The Arab League said Monday, April 9, it has informed the United Nations that Libya has the right to be compensated for losses resulting from seven years of UN economic sanctions as well as US air strikes in 1986.
Arab League Secretary General Esmat Abdel Meguid said Monday that he had sent messages on the subject to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and to the presidency of the Security Council.
He was speaking after a conference on the Lockerbie airline bombing, which brought together legal and other experts at Arab League headquarters on Saturday and Sunday. He did not specify how compensation should be carried out in the case of the UN sanctions or the US air strikes.
US warplanes carried out air strikes on Libya in 1986, in retaliation for what Washington said was Libyan involvement in a bombing in Berlin targeting US servicemen.
Abdel Meguid also called for a "stop to any political use of the Security Council in the Lockerbie affair."
The league urged the heads of its missions in the United States and Britain to make contacts with government officials there as well as UN officials in a bid to resume dialogue with these two countries.
Washington and London say that Libya has not met the conditions for a definitive lifting of the UN sanctions, which were imposed in April 1992, when Libya first refused to hand over two suspects in the Lockerbie bombing.
The US and British governments are demanding that Libyan leader Colonel Moammar Kadhafi compensate the families of the 270 people who died when a US airliner blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, and formally accept blame.
The sanctions were suspended in 1999, when Libya finally handed them over for trial in a special Scottish court set up in The Hague. The Scottish court in the Netherlands this year acquitted one of the suspects and convicted the other, sentencing him to life in prison for the bombing. — (AFP, Cairo)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)