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Homeland Security

15 August 2003

U.S. Will Not Oppose Ending of U.N. Sanctions on Libya

Decision based on Libya's acceptance of responsibility for bombing Pan Am 103

In recognition of Libya's acceptance of responsibility for its actions in the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Scotland in 1988, the United States announced August 15 that "it will not oppose the lifting of United Nations sanctions on Libya."

"The Libyan regime's behavior -- including its poor human rights record and lack of democratic institutions, its destructive role in perpetuating regional conflicts in Africa, and its continued and worrisome pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their related delivery systems -- remains a cause for serious concern," a White House statement said.

The statement said the United States "will intensify its efforts to end threatening elements of Libya's behavior, and U.S. bilateral sanctions on Libya will remain in full force until Libya addresses these concerns."

Libya, it said, "must also continue to take definitive action to assist in the fight against international terrorism."

Following is the text of the White House statement:

(begin text)

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release August 15, 2003

STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY

Today, in a letter to the UN Security Council, Libya stated it "accepts responsibility for the actions of its officials" in the bombing of Pan Am 103 on December 21, 1988, and has made arrangements to pay compensation to the families of the victims in accordance with an agreement worked out directly between the families and the government of Libya.

In recognition of these steps, and to allow the families' settlement to go forward, the United States has notified the United Nations Security Council that it will not oppose the lifting of UN sanctions on Libya, which were suspended in 1999.

The Libyan regime's behavior -- including its poor human rights record and lack of democratic institutions, its destructive role in perpetuating regional conflicts in Africa, and its continued and worrisome pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their related delivery systems -- remains a cause for serious concern. The United States will intensify its efforts to end threatening elements of Libya's behavior, and U.S. bilateral sanctions on Libya will remain in full force until Libya addresses these concerns. Libya must also continue to take definitive action to assist in the fight against international terrorism.

The efforts undertaken by the U.S. government in this matter serve to remind all who would engage in terrorist acts that the United States will always seek justice and redress for its citizens. Combating the evil of terrorism remains a paramount commitment of the United States and we will not relent in that continuing struggle.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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