HL Deb 22 June 1992 vol 538 cc333-4

Lord Boyd-Carpenter asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether in the light of Libya's failure to comply with Security Council Resolutions 731 and 748 they propose to advise the Security Council to take further measures by way of sanctions or otherwise against Libya.

Baroness Trumpington

My Lords, we are determined to maintain the pressure on Libya to comply with Security Council Resolution 731. The sanctions imposed under Security Council Resolution 748 will remain in force as long as Libya fails to do so. In accordance with that resolution the Security Council will review those sanctions after 15th August. In the light of the Libyan Government's compliance the Security Council will then consider whether further measures may be necessary.

Lord Boyd-Carpenter

My Lords, I thank my noble friend for that very satisfactory reply. Is it the intention of Her Majesty's Government to urge intensified sanctions in the event that Libya continues to defy the Security Council?

Baroness Trumpington

My Lords, we are determined to keep up pressure on Libya. Sanctions will remain in force as long as Libya fails to comply. We shall have to consider further measures in the light of the Security Council review of sanctions after 15th August.

Lord Cledwyn of Penrhos

My Lords, will the noble Baroness tell the House whether there is any substance in the report in the Independent newspaper that some British firms are in breach of the United Nations arms embargo? If that is the case, it would be an extremely serious breach of the sanctions. Can the Minister say what was the result of the discussions on the IRA between officials of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and officials of the Libyan Government?

Baroness Trumpington

My Lords, I read that article. In 1989—the year quoted—arms could be exported to Libya with a licence. Nowadays one has to have a licence to export arms to anywhere. It is an offence to supply fraudulent documents in support of an application. Any licence issued on that basis is not valid. End user certificates form only part of the information used to decide whether to issue an export licence. False end user certificates can be valuable evidence in any subsequent prosecution.

With regard to the IRA situation, Libyans provided information on support for the IRA at the Geneva meeting on 9th June. A preliminary assessment suggests that although in parts the evidence is incomplete and unsatisfactory, it also contains positive elements which may prove helpful.

Lord Bonham-Carter

My Lords, in the course of that conversation, did the Libyan Government express any regret as regards their complicity with the IRA? Was the question of compensation raised or considered at any point?

Baroness Trumpington

My Lords, I do not know whether they expressed regret because I was not there.

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