France Threatens to Veto Lockerbie Deal - U.S. Official
Thursday, August 14, 2003; 3:16 PM
By Arshad Mohammed
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - France has threatened in private to veto any U.N. Security Council resolution to lift U.N. sanctions against Libya imposed after the 1988 Lockerbie bombing unless Tripoli boosts compensation for a French UTA airliner blown up in 1989, a U.S. official said on Thursday.
France's position could delay, or undermine, a tortuously negotiated deal under which Libya plans to pay $2.7 billion in compensation to families of the 270 people killed in the mid-air bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland and it left some U.S. officials outraged and angry.
"They have threatened to veto unless Libya pays more money (for the UTA victims)," said the U.S. official, who asked not to be named. "They are trying to piggyback on our settlement and they are trying to blackmail the Libyans because of it."
Secretary of State Colin Powell called French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin on Wednesday night to urge Paris not to undermine the Lockerbie settlement, which had appeared to be on the brink of completion.
Lawyers for Lockerbie families signed an agreement with Libya on Wednesday to set up a escrow account to hold the $2.7 billion, or up to $10 million per victim, in compensation Tripoli has agreed to pay.
The escrow agreement is the first step in a carefully choreographed arrangement under which Libya is expected to formally take responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing, possibly this week and, as a result, for U.N. sanctions against Tripoli to be lifted, possibly as early as next week.
A U.S. official said Washington and London had planned to stick to the schedule under which Libya was expected to admit responsibility for Lockerbie and to pay the $2.7 billion in compensation. The United States and Britain could then move to lift the U.N. sanctions, effectively daring France to veto.
HIGHER COMPENSATION SOUGHT FOR UTA BOMBING
A French foreign ministry statement said France wanted more compensation for families of the 170 victims of the mid-air bombing UTA Flight 772 over Niger in 1989 before agreeing to U.N. sanctions being lifted in a deal over the 1988 Lockerbie plane bombing.
The French foreign ministry did not say whether France would go as far as to veto a U.N. vote to end sanctions against Tripoli, as it has been urged to do by a group representing families of the UTA victims.
"In the interest of fairness, we would like a complementary settlement to be made very rapidly between Libya and eligible parties among the families of the victims of the UTA flight," the French foreign ministry statement said.
The French government is under domestic pressure to secure higher compensation for the UTA victims.
"If there is a vote in the Security Council to lift the sanctions, we ask that France use its veto as long as we have not obtained full satisfaction," Francoise Rudetzki, president of the SOS-Attentats association, which represents families of the UTA bombing victims, told Reuters in Paris.
Rudetzki said that of around 1,000 parties eligible for compensation for the UTA bombing, 313 people received payments of between 3,000 euros ($3,378) and 30,000 euros ($33,780).
U.S. officials, still smarting from France's opposition to the U.S.-led war on Iraq, accused Paris of hypocrisy, saying Paris had accepted a much lower settlement for the UTA victims and had long ago pushed for U.N. sanctions to be lifted.
"I don't think anybody has any sympathy at the U.N. for the French attitude," said a U.S. official. "This is outrageous."
They don't have the guts or the juice to cut a deal like this themselves, so now they are going to show their true colors, as they have so many times in the past and screw up a deal the US clearly brokered, that not only compensates the many victims, it will chip away at one more haven for terorists.
I sound like a broken record-screw France.
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Thread: Our friends the French...AGAIN!
08-14-2003, 05:08 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jul 1999
- Flanders, NJ
Our friends the French...AGAIN!
08-14-2003, 09:39 PM #2
F*** the French.
I can't wait for the next time the Germans invade them. Who's going to come to their help??
I just read James Michener's "POLAND" which is a great book on the history of Europe. I can't believe how many times the French were defeated and by whom.Steve Dragon
FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
Volunteers are never "off duty".
08-15-2003, 04:52 PM #3
I have said it more than once BOYCOTT French made goods. **** THE FRENCHÖALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
LT. John Ginley Engine 40
FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40
"If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
08-15-2003, 05:03 PM #4
I was in France once and that was one to many times! I hated it. They were rude, it smelled bad and it was all together miserable! I had MUCH more fun in England, Germany, and Switzerland on that trip!!! So no more France for me (and this is coming from a former travel agent!)
Stay Safe (and avoid all that is French )
JanelleThe hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn...
08-15-2003, 06:03 PM #5
- Join Date
- Apr 2003
- Webster NY
French are stupid...and someone should invade them again! I think no one but them would have a problem with it.
08-15-2003, 07:31 PM #6
08-15-2003, 07:58 PM #7
08-20-2003, 08:09 AM #8
France is a beautiful country, it's just a pitty that there are so many French.
I'm belgian, and the French are our neighbours, but that is all they are to me.
And yes, my government howled with the French when it came to take a stand on Irac and I was ashamed.
Many Belgians demonstrated in front of the US-Ambasy.
But where were all those suckers when the Russians surrounded Grozny, what did the French say when the Dutch regiment left Sebriniza, so the Serbs could kill thousends of Croatians in cold blood.
They did nothing, because they are weak.
They are not able to respond as strong as the US, and so they don't react at all.
Hey, the Iracis had the chance (and more than one) to get out, all those people on 9/11 didn't get a chance at all.
I'm a biker, and I wear my stars and striped helmet everytime, I'm proud of my American friends, so I think you guys have every right to be P*****-off.*The BOSS rules*
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