Tuesday, August 28, 2007

L'Affaire Libyenne Shows a New Policy

L'Affaire Libyenne Shows a New Policy

By Michael Deibert

Inter Press Service

PARIS, Aug 27 (IPS) - When the government of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi freed five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor after eight years in prison last month, it marked not only the latest twist in Gaddafi's idiosyncratic rule, but was seen as the opening salvo of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's new diplomatic modus operandi in Africa and beyond.

Following long negotiations by the European Union (EU) to secure the release of the medical workers, who had been sentenced to death following the Libyan government's accusation that they intentionally infected more than 400 Libyan children with the HIV virus, Sarkozy's wife Cecilia swooped into Tripoli to leave with the six prisoners on a plane to Bulgaria.

EU commissioner for foreign affairs Benita Ferrero-Waldner who was on the plane was left to appear as if she were hitching a ride.

Read the full story here.

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