The Libyan Presidential Council has criticised a UK parliamentary proposal that would allow the late Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi’s frozen assets in the UK to be used to compensate victims of the attacks by the Irish Republican Army (IRA), according to the Libya Herald.
“The IRA issues and Gaddafi’s regime’s connection to them were tackled previously and Libya cooperated with the UK, thus ensuring normal relations and massive investments for Libya in the UK after years of severed ties,” the council said in a statement.
The bill, proposed in the House of Commons by Lord Empey, Andrew Rosindell MP and Jim Fitzpatrick MP attempts to secure a percentage of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s frozen UK assets, estimated to be worth some $16 billion.
The Libyan government stated that the initial decision to freeze Libya’s assets was an international decision one which had been taken under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter and obliged all states, including the UK, to observe it. It condemned the move as a violation of Libya’s sovereignty and expressed concern that if approved it could be used as a precedent to access assets of other states in the future.
The Presidential Council also called on the UN Security Council and its sanctions committee to honour obligations to protect Libya’s assets abroad.
“We respected the UN Security Council’s resolution No. 1973 in 2011, which imposed sanctions on the former regime of Gaddafi and froze all Libyan assets and funds abroad, despite the ailing economy in Libya and the dire living conditions of Libyans amid lack of services,” the statement read.
The Gaddafi regime provided the IRA with weaponry and financial assistance during the conflict over Northern Ireland’s sovereignty.
US passport holders who were injured as a result of IRA atrocities while victims in the UK have already received substantial compensation from Gaddafi, as have victims from France and Germany.
The bill is set to have its second reading in the House of Commons later this week.