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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 September, 2003, 21:31 GMT 22:31 UK
Britain plans Libya sanctions vote
Lockerbie crash
Sanctions were put in place to force Libya to cooperate
The UK has raised the prospect of a vote on the end of UN sanctions against Libya that will trigger compensation for Lockerbie victims, it is reported.

Informal discussions on Tuesday could be followed by a vote on a UK-sponsored resolution.

Any vote will be the next step in the 1.7m deal for the families of victims of the bombing and the full re-entry of Libya into the international community.

But there is still uncertainty over the outcome of a vote after a last-minute hitch in a separate compensation deal between Libya and France over the 1989 bombing of UTA 772 over Niger which claimed 170 lives.

It is not yet clear how France will vote, or whether the vote might again be delayed in order to allow the deal to be completed.

As a permanent member of the Security Council, France can veto any lifting of the Libya sanctions.

It is understood the main snag is that France wants Libya to pay compensation cash into an escrow account right away, in a similar fashion to the Lockerbie deal.

The UN sanctions against Libya were suspended in 1999 when the north African nation surrendered two suspects for the bombing.

Deal anger

They were tried at a special Scottish court in the Netherlands, with Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi jailed for life and the other suspect cleared.

But a permanent end to sanctions would help Libya both politically and economically and it has paved the way by admitting responsibility and agreeing a compensation package.

The French families of the victims of the UTA attack were angry over the Lockerbie deal as it dwarfed their own, a 21m deal agreed in 1999.

But on 31 August a new deal seemed to have been agreed, reportedly still smaller than the Lockerbie deal at up to 600,000 per victim.

Separate US sanctions against Libya will not be affected by the UN vote.




SEE ALSO:
Libya agrees bombing deal
01 Sep 03  |  Europe
Libya completes Lockerbie payout
22 Aug 03  |  Americas
Country profile: Libya
16 Aug 03  |  Country profiles


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