On 16th September 2015, Tobias Ellwood , on behalf of the Foreign Office, gave this evidence to the Northern Ireland affairs Committee.
Q133 “if there is some assistance that I can provide for when there is a Libyan government to deal with”
Q134 “until there is a government in Libya for us to work with , we cannot pursue any of those aspects”
This same canard, that there is nobody at the helm in Libya is repeated ad nauseam by Cameron and other Tory ministers.
Unfortunately at least one member of the Committee believes this to be the state of affairs in Libya. This all in response to the question as to why compensation for terrorism has not been paid by Libya.
Let’s see what the FCO has been telling other Commons Committees.
“The UK’s [sic] provides significant political , security and economic support to a nascent democratic Libya on a cross- Whitehall basis, driven by the National Security Council (NSC) Strategy for Libya.”
“Total UK humanitarian support to the Libya Crisis was £17.2 million”
This does not take account of the £212 million spent by the UK on Operation Ellamay, the bombing of our former friend Gadafy.
Readers may recall that Libyan troops were being trained at Bassingbourn. A number committed crimes on the local populace and the contract was cancelled. Here is what the FCO said about the lost costs.
“Through the Libyan Embassy in London we continue with efforts to secure reimbursement from the Libyan Government.”
WHAT! There is a Libyan Government after all?
It gets worse Dear Reader.
“UK ministers continue to speak to and meet their Libyan counterparts and HMG is recognised by Libyan political , military and militia leadership as a trusted interlocutor.” [Let’s just leave aside the chronology of the number of times HMG has changed sides in Libya recently]
“Since 2011 there has continued to be sustained and high level Ministerial engagement on Libya. The Foreign Secretary most recently met with the Libyan Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Dairi on 21 August 2015.”
Then , interestingly, this passage.
“We also want to see a just solution for all the victims of Qadhafi-sponsored terrorism. HMG considers compensation claims by the victims to be private matters, best pursued directly with the Libyan Government.”
Now somewhat contradicted , you might think by Ellwood’s undertakings to the committee.
The bottom line is this. There is a Libyan Government, HMG and the FCO talk to it regularly. There is a Libyan Embassy in London. All that is missing is a willingness by HMG to act.
They acted for WPC Fletcher and the victims of the Lockerbie bombing. They are chasing up a debt with the Libyan Embassy.
Why do the victims of Libyan Semtex, supplied to PIRA not count? Has it something to do with PIRA?