The French President says he wants to bring Libya back into the international fold after decades in the diplomatic wilderness.
Nicolas Sarkozy’s proclamation comes two days after the release of six Bulgarian medics who were convicted of deliberately infecting Libyan children with HIV. The group’s release hinged on an agreement on improving ties between Tripoli and the EU.
Sarkozy’s wife, Cecilia, was involved in the final stages of the talks, and now he himself has clinched a number of key deals with the oil-rich state. Top of the list is the construction of a desalination plant powered by a nuclear reactor. Further deals on military and industrial co-operation have also been signed. A British government minister is due in Tripoli today on a similar mission. However, celebrations in Bulgaria were tempered by an ongoing diplomatic dispute. A spokesman for the infected children’s families condemned Sofia’s decision to pardon the health workers as reckless, and demanded they be re-arrested.
The medics insist they were tortured into confessing and now say they may counter-sue.