Saturday, 8 July 2017

Restoration of diplomatic relations with Libya

[The following are three snippets from this date in 1999 that appear on the Libya: News and Views website:]

The UK has announced it is restoring full diplomatic links with Libya after a break of 15 years. The move follows the Libyan Government's acceptance of "general responsibility" for the killing of policewoman Yvonne Fletcher, who was shot dead outside its London embassy in 1984. It has also agreed to pay substantial compensation to the Fletcher family and to co-operate in the investigation to find the killer. The compensation is understood to reach six figures, although the actual amount is not being revealed. [BBC]

Libya's UN ambassador on Wednesday attributed Libya's thaw in relations with Britain to Tripoli's surrender of two suspects in the Lockerbie bombing case and said it was time UN sanctions were lifted. Ambassador Abuzed Omar Dorda said a resumption of ties with Britain, announced by British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, “is the natural thing.” Dorda was reacting to Cook's announcement on Wednesday that London was resuming diplomatic relations with Libya after Tripoli agreed to cooperate in police investigations into the 1984 shooting of a British policewoman outside Libya's embassy in London. Cook told parliament Libya had also agreed to pay compensation for the killing. [Reuters]

The United States will not follow Britain's example and resume ties with Libya, at least until Tripoli offers compensation for the Americans killed over Lockerbie in 1988, the State Department said on Wednesday. Britain is reopening diplomatic relations after 15 years because Tripoli has agreed to cooperate in police investigations into the fatal shooting in 1984 of a British policewoman outside Libya's embassy in London. In Washington, US State Department spokesman James Foley noted the Libyan concessions and said the United States would seek the same for the families of victims of Pan Am flight 103, which blew up over Lockerbie in Scotland. [Reuters]

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