Lockerbie families divided on Libya move

Families of victims of the Lockerbie bombing have given a mixed reception to news that the US is to restore diplomatic ties with Libya.

    Libya has been taken off the list of state sponsors of terrorism

    In 2003, Libya accepted responsibility for the 1988 attack on the Pan Am flight 103 that killed 270 people. Tripoli agreed to pay the families of the dead victims millions of dollars each in compensation.

    Two Libyan intelligence agents were turned over to an international court in The Hague in 1999. One of the men, Abdel Basset Ali Al Megrahi, was sentenced to 27 years in prison in 2003, which prompted the UN Security Council to vote unanimously to lift sanctions imposed on Libya in 1992.

    But some of the American relatives of those killed voiced outrage and complained that they had not been told in advance.

    Susan Cohen, whose 20-year-old daughter was killed in the attack, said: "It is a dangerous move and now they have rewarded the terrorists. The only reason they are doing this is oil."

    Some considered the move with resignation. Robert Monetti, who lost his son, said: It's not a surprise. It's surprising it took this long... Countries cannot stop doing business just because of things like this."

    Others welcomed the decision.

    John Zwynenburg, who also lost a son, said: "It's a positive step. It's better to make peace with other nations than going at war with them. Hopefully, we'll continue to help them improve their relations with other nations."

    David Welch, the US assistant secretary of state, said he understood relatives' anger but said that Libya had fulfilled its obligations. "Libya is out of the terrorist business."

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?