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GNA: the issue of compensating IRA victims was already settled

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

LONDON – The Presidential Council of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) has said that the issue of compensating victims of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) which was militarily-supported by Muammar Gaddafi was already settled with the late dictator’s regime, British newspaper News Letter reported.

In recent weeks Jonathan Ganesh, president of the Docklands Victims Association and a survivor of the 1996 IRA Canary Wharf bomb, said assurances on compensation given to him by former Libyan ambassador Mahmud Mohammed Nacua are now being broken.

The Libyan Embassy in London declined to address Ganesh’s comments when it was contacted by News Letter but instead provided a statement from the Presidency Council. It said that “the file of the relationship of the former Libyan regime with the IRA has already been addressed between the two governments”. The Council added that Libya has “cooperated with the British government to close this file … that was the base of great variable Libyan investments existed in Britain”.

Last year members of Parliament on the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee published a report on the compensation issue, noting that visits of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to meet Gaddafi in 2004 and 2007 roughly coincided with an announcement that Shell had signed a £550 million gas rights deal with Libya and BP resuming investment in the country.

However, a spokesman for Blair said the he had no knowledge of what investments GNA is referring to. “We have no knowledge of what they’re talking about,” he said

According to News Letter, the Libyan embassy said it was unable to clarify what the investments were that it made in the UK. The UK’s Department of International Trade also said Libya could not disclose the details of such investments as this would be “commercially sensitive” information.

The late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi supplied arms and Semtex to the IRA in the 1970s during the Provisional Irish Republican Army campaign.

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