USIS Washington 

28 August 1998


(Warns Libya not to commit "monumental breach of faith") (870)

United Nations -- Peter Burleigh, the Deputy US Permanent
Representative to the United Nations, has warned Libya that failure to
deliver the two men accused of being responsible for the 1988 Pan Am
flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland would be "a monumental
breach of faith."

In August 27 remarks to the UN Security Council endorsing the US-UK
proposal to try the two Libyan suspects before Scottish judges in the
Netherlands, Burleigh noted that the Libyan government has stated many
times its willingness to cooperate in bringing the defendants to trial
under Scottish law in a neutral country.

"We expect Libya to take the necessary steps so that the trial can
proceed without further delay," he said. "The international community
and the families of the victims have waited long enough."

Following is the text of his remarks as prepared for delivery:

(begin text)


Statement by Ambassador A. Peter Burleigh, Deputy Permanent
Representative of the United States to the United States, on the
Situation in Libya, in the Security Council, August 27, 1998

With the adoption of this resolution, the Security Council will take
an important step toward obtaining a measure of justice for the
victims of the Pan Am 103 bombing and their families.

The arrangements endorsed in this resolution will assure a fair trial
for the two Libyan suspects. The proceedings will be consistent with
the requirements of the UN resolutions as well as US, British and
Dutch Law. The terms of the resolution and modalities of the trial
have been carefully crafted by legal experts and are based on the
decisions of the international community as reflected in Security
Council resolutions 731, 748 and 883.

We thank the Government of the Netherlands for helping to bring about
the arrangements endorsed in this resolution.

We regret the hostile tone of Libya's remarks.

What we need now from the Libyans is not equivocal or conditional
statements, but simple, straightforward acceptance. Chapter VII
resolutions are mandatory on all member states, including Libya. We
look now to the Libyan Government for prompt action. We expect their
deeds to be the proof of their stated intentions.

Let us not mince words. For Libya, dealing positively with this
resolution can mean one thing and one thing alone: Ensuring that the
two suspects appear to stand trial in the Netherlands without delay.

The international community has heard the Libyan Government repeat, on
numerous occasions, its explicit commitment to cooperate in bringing
the defendants to trial under Scottish Law, with Scottish judges, in a
neutral third country. Senior Libyan officials have made that
commitment on the record many times -- including the Libyan Foreign
Minister's personal pledge to the Security Council just last March.
Now Libya will be required to live up to that pledge.

The United States, the Security Council and the world community are
watching. Most importantly, the family members of the 270 victims of
the Pan Am 103 bombing are watching. Failure by Libya to act promptly
to ensure the appearance of the defendants would be a monumental
breach of faith which would compel the Security Council to act
appropriately in response. We hope that will not be necessary.

In recent years a number of nations and regional Organizations --
including the Arab League; The organization of African Unity; The
Organization of the Islamic Conference; and the Non-Aligned Movement,
which is about to convene an important summit conference in South
Africa -- have endorsed exactly the sort of arrangements contained in
this resolution. They have urged the United States and the United
Kingdom to adopt this approach. We have listened to their views and

We now call upon those nations and organizations, in turn, to urge
Libya in the strongest terms to turn over the two defendants for trial
without delay. Just as we will be watching Libya's response to this
resolution, we will be carefully gauging the response of those nations
and organizations. We expect unhesitating and unequivocal support for
this resolution. The victims of the Pan Am 103 bombing, and their
surviving family members, deserve nothing less.

I would also reaffirm U.S. support for France in its ongoing
investigation of the UTA bombing. As we look forward to convening the
trial of the Pan Am 103 defendants, we will continue to support
France's demand for Libya's full cooperation on UTA 772.

It has been nearly 10 years since the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103.
Since that terrible day in December 1988, the United States, the
United Kingdom, the surviving family members and the world community
have suffered the frustration of a long, complex investigation and an
even longer period of unconscionable delay and equivocation by the
Government of Libya.

This resolution spells out exactly what Libya must do, and notes the
Security Councils intention to consider further measures if the two
suspects do not appear for trial promptly. We expect Libya to take the
necessary steps so that the trial can proceed without further delay.
The international community and the families of the victims have
waited long enough.

(end text)