Friday, 9 December 2016

UN Secretary General meets Gaddafi over Lockerbie

[What follows is the text of a United Nations press release issued on this date in 1998:]

Secretary-General Kofi Annan left the Tunisian island of Djerba for Libya on the morning of Saturday, 5 December, and was greeted in Tripoli by Libya's Ambassador to the United Nations, Abuzed Omar Dorda. The Secretary- General then flew to Sirte where he was met by Libya's senior foreign affairs official, Omar Mustafa Al-Muntasser.
He and Mr Muntasser then went to a government guest house in the Sirte conference centre, where they had lunch together and held a working session with their delegations for more than an hour. The meeting was described as positive and friendly. The Libyan side raised a number of remaining issues of concern regarding the Lockerbie suspects, and the Secretary-General sought to reassure them that all the governments concerned were dealing in good faith.
Before lunch, during his previously unscheduled visit to the Libyan capital, the Secretary-General had a private meeting with the President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore, current President of the Organization of the African Unity (OAU), who was visiting Libya.
At about 7 pm, the Secretary-General left the Sirte conference centre for a meeting with Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Al-Qadhafi which lasted for about an hour and a half. On his return to Tripoli, the Secretary-General gave a press conference in which he described as "a step forward" his efforts to bring to closure the matter of the transfer of the Libyan suspects to a court in a third country. He said he expected the issue to be taken up at a meeting of the Libyan People's Congress in the coming week.
The Secretary-General arrived back in Djerba at around midnight on Saturday night, and departed the following morning for the United Arab Emirates, to participate in the meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

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