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US Presses Libya to Comply with UN 'Lockerbie' Sanctions - 2002-06-06

Officials from Britain, the United States and Libya meet in London Thursday to discuss Libyan compliance with United Nations sanctions stemming from the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

The U.S. side is led by William Burns, the assistant secretary of state for the Middle East. British foreign office officials and Libyan government representatives are joining him for the talks.

The State Department says Mr. Burns will be pressing the Libyans to comply with the U.N. Security Council resolution related to the Pan Am 103 bombing, which killed 270 people. The U.N. wants Libya to accept responsibility for the attack, pay compensation to the victims' families, renounce terrorism and cooperate with the investigation.

A British foreign office spokesman says the London talks are part of an ongoing series of discussions with the Libyans. He says "Libya has engaged positively" in the earlier talks, which were last held in January.

The foreign office says there will not be specific discussions on a reported Libyan offer to pay $2.7 billion in compensation.

The spokesmen said the families themselves - through their lawyers - will have to work out the terms of any compensation package.

A New York law firm representing the families of American victims said last week that Libya would pay the money in stages as U.N. and U.S. sanctions are lifted and Libya is removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

The Libyan government later denied making the offer. However, Libyan businessmen say they came up with the proposal in hopes of getting rid of the sanctions.

A Scottish court last year convicted a Libyan spy of smuggling explosives aboard Pan Am flight 103. A second Libyan agent was acquitted.