Politics


Italy: PM to meet Libyan leader Gaddafi in June




Tripoli, 18 June (AKI) - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will travel to Libya to meet the country's leader, Muammar Gaddafi, at the end of June, diplomatic sources told Adnkronos on Wednesday.

Both leaders are expected to discuss the subject of immigration, as Libya is one of the main departure points for migrants trying to reach Italy.

On Monday an Egyptian security official revealed that a boat carrying 150 illegal immigrants on their way to Italy sank near the Libyan coast on 7 June.

Libyan authorities have so far recovered 40 bodies from that boat, while over 100 people are still missing.

Italy has the European Union's longest coastline - 4,500 kilometres - making it difficult to police and thus a preferred destination for migrants.

Berlusconi and Gaddafi are also due to sign a treaty of collaboration and friendship when they meet at the end of the month.

The treaty is aimed at closing the dark chapter of Italian colonialism in Libya, which lasted from 1911 until 1943.

It is estimated that tens of thousands of Libyans died in Italian concentration camps. Italian warplanes also dropped mustard gas bombs against Libyan rebels, killing an unknown number.






 

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