- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 11, 2004

TRIPOLI, Libya — Libya yesterday rejected a call from the United States for compensation for U.S. victims of a 1986 Berlin hotel bombing, a day after Tripoli signed a settlement for non-American victims.

German and Libyan officials signed a $35 million agreement Tuesday for 170 non-U.S. victims of the April 5, 1986, bombing in West Berlin. The attack killed three, including two U.S. soldiers, and injured more than 200.

Wounded Germans and the family of a slain Turkish woman were covered by the deal. Lawyers are seeking separate compensation in U.S. courts for American victims.

On Tuesday, State Department spokesman Adam Ereli welcomed news of the accord but emphasized that claims of U.S. victims must be resolved.

But Libyan Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassouna al-Shawish rejected Mr. Ereli’s call.

“America instead should compensate Libyan families who lost dozens of their children in the war launched by [President] Reagan on Libyan cities,” he said in comments carried by Libya’s official news agency.

American fighters bombed Tripoli and Benghazi in 1986, attacks that Libya says killed 41 and injured 226. The raids were ordered by Mr. Reagan after the Berlin bombing.

The deal with the German victims is the latest step by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi toward rebuilding Western relations.

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