Page last updated at 16:35 GMT, Sunday, 1 November 2009

DUP in talks with Libya officials

Jeffrey Donaldson MP
Mr Donaldson said a deal may not be reached this week

DUP politicians in Libya for talks on the country's support for the IRA, have carried out a series of meetings.

The group, which includes three MPs and three Lords members, seeks compensation for victims of IRA violence.

The DUP said their MPs had met the Mayor of Tripoli, the Libyan minister for Europe and the Speaker of the General Peoples Congress.

The cross-party delegation includes DUP politicians Nigel Dodds, Jeffrey Donaldson and Labour's Andrew McKinlay.

Further meeting are scheduled and the DUP MPs will be making a full statement on Monday when they return home.

Colonel Gaddafi's regime secretly supplied the IRA with weapons and explosives in the 1980s.

Diplomatic relations between the UK and Tripoli have improved and there have recently been signs of a possible change in attitude over payments.

BBC Ireland Correspondent Mark Simpson said the fact that the Libyan government has agreed to see a British parliamentary delegation is seen as progress.

While the Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi is not expected to meet them in person, his officials will be told a normalisation in relations can only take place if Libya faces up to the past, our correspondent said.

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