The Government has backed the DUP ’s bid to get compensation for victims of the Docklands bomb.
A letter from the Northern Ireland party to Docklands Victims Association president Jonathan Ganesh revealed a cross party committee was being established to deal with the issue at “ministerial level”.
And it revealed the DUP is pushing for the issue to be dealt with in the current parliamentary term.
Victims of the 1996 bomb, which destroyed numerous buildings and killed two men, have been fighting for years to be heard.
They have forged an alliance with victims of IRA terrorism in Northern Ireland and have been urging that £10billion Libyan assets should be unfrozen and some distributed to the families.
It was deposed dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi who supplied the Semtex that the IRA used to blow up South Quay.
The letter follows calls for the party to use its new-found influence with the Tories to press for adequate support for terror victims.
It is signed by Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and states: “We have secured a commitment from the Government to convene a further meeting involving the relevant Minister(s) to discuss how we might take the matter forward, including on the issue of frozen Libyan assets in the UK. We are establishing a Coordination Committee between our two Parties that will enable this type of issue to be addressed at Ministerial level.”
The news follows a bill aimed at securing compensation for victims of Libyan-backed terror having its first reading in the House of Lords on Monday, June 26- the first step to potentially making it law.
Proposer of the Asset Freezing (Compensation) Bill UUP peer Reg Empey said he expected support from the DUP, Labour and Conservatives. But he said he was disappointed the compensation had not been mentioned in the deal between DUP and the Tories.
The letter sent to Mr Ganesh states: “The reason this matter is not explicitly mentioned in the Agreement between the DUP and the Government is because we have not yet reached an agreed position or established the legal basis for accessing Libyan assets given that these are the subject of international sanctions and covered by international law.
“Frankly, it is unfair of Lawyers to expect us to resolve in the hectic two-week post-election period, legal issues that they as Lawyers have not been able to unravel in many years.
“We remain committed to supporting the wider campaign by innocent victims to secure recompense and reparation from Libya and will seek to use our influence to secure a positive outcome.
Mr Ganesh said the DUP is “carrying the hopes” of all the victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism and other terror atrocities.
"The DUP have been given a unique opportunity to make an unprecedented stand for all victims of terror.
"We have campaigned for over a decade with the DUP and others to gain equally with US, France and German victims.
"Sadly many victims have died waiting and now those desperately elderly victims have had to sale they homes to pay for their care.
"I pray the DUP and all our friends from all political parties will finally resolve this terrible injustice and make a stand for humanity."
Keep up to date with all our articles on Facebook