UTA deadline passes

13 October 2003
The deadline set for an additional compensation deal to be agreed between Tripoli and Paris for the 1989 UTA bombing, which killed 170 over Niger, passed on 11 October without any compensation offer from the Libyan government. However, Tripoli invited French negotiators to a further round of negotiations, a move described by a French spokesman as 'positive'. President Chirac, speaking during a state visit to Morocco, said he hoped that a deal would be reached soon. 'I do not want to imagine that these promises will not be adhered to,' he said. 'But, if by chance they were not met, this would no doubt have consequences on the relations between our two countries - I say this without aggression, but without weakness.'

France called on the Libyan government to pay additional compensation to the UTA victims' families after a $2,700 million deal was reached between Tripoli and the families of the victims of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. A French court found six Libyans, including leader Muammar Gaddafi's brother-in-law, guilty in absentia of the UTA bombing over Niger. Libya offered $33 million to each family of the victims after the trial, but has never accepted responsibility for incident (MEED 12:9:03).

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