France adamant over Libya sanctions

France and Britain are at loggerheads over a vote on lifting sanctions on Libya.

    The Security Council will vote on ending sanctions on Libya

    France said on Friday there is no deadline for the UN Security Council vote after a British official said it would probably

    be delayed until next week.


    The French have said they cannot allow sanctions to be lifted until Libya pays more compensation to families of the victims of a UTA French airliner bombing.


    Asked when the vote would take place, a French Foreign Ministry spokesman said: "That issue has not been decided."




    But Sir John Holmes, the British ambassador to France, said on Thursday that Britain wanted the sanctions to be lifted soon.


    "We cannot wait indefinitely... Britain has not set a deadline for a deal... but of course, we are talking of a few days, a few weeks, but not a lot of time," he said.


    Al-Qadhafi has been accused of

    Guillaume Denoix de Saint Marc, one of the family members who has been negotiating with Libya for more cash, welcomed the delay in the UN vote.


    "It is a good sign that the Western nations are working closely together on this," he said.




    Libya agreed earlier this month to pay $2.7 billion to the victims of the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland.


    In return, the United States agreed to

     lift its sanctions on Libya and drop Tripoli from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. 


    Libya has not admitted responsibility for the UTA bombing, which killed 170 people, but paid out $34 million compensation after a Paris court convicted six Libyans for the bombing. 


    Libya agreed earlier this week to hold new negotiations after the UTA families failed to agree compensation with a fund run by Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi's son.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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