[This is the headline over a report that appeared on the BBC News wbsite on this date in 1998. It reads as follows:]
Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi has expressed his thanks to the many countries which expressed support at the UN debate this weekend over ending the sanctions imposed against Tripoli for the Lockerbie disaster, and said Tripoli had won both the legal and political battle over the case.
"On behalf of all the Libyan men and women, I extend my warmest thanks to the friendly and brotherly countries, the UN members and to the International Court of Justice, the main legal instrument of the world.
I also thank the Arab League, the Organization of African Unity, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Non-Aligned Movement," Gaddafi said in a speech broadcast on Sunday on Libyan TV.
Gaddafi said he was addressing "all the speakers who took the floor yesterday at the Security Council".
"On behalf of the Libyan people and all the peoples who are convinced that the strength of law will prevail over the law of force, I extend to them my thanks, respect and gratitude," Gaddafi said.
"The Libyan people received massive support for their just cause and their confrontation against the forces of injustice represented by Britain.
I would like to express this gratitude for this world support which I regard as the support of the century for a small country in its confrontation against superpowers which are coveting our wealth." Gaddafi went on:
"Yesterday there was an international trial in which, principally Britain and America were in the dock. World states made accusations against these two states.
"We, Libyans, won the legal battle at the International Court of Justice, and yesterday night we won the political battle at the Security Council when a third of the organization's members, who were able to speak, spoke.
“Perhaps the other two thirds would have spoken in support of Libya.
When they spoke, they supported the Libyan stance, the Libyan policy and the Libyan people," Gaddafi said.
"What did the ICJ say? It said that the Lockerbie incident - Pan Am flight 103 - was a legal and not a political case. This is the first ruling. It is a criminal case which does not concern the Security Council. It said that it came under the Montreal Convention and not under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. Therefore, the resolutions which were literally imposed on the Security Council against the Great Jamahiriyah under Chapter 7 are unlawful under the ruling of the ICJ.
"The falsification, which we rebelled, demonstrated and protested against at the time, has become evident. Now, God be praised, it is being confirmed by the ICJ. It confirms the falsification of the claim that international security was under threat," Gaddafi said.