Britain to delay Libya sanctions vote

Britain has agreed to delay a UN vote on ending sanctions against Libya to allow French families more time to agree on a new compensation deal with Tripoli.

    Sanctions were imposed on Libya after the Lockerbie bombing

    London's ambassador to France, Sir John Holmes, said on Wednesday that the vote will be put back to next week.

    Britain drafted a UN Security Council resolution to end sanctions against Libya after Tripoli agreed to pay $2.7 billion to the families of those killed in the 1988 Lockerbie

    bombing.

    But France, a veto-wielding Security Council member, vowed to block the move unless Libya increases the $34 million it has paid to victims of the 1989 bombing of a French UTA airliner.

    Airline bombing

    Libya has not admitted responsibility for the UTA bombing, which killed 170 people.

    But it paid out compensation after a Paris court convicted six Libyans for the bombing in absentia. 

    A Libyan was convicted in a Dutch
    court for the Lockerbie  bombing

    Holmes said London supported the French families' attempts to secure a larger award but said there were limits to how long it would wait for a settlement.

    Compensation

    "We cannot wait indefinitely. We want to ratify the agreement we have with the Libyans," he said.

    Britain has not set a deadline for a deal, said Holmes, "but of course, we are talking of a few days, a few weeks, but not a lot of time."

    Sources say the UTA bombing relatives want compensation equivalent to the $120 million secured by relatives of those who died in the Concorde crash near Paris in 2000.

    SOURCE: AFP


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