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Gaddafi and Brown in first talks

By on July 11, 2009

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and UK PM Gordon Brown have discussed the fate of the Lockerbie bomber during their first talks, held at the G8 summit.

Col Gaddafi urged Mr Brown to allow the man convicted of bombing a plane over Scotland, now terminally ill, to serve his remaining sentence in Tripoli.

The summit in Italy also saw the first handshake between Libya’s leader, once a global pariah, and a US president.

Col Gadaffi and Barack Obama were filmed greeting each other on Thursday.

The two men were seated near each other at dinner, with only Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi between them.

The United States and Libya resumed diplomatic ties in 2004, after more than 20 years, during which the US dubbed Libya a state sponsor of terrorism. Condoleezza Rice, the then US Secretary of State, visited Col Gaddafi last year and former President George Bush spoke to him on the phone, but the Libyan leader had never before met a US president.

US and British relations with Libya thawed after it agreed to pay compensation to the families of the 270 people who died in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, and to stop pursuing nuclear weapons.

A spokesman for the British prime minister said that during the meeting there was agreement that the relationship between the UK and Libya was “strong” and “would grow still stronger”.

The two leaders also discussed the case of the case of British policewoman Yvonne Fletcher, who was shot dead outside the Libyan embassy in 1984, Downing Street said.

Nuclear proliferation, rising oil prices and better representation for Africa on international institutions like the IMF or World Bank were also covered in the 45-minute meeting.

BBC.

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