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Arab League Working on Deal to End Libya Sanctions - 2003-08-06

The long international dispute with Libya over the 1988 bombing of a jumbo jet over Lockerbie, Scotland may come to a final conclusion as early as next week. An official of the Arab League says a deal to permanently end sanctions against Libya is very close.

News reports published Wednesday indicate Libya could begin as early as next week paying out as much as $2.7 billion to the families of the bombing victims. The families of the 270 victims would each receive about $10 million.

The news reports say Libya will also notify the United Nations Security Council that it accepts responsibility for the bombing. In turn, the United Nations would permanently end economic sanctions imposed against Libya in 1992. That could pave the way for the United States to end its own sanctions against Libya.

A senior official of the Arab League in Cairo confirms that a deal to end the sanctions is very close at hand. But the official would not predict when the deal might be implemented.

As part of the agreement, Libya must also renounce terrorism and agree to cooperate in any further investigations of the Lockerbie bombing.