The U.S. State Department says Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi declined a U.S. request to meet with the highest ranking U.S. official to visit Libya in decades.

A State Department spokesman says Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte instead met with lower-level officials during his visit to Tripoli.

He says talks focused on Libya completing compensation payments to the families of the victims of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. They also discussed Libya's prosecution of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor sentenced to death for allegedly infecting 400 children with HIV.

Negroponte and the Libyan officials also discussed the crisis in Darfur.

The U.S. restored full diplomatic ties with Libya last year after the government of Mr. Gadhafi renounced terrorism.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.