Libya back in the fold

Libya is back in Western favor.

Condoleezza Rice arrived in Tripoli today to meet with Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, the first visit in more than half a century by a U.S. secretary of state to the North African nation.

Apparently, no one told Rice that she is his new boo.

From CNN:

After their meeting, Gadhafi, who once called Rice "Leeza ... my darling black African woman," was hosting a dinner for Rice.

Last year in an interview with Arabic TV station al Jazeera, Gadhafi suggested that Rice ran the Arab world, with which he has sometimes had stark differences.

"I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders," he said. "I love her very much because she's a black woman of African origin."

Just last week, Italy signed an agreement to pay Libya $5 billion as part of a deal to resolve colonial-era disputes. Libya is the first African country to be compensated by a former colonial country.

From BBC News:

...Berlusconi explained that $200m would be paid annually over the next 25 years through investments in infrastructure projects, the main one being a coastal motorway between the Egyptian and Tunisian borders.

There will also be a colonial-era mine clearing project.

As a goodwill gesture, Italy also returned an ancient statue of Venus, the headless "Venus of Cyrene", which had been taken to Rome in colonial times.

The settlement was a "complete and moral acknowledgement of the damage inflicted on Libya by Italy during the colonial era", the Italian prime minister said.

"In this historic document, Italy apologises for its killing, destruction and repression against Libyans during the colonial rule," Col Gaddafi said for his part...

What a difference an image change makes...

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