UK former foreign Minister says Britain negotiated IRA victims compensation during Gaddafi reign

Mr Blair meeting Col Gaddafi at his desert base outside Sirte back in 2007 Photo: PA
Mr Blair meeting Col Gaddafi at his desert base outside Sirte back in 2007 Photo: PA

The former foreign secretary of the UK, Jack Straw, has denied that IRA victims killed and injured by Libyan-supplied Semtex were ignored during negotiations with the Gaddafi regime.

Straw said the issue of compensation for IRA victims was not raised with him prior to the discussions with the Libyans.

He added that had it been on the agenda it is unlikely it would have been resolved.

Mr Straw was giving evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.

The committee is examining the government’s role in seeking compensation for IRA victims who suffered because of explosives supplied by Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

The former foreign secretary who was involved in a peace deal with Libya in 2003, said there was no suggestion the victims of IRA violence were at the back of the queue.

“The issue of compensation for victims of PIRA (Provisional IRA) terrorism was not raised with me, so far as I can recall and I know the Foreign Office can find no record suggesting it was raised,” he said.

“When you are involved in negotiations of this kind to deal with a very serious and continuing danger that the Gaddafi regime had caused over many years, you have got to make a decision over what you are going to concentrate on.

If the issue of PIRA had been raised we would have taken it into account, it was not raised.”

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