Gadhafi to Visit Brussels
In his first visit to the continent in 15 years Libyan leader Colonel Moammar Gadhafi is to visit Brussels on Tuesday.
The Libyan leader's trip signals a deepening of ties with the EU and is expected to be accompanied by the announcement that Libya will join the EU's partnership with Mediterranean countries. The Colonel, who has ruled Libya since the overthrow of the monarchy in 1969, is expected to meet with Commission President Romano Prodi. In autumn last year, the Libyan leader said that the country would abandon its nuclear weapons programme heralding a period of rapprochement with the West. "His visit to the Commission marks Colonel Gadhafi's first visit to Europe for many years, preparing the ground for a full normalisation of relations between Libya and the European Union," the Commission said in a statement on Friday.
The visit will be the culmination of months of contacts and political manoeuvring bringing the country in from its long period of isolation, imposed after its involvement in the bombing of a PANAM jet over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. Diplomats say the move is likely to be accompanied by steps towards resolving the row between Libya and Germany over the bombing of a night-club west Berlin in 1986 and the fate of six Bulgarian medics charged with deliberately infecting Libyans with the HIV virus.