Weeks after the government gave the US a suspect in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, the CIA’s William Burns, met with Libya‘s acting premier, the Tripoli-based administration announced on Thursday.
The CIA director’s trip to the North African nation was the first since the 2012 attack on a US mission in Benghazi, which resulted in the deaths of the US ambassador and three other people. Libyan media also reported on the meeting in Tripoli.
“Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbeibah hosted the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, William Burns” at the cabinet office in Tripoli, along with Foreign Minister Najla al-Mangoush and Libyan intelligence chief Hussein al-Ayeb, Dbeibah’s government said in a Facebook post.
Burns “underlined the need to develop economic and security cooperation between the two countries”, it said.
A Libyan man charged with creating the bomb that brought down a Pan Am aircraft over Scotland in 1988 made an appearance in a US court last month after being extradited by Dbeibah’s administration.
A alternative administration in the east of the war-torn nation is challenging the Tripoli-based government as a result of the action.
If found guilty of “destruction of an aircraft resulting in death” and two other related charges related to the attack, which killed 270 people and was the deadliest-ever terror operation in Britain, alleged former intelligence agent Abu Agila Mohammad Masud Kheir al-Marimi could be sentenced to life in prison.
Political rivals, rights organisations, and the family of Libyan captives who dread being turned over themselves have all harshly criticised Dbeibah. According to analysts, the leadership in Tripoli was forced to comply with the American request.
According to Libyan media, Burns would also go to the headquarters of Dbeibah’s main adversary and eastern military strongman Khalifa Haftar.
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