Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi has arrived in Rome, marking his first official visit to Italy.
Stepping off the plane in full military uniform, it was all hugs and smiles as prime minister Silvio Berlusconi greeted his guest.
A sign perhaps of the increasingly warmer relations between the two since Rome agreed last year to pay more than 3.5 billion euros. Compensation for human rights abuses during colonial ties.
Afterwards, Gaddafi and his 300 member entourage headed to the presidential palace to meet Italy’s president Giorgio Napolitano.
Amid tight security the four day visit will see Gaddafi bestowed the rare honour of addressing Italy’s senate. In addition, the Libyan leader is expected to meet some of the 20,000 Italians he kicked out after he seized power in a coup in 1969.
That will take place in his Bedouin tent, which has been pitched in a park in the centre of Rome.
But, it’s the diplomatic and business front that will take centre stage with both keen to forge even closer economic ties.