United Nations, Sept. 12 (Reuters): Fifteen years after the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, the UN Security Council lifted sanctions against Libya today, clearing the release of up to $2.7 billion to the families of the attack’s 270 victims.
France and the US, which has its own sanctions on the Tripoli government including a ban on Libyan oil sales to America, abstained in the 13-0 council vote ending the sanctions, which were imposed after the 1988 bombing of the Pan Am Boeing jumbo jet in the skies over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Council approval was assured when France announced yesterday it was withdrawing a threat to veto the measure, after relatives of the victims of a separate 1989 bombing of a French airliner won the promise of additional compensation from Tripoli. British ambassador Emyr Jones Parry called the Lockerbie attack “the worst terrorist incident on United Kingdom territory.” But US deputy ambassador James Cunningham cautioned that the council vote “must not be misconstrued by Libya or by the world community as tacit US acceptance that the government of Libya has rehabilitated itself.”
“The US continues to have serious concerns about other aspects of Libyan behaviour including its poor human rights record, its rejection of democratic norms and standards, its irresponsible behaviour in Africa, its history of involvement in terrorism and most important, its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery,” Cunningham said.
The US and Britain first called for adoption of the resolution last month, after Libya accepted blame for the Lockerbie bombing, renounced terrorism and agreed to put $2.7 billion into a special account for compensating the victims.