03 September, 2008

France plays down Italy's reparation payment to Libya

Paris, France - France says the excuses and compensations Italy has promised to pay to Libya for its colonial occupation of the African nation cannot be a precedent.

"This is strictly an arrangement between Italy and Libya which we regard as moves to enhance relations between Libya and the international community, including European," declared Eric Knight, a representative of the spokesperson of the French Foreign Affairs Ministry.

"The said developments relate to a particular aspect of the bilateral relations between Italy and Libya," he told newsmen here.

Libyan leader Mouammar Kadhafi and the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, Saturday in Benghazi signed a treaty of friendship and co-operation regarding compensations for the Libyans for the losses they suffered during the colonial period.

Under the treaty, Italy will also build a coastal motorway to connect Libya's western and eastern parts of the country, and clean up the Libya of land mines.

Rome is also committed to provide Tripoli with information on the fate of about 5,000 Libyans who went on exile (living in uninhabited Italian islands) during the Italian invasion of Libya.
Paris - 02/09/2008

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