Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

MPs to visit Libya for talks on IRA victims

Jeffrey Donaldson

A delegation of MPs is expected to visit Libya within weeks to discuss IRA victims' demands for compensation for injuries and deaths caused by Semtex supplied by the Gaddafi regime.

Lawyers for those injured by IRA bombs and bereaved relatives revealed yesterday that the Libyan government has invited UK parliamentarians to Tripoli to discuss the case, but the victims themselves have not been invited.

While the victims are “disappointed” not to be part of the delegation, they appreciate Libya's “kind and welcome” offer and are grateful for the Foreign Office efforts, said the lawyers’ statement.

“The victims view this as a significant step forward, as well as recognition by both countries that their plight will not be overlooked as Anglo-Libyan relations develop,” said the statement.

“They sincerely hope that, following the parliamentarian team's visit, Libya will review its position toward them and appreciate that they wish to visit Libya in the spirit of peace and reconciliation.”

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson, expected to be included in the delegation, said: “We have already had a positive and productive meeting with the Libyan Embassy in London. This welcome news is the next positive step. We hope that Libya will continue to engage in such a way and begin to appreciate the benefits it will have from reconciliation with the human tragedy of our victims.”

Colin Parry, whose son Tim died as a result of a Semtex blast in Warrington in 1993, said: “We welcome this first step as a significant move toward recognition of our campaign and look forward to the day when we can make a personal representation to Libyan dignitaries.”

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