28/10/2009

'No Deal' On Libya Terror Compensation

Bereaved relatives of IRA victims seeking compensation from the Libyan government - which supplied arms and explosives to the terrorists - have scotched reports that a compensation deal has already been done with Colonel Gaddafi.

Hopes of a deal had risen after the Libyan leader indicated in a weekend television interview that an agreement had been reached with Britain over his country's role in arming the IRA.

Now, as it emerged that the victims of IRA bombs will take their compensation campaign to Tripoli next weekend, it was announced yesterday that there had been "no deal done" with victims here.

DUP MPs Jeffrey Donaldson (pictured) and Nigel Dodds are part of the delegation negotiating for a deal over Colonel Gaddafi's role in supplying Semtex explosives to the IRA.

Mr Donaldson said last night that despite Colonel Gaddafi's comments: "There has been no deal done to the best of our knowledge and this weekend we are going out there for further discussions with the Libyan government, so the process is not concluded and it's premature to say that a deal has been done."

Mr Donaldson did indicate that things appeared to be moving in the right direction.

"We remain hopeful that the victims will be properly recognised with a compensatory settlement."
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The DUP MP said: "Colonel Gaddafi has once again shown that he is keen to draw a line under past differences and this peace and reconciliation delegation is a major step towards achieving that, as well as justice for our victims of human tragedy."

The visit will be from October 31 to November 2. The team will also include Labour MP Andrew McKinlay and Lord Paul Bew.

Gordon Brown has confirmed the UK will support compensation claims being made against Libya by IRA victims' families.

The government has been criticised for its closer ties with Libya by victims of the IRA, which was supplied with explosives by Tripoli.

On Sky TV Colonel Gaddafi said: "To the best of my knowledge I am not aware there is a delegation, that is because I am not really interested. It does not concern me, these diplomatic or government delegations, because I am out of it.

"But I believe that an agreement has been concluded between Libya and the UK," he said, and when pressed on whether a deal had actually been struck, the Libyan leader replied: "Yeah, yeah. So it closes the chapters of the past. There will be no chance of any pursuit of legal or previous actions, so that is it."

See: Gaddafi Issues Shooting 'Apology'

(BMcC/KMcA)

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