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France opposes lifting sanctions against Libya

The United Nations has put off until Friday a vote to lift sanctions against Libya. The vote was scheduled for Tuesday but it appeared set to go down to defeat when France indicated it would veto the measure. France wants an improved compensation deal over the 1989 bombing of a French airliner, the French Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. The UTA plane was blown out of the sky, resulting in the deaths of 170 people. In 1999, Libya paid $33 million US after a French court convicted six Libyans in absentia for the bombing. The UN sanctions were imposed in 1992 to pressure Moammar Gadhafi to hand over two suspects in another bombing – the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland. That explosion killed 270 people on board. The sanctions were suspended in 1999 after the suspects were handed over, but Libya wants them officially lifted. On Aug. 15, 2003, Libya accepted responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing and agreed to pay $3 billion to the families of the victims. Following that payment, France demanded a better deal. Full Story

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