RealNews

Libya close to a deal in 1988 Pan Am bombing

On the eve of a likely conflict with Iraq that the Bush administration says is part of its war on terrorism, the administration appears close to persuading Libya to admit responsibility for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988. State Department officials said Monday that Assistant Secretary of State William Burns will meet today with British and Libyan diplomats in London. Burns will return to Washington to brief U.S. relatives of the victims Wednesday. Relatives who have sued Libya for compensation say they have been told that after more than a year of difficult negotiations, a deal is imminent. A settlement would end United Nations sanctions against Libya, allow victims’ relatives to collect at least $5 million per family from Libya and demonstrate to the Muslim world that U.S. counterterrorism policy does not require resorting to force. ”Libya knows exactly what it must say and how it must say it,” says Jim Kreindler, lead attorney for victims’ families. There was no immediate comment from the Libyan government. ”We’ve been assured by people in the State Department that with everything else that’s going on, Burns would not be going to London just to tell the Libyans again what they have to do,” says Dan Cohen of Cape May Court House, N.J. His daughter, Theodora, 20, was one of 189 Americans killed in one of the worst acts of foreign terrorism against U.S. citizens before Sept. 11, 2001. A total of 270 people died, including 11 in Lockerbie, Scotland, where the jet crashed. Full Story

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