Britain poised to resume ties with Libya
November 23, 1999
LONDON (CNN) -- Libya has paid compensation for the 1984 killing of a British police officer outside its London embassy, clearing the way for London and Tripoli to re- establish diplomatic relations.
British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook made the announcement in the House of Commons on Monday.
"I can inform the House that we expect a British ambassador to take up his post in Libya next month," he said.
The death of police officer Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan Embassy led to the severing of diplomatic relations between the two nations.
Fletcher died after being hit by gunfire from within the embassy during an April 1984 demonstration against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Foreign Office officials declined say how much money changed hands in compensation for her death.
British-Libyan ties have improved since April, when the United Nations brokered a deal leading Tripoli to hand over over two suspects implicated in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland in 1988. They are expected to be tried in the Netherlands early next year.
Britain and the United States blame Libyan intelligence agents for the bombing, which killed 270 people.
Britain has now renewed relations with two countries it shunned for more than a decade -- Libya and Iran.
Cook also told Parliament he will travel to Tehran next year, becoming the first British foreign secretary to visit Iran since the country's Islamic revolution more than 20 years ago.
He said Britain's security would be strengthened by deepening alliances and promoting prosperity by widening its commercial links.
"That means that sometimes we must be willing to build a working relationship with governments, even if they do not share our values," he said.
London Bureau Chief Tom Mintier and Reuters contributed to this report.
Tight security for Clinton annoys many Bulgarians
The White House
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.