Italy: Libyan leader to attend G8 summit

L'Aquila, 7 July (AKI) - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was expected to return to Italy for the second time in a month to attend the Group of Eight summit in the central Italian city of L'Aquila. The controversial leader erected a tent in a sports field that belongs to Italy's tax police or Guardia di Finanza, sources have told Adnkronos.

The peculiar Bedouin tent has become a trademark of his travels. He is known for taking the tent on official visits and pitched it during his recent visit in June.

Gaddafi's private, all-female Amazon Guard will stay in a building next to the headquarters of the tax police, across the street from where US president Barack Obama is expected to be housed.

Gaddafi, 67, will attend the summit as the current head of the African Union - an intergovernmental organisation made up of 53 African states.

During Gaddafi's first trip to Rome, he was given a warm welcome by Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and other senior government officials.

However, students from an Italian university staged a noisy protest against the Libyan leader and his country's poor human rights record.

The latest visit by Gaddafi, his second to Italy since taking power in a 1969 coup, is one of the few he has made since economic sanctions were lifted when Libya vowed to stop sponsoring terrorism.

The G8 summit will be held in L'Aquila, site of the devastating April earthquake in the region of Abruzzo, outside Rome.

G8 leaders - representing Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States - are due to meet in L'Aquila from 8 to 10 July.


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