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Libya to Arabs: Ignore Sanctions

September 15, 1998

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ Libya has urged Arab countries to ignore U.N.-imposed sanctions, saying it has accepted a plan to hand over suspects in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, Egypt’s Middle East News Agency reported Tuesday.

The Libyan plea came in a request to the Arab League that the issue be discussed at its meeting in Cairo Wednesday and Thursday, MENA said.

Libya also reaffirmed its acceptance of a proposal for a trial of the two Libyans in the Netherlands by Scottish judges, the agency said.

The 1988 bombing of the jetliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, killed 270 people.

The United Nations banned air travel to and from Libya in 1992 to try to force Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to surrender the two Libyans.

Libya claimed the two men could not get a fair trial in England or the United States. In an effort to resolve the impasse, Washington and London last month offered to accept a trial before a Scottish tribunal in the Netherlands.

Gadhafi agreed to that in principle but has called for negotiations with the two countries on the details of the trial and the suspects’ care once they have been transferred to Dutch custody.

The Organization of African Unity decided at its June summit to no longer abide by the sanctions when travel was required for humanitarian activities or official business. Several African leaders have violated the sanctions since then.

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