Rome invests $5 billion in Libya; turns page for first step in better ties

-Posted by D. Worth (US) | for- M. Barbay (France)

Earlier today...
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (R) and Libya's leader Moamer Kadhafi (L) look at their Foreign Ministers Franco Frattini (2ndR) and Mussa Kuss exchanging books after signing a treaty in Rome's Villa Madama on June 10, 2009

Libya's Gadhafi makes first visit to Italy...
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Rome will invest $5 billion in Libya in an effort to turn the page on colonial-era disputes that have weighed on the countries' relations...
"We would like still larger Italian investments," Asta said. "We want them to be our partners in Africa and for us to be their partners in Europe."

Italian firms can also hope for lucrative contracts in post-sanctions Libya as among the fruits of warmer political ties, analysts say.

After the talks, Napolitano said that the meeting with Gaddafi "allowed us to verify a common point of view on what's needed to resolve the serious crises in Africa, and, in particular, the combined effort that Italy and Libya can make to find a solution for the severe situation in Somalia." -Read more.

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