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LIBYAN SANCTIONS TO BEGIN APRIL 15

The Security Council plans to slap Libya with aviation, arms and diplomatic sanctions on April 15 for refusing to surrender suspects in two airline bombings, the council president said Friday.

Diego Arria, the ambassador of Venezuela, told reporters the resolution would be adopted Monday afternoon.The resolution - sponsored by the United States, Britain and France - would impose an air embargo against Tripoli, ban all weapons trade, require the expulsion of most Libyan diplomats abroad and require Libya to demonstrate concretely that it no longer sponsors terrorism.

The resolution has overwhelming support on the 15-member council, including that of four of the five council members with veto power - France, Britain, the United States and Russia.

The fifth, Chinese Ambassador Li Daoyu, told reporters Friday he did not have guidance from his government and declined to say how he would vote. Diplomats said China was unhappy with the sanctions but unlikely to veto.

The New York Times reported in its Saturday edition that the United States, Britain and France had warned China that it risked losing preferential American trade status if it vetoed the sanctions.

A State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the AP "We have not threatened China."

China and many Third World nations are uncomfortable with the Security Council throwing its weight against individual nations. But China has generally not used its veto in recent years. In the gulf war resolutions against Iraq, China generally abstained.

The latest draft of the Libya resolution, obtained by The Associated Press, says that the sanctions will go into effect April 15.