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Reuters: 26 August 1998

Click here to listen to the Libyan Foreign Ministry statement in Arabic

Following is an unofficial translation of the full Arabic text of the Libyan Foreign Ministry statement reported by the official Libyan news agency JANA and read on state-run Libyan television on Wednesday night:

``The General People's Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation has studied the joint letter addressed by the governments of the United Kingdom and the United States to the UN secretary-general, dated August 24, 1998, regarding their consent to the holding of a trial for the two suspects in the blowing up of the Pan Am (flight) 103 over Lockerbie in a neutral third country.''

``In this context it (the foreign ministry) would like to recall the unjustifiable human and material damage and the suffering endured by the Libyan people because of the unjust sanctions imposed on them over the last seven years, as a result of the lack of response to the positive initiatives proposed by the Great Jamahiriyah, aimed at finding a peaceful solution acceptable to all the parties, and to secure a just and fair trial for the two suspects, (initiatives) which were welcomed and supported by international and regional organisations and brotherly and friendly states, for which we express our appreciation for standing by the Libyan people and for the efforts they have made in an attempt to find a solution that would ensure justice for the two suspects and for the families of the victims.

``The ruling of the International Court of Justice on February 27, 1998 also confirmed the soundness of the Great Jamahiriyah's stances and the invalidity of the sanctions.

It (the Foreign Ministry) also regrets that so many years have passed without the acceptance of such a solution, which has gained the support of all the international organisations. It also regrets the contempt shown for the international community and the International Count of Justice.''

``While the General People's Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation announces its acceptance of the development in the position of the governments of the United Kingdom and the United States, which it has called for, it affirms the need to end the sanctions imposed on Libya in accordance with resolutions 748 of 1992 and 883 of 1993.''

``The General People's Committee for Foreign Liaison and International cooperation is hopeful that the governments of the United Kingdom and the United States of America are finally serious in solving this problem, and that they are sincere in this and not forced to do so. The measures will prove to the world if they (the proposals) are free from any conditions laid down by the governments of the United Kingdom and the United States to impede the holding of the trial.''

``The General People's Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation would like to stress that it will deal positively with this step and will give it the interest and care it deserves.''

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