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Berlin official confers with Gaddafi

29 January 2004

BERLIN/TRIPOLI – A high-level German Foreign Office official conferred in Tripoli Wednesday with Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi on terms of compensation of German victims of a 1986 Berlin bombing linked to Libya, the Foreign Office in Berlin confirmed.

Foreign Office State Secretary Juergen Chrobog conducted what were termed “high-level discussions” in Tripoli, a Foreign Office spokesman said without elaboration.

Libya’s JANA state-run news agency said Chrobog handed a letter from German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to Gaddafi.

The Berlin bombing incident is considered the final bar to warming relations between Libya and the West, following settlement of the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing with the British and US governments. Libya later reached a another settlement with France about the bombing of a French airliner over Niger in 1989.

In 1986 a bomb ripped through the La Belle club in West Berlin, a nightspot popular with American military personnel stationed in the then-divided city.

The blast killed three persons, including two US servicemen and a Berlin woman. More than 200 other persons were injured, many of them critically.

A Berlin court in 2001 determined that Libyan leaders had “considerable joint responsibility” for the attack.

JANA said Schroeder’s message praised Gaddafi for his decision to discontinue its production of weapons of mass destruction.

Schroeder also expressed his hopes for an improved relations between the two states.

JANA made no mention of compensation talks but instead referred to the problem of mines laid by German soldiers in Libya during the Second World War.



Subject: German news