CNN BREAKING NEWS
U.N. Lifts Libya Sanctions
Aired September 12, 2003 - 10:48 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: First though, we have a developing story out of the United Nations. And that is about the U.N. Security Council about to take a vote about lifting sanctions against Libya. Our Richard Roth is standing by to tell us more about that -- Richard.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN U.N. CORRESPONDENT: The U.N. Security Council is posed right now to lift sanctions on the Libyan government. The British ambassador's the current president of the Security Council and right now we're going to have this vote at any moment after days and weeks of contentious debate regarding the lifting of sanctions.
France demanding more money and compensation for the families of those who died on another aircraft who -- downed died in 1989, a UTA jet. The sanctions were imposed on Libya because of the Lockerbie bombing.
Here's the vote now. The U.S. expected to abstain. The president of the council will announce the results after looking for an abstention. We should see the U.S. ambassador John Negroponte's hand in the air shortly.
SIR EMRY JONES PARRY, BRITISH U.N. AMBASSADOR, PRES., SECURITY COUNCIL: Would those abstaining please raise their hands? Thank you.
The result of the voting is as follows: the draft resolution received 13 votes in favor, there were no votes against, and there were 2 abstentions. The draft resolution as therefore been adopted as resolution 1506.
If I may...
ROTH: Thus the U.S. and France, I believe, both abstaining. It was the Deputy U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham. United Nations Television didn't capture his hand in the air. But France and the U.S. both abstaining. The U.S. believing that while Libya has made strides to curb terrorist links and activities, it still has not gone far enough. Libya still remains on the U.S. terrorism list.
Maybe we'll listen to the deputy U.S. ambassador explain the vote.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
JAMES CUNNINGHAM, DEPUTY U.S. U.N. AMBASSADOR: ... I would like to acknowledge and express appreciation for the presence of a number members of Pan Am 103 victims from several countries who have traveled to be with us today. We recognize the loss of your loved ones and wish to convey our deepest sympathy for your many years of suffering.
Mr. President and members of the council, on December 21, 1988, the lives of 270 innocent men, women and children representing over 20 different nationalities were tragically cut short when Pan Am 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland. In 1992, after proof of Libya's responsibility for the bombing had been uncovered, the United Nations imposed sanctions on Libya.
Since that time, the United States government has worked with the government of the United Kingdom, the families of the Pan Am 103 victims, and other members of the international community to ensure that Libya fulfilled a number of demands including surrender of the two suspects for trial, acceptance of responsibility for the actions of its officials, and payment of appropriate compensation.
United Nations sanctions were suspended in 1999 after Libya fulfilled one demand by transferring the two Libyan suspects for trial before a Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands. One defendant, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, was convicted by the court of murder in 2001, and a Scottish appellate court upheld the conviction in 2002. Megrahi is currently serving a life sentence in a Scottish prison.
Libya has now addressed the remaining U.N. requirements related to the Pan Am 103 bombing. Among other steps it has formally stated that it accepts responsibility for the actions of its officials and made arrangements to pay compensation to the...
ROTH: All right, that's Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Cunningham explaining the U.S. abstention and noting that one Libyan was convicted in the mass murder of 270 people who were aboard the Pan Am 103 flight.
Still quite a startling event. Libya several weeks ago accepting responsibility as part of this agreement in order to get sanctions lifted it, accepting responsibility for blowing that Pan Am jet out of the sky.
And what delayed this vote for several days, money. Compensation for passengers, families, those who were lost on another downed aircraft that Libya was also cited for. Daryn, back to you.
KAGAN: Richard Roth in New York. Richard, thank you for the coverage.
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