Less than two months ago, as the Great Eight met in L’Aquila, Italy, I reported the appearance of Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi from a book store in Rome.
At the time no news outlets wanted the footage: “What’s the story?” I was asked. “What’s the angle? Why is he there?”
The truth is without access to the summit itself, at the time I had no idea. But it seemed slightly coincidental the enemy of decades, now our new friend in the war on terror, was in Rome the same time as the G8. When Gaddafi walked centre stage on the last day of the summit, shaking hands with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, President Barak Obama and Silvio Berlusconi, things began to slot into place.
Now, nearly two months have passed and the dots are slowly being joined. Today the Guardian reported Brown’s meeting with Gaddafi at the G8 summit discussed the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdulbaset al-Megrahi. In that same meeting Brown also discussed increasing UK oil interests in Libya.
But these types of deals in the wonderful world of global governance are nothing new, and not illegal either. One year before Berlusconi signed a $5bn (£3bn) compensation deal to Libya for Italy’s “colonial misdeeds”. In return Gaddafi allowed Italian patrols of Libyan territorial waters and the right to return all refugees to Libyan territory, thus rendering any refugee’s chance at having a fair hearing over their political refugee status to nil.
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