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Volume 714: debated on Thursday 12 November 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the request for compensation from the Government of Libya by relatives and dependants of those killed or injured by arms and explosives supplied by that government. [HL5882]

The Government have considered requests for compensation from Libya and taken soundings on the issue since the restoration of diplomatic relations in 1999. We did this in 2004, 2006, 2007 and most recently in February 2009. Libya accounted for its past support of the IRA in 1995 and on all subsequent occasions this matter has been discussed, Libya has stressed they believe the matter is firmly closed.

On 6 Sept 2009 my right honourable friend the Prime Minister announced enhanced support for the campaign by victims and families of victims of IRA terrorism for compensation from the Libyan Government. This recognises the Government's assessment that the most likely way for the victims and their families to succeed is for them to address the Libyan Government directly, supported by the British Government. From 8 Sept the FCO-based Libya/Northern Ireland Reconciliation Unit was established to provide logistical support and advice to the campaign. The British Government themselves are not negotiating directly with Libya.