WASHINGTON — The State Department on Wednesday urged Libya to take responsibility for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 and pay compensation to families of the victims, as required by the U.N. Security Council.
"There are no shortcuts, there is no lowering of the bar for what they need to do in that case," spokesman Philip T. Reeker said.
Lawyers for the families have said that Libya is prepared to pay families of those killed a total of $2.7 billion, or $10 million for each of the 270 people who died in the bombing.
A Bush administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Libya seems intent on meeting both U.N. requirements and on closing the books on an issue that has affected the country's international relations for years.
In a note to the Security Council, the official said that a formal Libyan acceptance of responsibility could come as early as Aug. 14. If the notification is deemed credible and Libya establishes a compensation fund in an escrow account, as it reportedly is planning, that could lead to a lifting of U.N. sanctions.
Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi was asked on ABC's "This Week," broadcast Sunday, if his country accepted responsibility and was prepared to pay compensation.
He did not answer directly but said negotiators were nearing a conclusion.