TRIPOLI, Libya, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Libya agreed Monday to compensate relatives of the 170 people killed in the 1989 bombing of a French airliner over the Sahara.
The agreement was announced by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in a televised address to the nation to mark the anniversary of a coup which bought him to power 34 years ago, the BBC reported.
French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin confirmed "the basis of an accord" had been found and the deal would be finalized "in the next few hours."
The deal could end the threatened French veto on lifting United Nations diplomatic and economic sanctions on Libya.
A Libyan negotiator told the BBC the total compensation, which is still being calculated, would be much higher than the original $33 million Libya paid out on the orders of a Paris court in 1999.
People of 17 nationalities including Africans, Americans, Britons and Italians were on UTA Flight 772, blown up over the Sahara desert in 1989.