Page last updated at 10:32 GMT, Saturday, 17 October 2009 11:32 UK

Libya to hold compensation talks

Muammar Gaddafi
Col Gaddafi's Libya supplied the IRA during the Troubles

A delegation of MPs has been invited to Libya to discuss possible compensation for the families of IRA victims.

Libya supplied guns and explosives to the IRA during the NI Troubles.

Lawyers for some of those injured or bereaved by the IRA have revealed that while MPs have been invited, the victims were not.

MP Jeffrey Donaldson, who will be on the delegation, said it followed talks he and DUP colleague Nigel Dodds had at the Libyan embassy in London.

"As a result of that, the Libyan government have now issued an invitation for a parliamentary delegation to visit Libya to discuss with them the claim for compensation for the victims of IRA terrorism," he said.

Mr Donaldson said he expected there would be a chance for victims to meet with the Libyans in the future.

"They initiated the action, it's their campaign and it's important that their voice is heard," the Lagan Valley MP said.

"Whilst we can speak for them, at the end of the day we want the Libyans to have the opportunity to hear directly from the victims of IRA terrorism."

Mr Donaldson said he would be joined on the delegation by Mr Dodds, Labour and Conservative MPs and some members of the House of Lords.

In a statement, London legal firm H20 Law said while the victims were "disappointed" not to be able to form part of the delegation, they appreciated Libya's "kind and welcome" offer and were grateful for the Foreign Office efforts.

"The victims view this as a significant step forward, as well as recognition by both countries that their plight will not be overlooked as Anglo-Libyan relations develop," said the statement.

"They sincerely hope that, following the parliamentarian team's visit, Libya will review its position toward them and appreciate that they wish to visit Libya in the spirit of peace and reconciliation."

The meeting is expected to take place within weeks.



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