Italy and Libya Rebuilding Ties

“Italy, Libya in New Political Pact to Boost Ties,” by Jay Deshmukh, for the Agence France Presse:

Italy and Libya signed a wide-ranging pact on Saturday to redefine their ties in the post-Kadhafi era, as Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti made his first visit since the dictator’s fall.

It was unclear if the new “Tripoli Declaration” signed by Italy and Libya replaces a “friendship treaty” signed by Moamer Kadhafi and former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi.

But Libyan Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib, who signed the pact with his Italian counterpart, signalled that for now the friendship treaty was on the backburner…

The friendship treaty was expected to be revived during Monti’s visit that was suspended during last year’s uprising which ended with the killing of Kadhafi in October.

The treaty had eased the way for billions of euros (dollars) in two-way investments.

Italy had also agreed to pay Libya five billion euros ($3.9 billion) over 25 years in compensation for colonial rule and to build around 1,700 kilometres (1,050 miles) of coastline motorway in the North African nation.

Monti, who spoke mostly in Italian, said his country was ready to help Libya in its “reconstruction and democratic stabilisation,” and “to reactivate our cooperation in fighting illegal immigration” to Europe…

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