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U.S., Libya discussing terrorism settlement

  • Story Highlights
  • Nations hoping for deal in which Libya would compensate terrorism victims
  • Eights acts would be covered in possible agreement
  • Libya has tried to normalize relations with U.S. by renouncing terrorism
  • U.S. oil companies want to explore and develop Libya's oil fields
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Negotiations between the United States and Libya that could result in compensation for past acts of state-sponsored terrorism by Libya are under way, a senior State Department official said Friday.


The wreckage of Pan Am 103 in Lockerbie, Scotland; the bombing killed 270 people in 1989.

U.S. and Libyan officials met Wednesday and Thursday, the official said.

The nations hope to hammer out a deal in which Libya would "resolve all outstanding claims in good faith" and offer "fair compensation" to victims and their families, he said.

"We are just at the beginning of this process. The goal is to get something that is fair and comprehensive," the official said.

The official said that any agreement would cover about eight acts, including the 1989 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 259 passengers and 11 people on the ground; and the 1986 bombing of the La Belle disco in Berlin, Germany, that killed two people and injured at least 120, including 40 Americans.

Outstanding terrorism claims have been a problem for Libya in its attempts to normalize relations with the United States and to begin development of its oil resources.

Libya has expressed disappointment that it has failed to reap any political and economic benefits promised by the U.S. government and others after Libya renounced terrorism and stopped development of weapons of mass destruction.

And some of the largest U.S. oil companies are eager to begin exploration and development of Libya oil fields, among the 10 largest in the world.

The new negotiations and development of an agreement would ideally fulfill all outstanding lawsuits against Libya and allow investment to move forward.

A joint U.S.-Libyan statement said, "Both parties affirm their desire to work together to resolve all outstanding claims in good faith and expeditiously in the establishment of a fair compensation mechanism."

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