Paris would not confirm the deal with Gaddafi, although Colonel Gaddafi said in a statement:
“The problem over the UTA case is over and the Lockerbie case is now behind us. We are opening a new page in our relations with the West.” Colonel Gaddafi did not admit Libyan guilt in the speech, which marked the anniversary of a coup which bought him to power 34 years ago.
The French foreign ministry said it could not yet confirm that a deal had been reached, although it said constructive negotiations were continuing. Lawyers representing the families of bombing victims adopted a similar position.
“We are very, very close to an agreement, but everything has not yet been settled. A fair and satisfactory agreement in principle has been reached,” Francis Szpiner, one of the lawyers, told AFP news agency.
Tripoli’s ambassador to London, Mohammed al-Zuai, said the deal was finalised in a telephone conversation between French President Jacques Chirac and Colonel Gaddafi.