Margaret Thatcher: Prime Minister Indomitable

By Juliet S. Thompson; Wayne C. Thompson | Go to book overview

22
American Bombing of Libya
Speech to the House of Commons, April 15, 1986

The House is aware that last night the United States forces made attacks on specific targets in Libya. The government have evidence showing beyond dispute that the Libyan government has been and is directly involved in promoting terrorist attacks against the United States and other Western countries, and that it had made plans for a wide range of further terrorist attacks. The United Kingdom has itself suffered from Libyan terrorism. The house will recall the murder of woman Police Constable Fletcher in St. James' Square. There is no doubt, moreover, of the Libyan government's direct and continuing support for the Provisional IRA, in the form of money and weapons.

Two years ago we took certain measures against Libya, including the closure of the Libyan People's Bureau in London, restrictions on the entry of Libyans into the United Kingdom, and a ban on new contracts for the export to Libya of defence equipment. Yesterday the foreign ministers of the European Community reaffirmed their grave concern at Libyan-inspired terrorism, and agreed on new restrictions against Libya.

Since we broke off diplomatic relations with Libya, we have had no choice but consistently to advise British nationals living and working there that they are doing so on their own responsibility. Our interests there have been looked after by the Italian government. Our representative in the British Interests Section of the Italian Embassy will continue to advise the British community as best he can.

The United States has tried by peaceful means to deter Colonel Qadhafi and his regime from their promotion of terrorism, but to no effect. President

-265-

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