Libya: Photo of Berlusconi and Gaddafi to appear on passports

Rome, 27 August(AKI) - A photograph of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi together with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi signing a 2008 friendship pact will appear on new Libyan passports, said Abdulhafed Gaddur the north African country's ambassador to Italy.

"In a little while on Libyan passports there will be a photo that shows Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi and colonel Muammar Gaddafi," Gaddur said.

Berlusconi in 2008 travelled to Bengasi, Libya to sign an agreement that aimed to end Libyan animosity toward Italy stemming the European country's occupation of the north African nation from 1911-1943.

Under the friendship accord, Italy pledged nearly four billion euros in investment in Libyan infrastructure, including a new 2,700 km highway, and has provided several coastal patrol boats to intercept vessels transporting illegal immigrants to Italian shores.

A separate agreement provides for Italian defence contracts in Libya and oil and gas concessions for Italian energy companies such as ENI and Enel.

On Thursday speaking at a conference in Italy Eni chief executive Paolo Scaroni confirmed his oil company's plan to invest 28 billion dollars in Libya over the next 10 years.

Gheddafi is slated to arrive in Rome this weekend to celebrate the second anniversary of the pact.

Berlusconi’s close relationship with Gaddafi has been criticised in Italy.


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