GADHAFI: Because I'm a Libyan citizen, I would
like to send this message to the American people and the American
government that we, the Libyan people, we want to have a more
constructive and fruitful relationship with the Americans. We
want to see Americans visit Libya. We want to go there to study
at American universities. We want to invest in the New York Stock
Exchange. We want to have Pepsi Cola, Coca-Cola. We don't want
confrontation and aggression and, you know, to fight anymore.
It's over. It's behind us now. It's dead with the Cold War.
WOODRUFF: And yet, there is clearly a major
unresolved issue, and that is the resolution of the Pan Am 103
bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, back in 1988. There have been
negotiations over this. At this point, your government is on the
verge, we're told, of agreeing to release $2.7 billion to the
families of those victims, but the money hasn't been released
yet. When will it be?
GADHAFI: As far as we know that first of all,
we regard ourselves innocent, and we had nothing to do with that
tragedy. But because Libya is a responsible state and we abide
by our commitment -- and we are certainly committed to our obligations
-- that we have to accept the outcome of the trial. Therefore,
now we are following this, and we are committed, and we are going
to pay the compensation.
And as far as I know that there was a recent meeting here in
London between the Libyan business community and American lawyers,
who represent the families of the victims, and they solved all
of the technical issues regarding the compensation deal. And I
think pretty soon they are going to deposit the money and just
to make it ... just part of the history.
WOODRUFF: Do you know when the money will be
GADHAFI: I don't know exactly, but I think in
a few weeks, as far as I know.
WOODRUFF: And the families can take your word
GADHAFI: I think so. And the families, they
sent their lawyers, as I said, they met our people here, and they
agreed on all of the details of an escrow account, of the money,
of everything. And I think we had a very transparent and clear
negotiation with the lawyers, and everything is settled. And we
will wait to deposit the money.
WOODRUFF: You say, though, that your government
is innocent of this, and yet there was a trial, there was a Libyan
man, a man of Libyan descent, who was found guilty. It is widely
believed there was a connection with your government. And you
are going to be expected, your government, to take responsibility.
Is that going to happen?
GADHAFI: Yes, this is just to fulfill our obligation.
The Security Council resolution that we have to accept responsibility,
not to admit responsibility, and it's a very technical issue and
legal issue. But this is part of our commitment regarding the
Lockerbie fine. But, in fact, we regard ourselves as innocent,
and we had nothing to do with that. And even the case against
our citizen was very weak, and there was no concrete evidence
against people. But because, as I said, we are a responsible state,
we have to abide by our word and agreement and commitment, and
therefore we accepted the results of the trial, although we think
it was unfair.
WOODRUFF: But you're saying your government
will say this, it will accept responsibility.
GADHAFI: Yes, of course, yes.
WOODRUFF: There is another issue that has come
up in all of this. The United States is asking Libya to prove
that it has no weapons of mass destruction. This comes particularly
right after a report that not very long ago Libya accepted weapons
technology from Russia. What do you know of this?
GADHAFI: Really, the truth is I'm not an expert
in this field and have not enough information about this. But
as far as I know that we want to spend our money to modernize
our economy and to modernize our infrastructure and to build civilian
projects and not to acquire WMD. And I think we don't have the
capability, but technical capability and the manpower to develop
such a sophisticated arsenal.
And plus, Libya recently has signed all of the relevant conventions
regarding the WMD, and now we are members of those conventions.
And because we are members, we have to be subject to international
inspections and we have to be subject to other procedures regarding
transparency. And therefore, I think we are on the right track,
and now we are a member of those international conventions, and
I think they are enough and good steps.
WOODRUFF: What do you expect from the United
States in return?
GADHAFI: I think we know exactly the concerns
of the Americans, and they know, of course, our concerns. And
now we have -- really, I am very happy that we have a direct face-to-face
dialogue. We have a very constructive negotiation, and we are
meeting each other as friends. And we are trying to solve our
problems in a very constructive way, and we are working hard to
get a mutual beneficial outcome for both sides. And now we are
not enemies anymore. We are not in confrontation. We are not fighting
each other now. Just are sitting around the table as friends,
and we are discussing our concerns.
And I think the only thing I have to say you now, we have to
go on with this dialogue, and I'm sure we are going to reach a
very mutual beneficial outcome for both of us. And I think me
personally, I'm very happy with the negotiations with the Americans.