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Last Updated: Friday, 22 August, 2003, 22:50 GMT 23:50 UK
Libya completes Lockerbie payout
Memorial for victims of the Lockerbie bombing
The 1988 Lockerbie bombing killed 270 people
Libya has transferred $2.7bn to compensate the families of those killed in the Lockerbie airliner bombing, US officials say.

The completion of the transfer ends years of negotiations and paves the way for the lifting of United Nations sanctions on the country.

The cash was paid from Libya's state bank into an account at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basle, Switzerland.

Last week Libya accepted responsibility for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland and agreed to pay up to $10m to each of the families of the victims.

The attack killed 259 passengers and crew and 11 residents of the town.

Britain and Bulgaria are co-sponsoring a resolution for the removal of UN sanctions against Libya imposed in 1992.

Bulgaria has dismissed suggestions of a link between its involvement in tabling the motion, and a court case against a number of Bulgarian medical staff accused of infecting Libyan children with HIV.

The Bulgarians were arrested four years ago after 400 children became infected of which more than 20 have since died.

French demand

Diplomatic sources at the UN said any vote on lifting the sanctions was likely to be delayed until next week.

France initially raised objections and threatened to block it unless Libya increased the compensation it is paying to the families of those killed in the 1989 bombing of a French airliner.

Libya had agreed to a $33m compensation package for the families of the 170 people who died when the UTA aircraft went down over Niger.

Earlier Friday, French and Libyan officials said they had come closer to renegotiating the UTA compensation, AFP news agency reports.


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Pauline Mason
"It seems Gaddafi has come to realise ending sanctions is the best way to rebuild the economy"



SEE ALSO:
Libya admits Lockerbie blame
16 Aug 03  |  Scotland
Libya letter: Full text
16 Aug 03  |  Scotland
Libya agrees Lockerbie deal
14 Aug 03  |  Scotland


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