Global Policy Forum

UN Retains Libya Sanctions


The Lockerbie Suspects: in Custody in Holland

BBC News
July 10, 1999

International sanctions against Libya are to be permanently lifted as soon as possible, according to the United Nations Security Council. The Security Council praised Libya for its co-operation in the Lockerbie bombing case but stopped short of immediately lifting the sanctions, which are already suspended. The US argued that it would be impossible to judge the extent of Libya's co-operation until after the trial in Holland next year of the two men accused of the bombing.

The acting US ambassador to the UN, Peter Burleigh, said: "The developments of the past year give some prospect for an improvement in relations. The path to that improvement is to settle completely and in a positive and co-operative way these events of the past, which are very important to us, including ensuring that justice is done with regard to the Pan Am 103 tragedy."

A number of non-aligned countries on the Security Council had called for the immediate lifting of sanctions. The Security Council's formal statement "welcomed the positive developments" in Libya and its "significant progress in compliance" with UN resolutions.

Pressure mounts

Sanctions were suspended in April when Libya handed over the two men suspected of planting the bomb on Pan Am Flight 103, which killed 270 people, and the suspension will remain in force. Since the handover of the two Lockerbie suspects, pressure has been mounting to lift the sanctions completely. These include an air embargo and restrictions on the sale of some oil equipment.

Unilateral US trade sanctions are still in force against Libya. US diplomats say they will make their own independent decisions regarding those measures. The UK resumed official diplomatic relations with Tripoli earlier this week. Relations were broken in 1984 after the shooting of a policewoman in front of Libya's London embassy.

More Information on Libya Sanctions


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