Italy, Libya set to finalise "friendship pact"
ROME. Italian and Libyan officials were finalising a pact on Friday that will see Italy pay compensation for misdeeds committed under colonial rule and improve ties between Rome and Tripoli, a major energy producer.
A source close to the Italian government said Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi might travel to the Libyan capital on Saturday to seal the deal which has been under discussion for years.
"The delegations of the two countries are concluding negotiations at this moment at (Berlusconi's office) and the main lines of the deal should be finalised," the source told Reuters.
Last month, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son, Saif al Islam, said the deal "amounts to billions", without giving details or specifying the currency.
The compensation accord involves several projects including the construction of a motorway across Libya, education and clearing mines dating back to the colonial era.
Italy, which ruled Libya from 1911 to 1943, has had (...)