Page last updated at 15:18 GMT, Friday, 4 September 2009 16:18 UK

Talks over victims' Libya visit

Jeffrey Donaldson
Mr Donaldson said the government has an obligation to help victims find justice

A DUP MP has met representatives of the Foreign Office to discuss taking some innocent victims to Libya for a meeting with the authorities there.

Jeffrey Donaldson said the government had a moral obligation to the victims "of IRA terrorists who were armed and trained by Colonel Gadaffi's regime".

Mr Donaldson was accompanied by Labour MP Andrew MacKinlay at the talks.

He said he hoped to meet with the Libyan Embassy in London as a prelude to victims possibly going to Libya.

"We are moving further down the line towards a delegation of victims going to Libya to have face-to-face talks about the culpability of that country.

"Without the help, both financial and in terms of training and arms supplies, of the Libyan authorities, the Provisional IRA would not have been able to wage their campaign of terror and crime on anything like the scale that we witnessed for 35 years," Mr Donaldson said.

"Not only do they have a moral responsibility to compensate the UK victims of their sponsorship of IRA terrorism, but our own government has an obligation to those who suffered also."

Mr Donaldson said the British government had the opportunity to show that justice for UK citizens and not access to oil was their primary concern.

"They need to extend every possible assistance to those who suffered as a consequence of the actions of the Libyan dictator," he said.

Earlier this week, Mr Donaldson said it remained to be seen whether or not Libya intends to pay compensation to the relatives of IRA victims.

He was responding to reports in the Independent newspaper that Libya had been discussing compensation with the British government.

Mr Donaldson said the Libyan authorities may just be "posturing".

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