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France Demands Extra Libyan Cash for Airliner Blast

France urgently contacted Libya to demand more compensation for a 1989 airliner bombing on Sunday after victims’ families failed to persuade Tripoli to pay more in line with the sum it has paid for the 1988 Lockerbie tragedy. President Jacques Chirac telephoned Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi “to tell him of the importance France attaches to solving this problem which is so painful for the victims’ families,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin told Secretary of State Colin Powell about the initiative and will call British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on Monday, the ministry added. In a separate statement, the families’ representatives urged U.S. and British authorities and the Lockerbie victims’ families to show solidarity with relatives of the 170 people killed when a UTA jet exploded in midair over the West African state of Niger. “We do not question the agreement reached on Lockerbie and we welcome the fact the families involved have won satisfaction,” it said. “Until equal treatment is granted, the lifting of international sanctions against Libya should be ruled out.” Full Story

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