation in Africa and bilateral relations, the French delegation said.
De Villepin returned to Paris early Thursday.
The informal western Mediterranean forum groups the five-member Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) - Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia - with five European countries: France, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain. (Albawaba.com)
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