HC Deb 18 June 1992 vol 209 cc1038-40
Q7. Mr. Dalyell

To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on representations from Arab countries about sanctions against Libya.

The Prime Minister

We have had various approaches from Arab countries about sanctions against Libya. We and the Arab League share the same objective—to see a satisfactory outcome to the Lockerbie problem. This, as the Arab League well knows, will require Libya's full compliance with United Nations Security Council resolution 731.

Mr. Dalyell

In the light of my two letters to the Prime Minister on this subject, will he consider putting in the Library a response to the cover story of Time magazine— not exactly a publication of the left—which challenges the whole basis of the Anglo-American position? Will the right hon. Gentleman also consider approaching Spain on the legal proceedings relating to Monzer al Kassar, a Syrian drugs and arms dealer?

The Prime Minister

I saw the article in Time magazine; I examined it and sought advice on it. The theories about involvement and links with drugs are not new. They were thoroughly examined by the police during the investigation and were discounted at that stage, at the conclusion of the investigation. No evidence has yet been found to link the Syrian, al Kassar, to Lockerbie—but I shall, of course, examine the matter again in view of the hon. Gentleman's representations.

Mr. Wilkinson

Can my right hon. Friend enlighten the House about any dealings between Government officials and the Government of Libya over links between the Libyan regime and the Irish Republican Army? Has the IRA received any supplies from Libya recently? Have the Libyan authorities given assurances to the Government that they will not continue to supply the IRA?

The Prime Minister

The Libyans have provided some information to the Government about their relationships with the IRA; they did so in Geneva on 9 June. The preliminary assessment of that information suggests that although in places it was incomplete and unsatisfactory, it contains some positive elements which may well prove useful. One positive development is the fact that the Libyans have indicated to us that they wish to cease providing assistance to the IRA. We are not convinced that that is yet the case.