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Bush writes to Libyan leader Kadhafi to address "outstanding issues"
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08:09, July 11, 2007

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U.S. President George W. Bush has written to Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi to address " outstanding issues," including the case of six foreign medics accused of infecting Libyan children with HIV, the White House said Tuesday.

In his letter to Kadhafi, Bush said the case of the foreign medics and lingering issues tied to the Lockerbie bombing needed the Libyan leader's attention, National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.

"President Bush noted the importance of resolving outstanding issues, specifically for victims of Pan Am 103 and LaBelle bombings, as well as the situation of the detained Bulgarian nurses and doctor in Libya," he said.

Frances Townsend, Bush's counterterrorism adviser, delivered the message upon arriving in the Libyan capital on Monday, Johndroe said.

Observers noticed that Bush sent his message to Kadhafi two days before a Libyan court was due to deliver its verdict on an appeal by six foreign medics on death row.

The prisoners, five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor, were accused of infecting 426 children with HIV while they were working at Al-Fateh hospital in Benghazi, Libya's seaside second city on the Mediterranean. More than 50 have since died.

Washington has been trying to pursue efforts to gain the release of the six health workers since they were arrested in 1999.

The United States renewed diplomatic relations with Libya in June 2004 following a 25-year rupture, after Kadhafi's announcement in December 2003 to give up attempts to develop weapons of mass destruction.

In December 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 blown up over Scotland, killing 259 people on board and 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie. A former Libyan secret agent was convicted.

Washington-Tripoli ties turned to be strained over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

Source: Xinhua

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