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Vol 51 No 18

Published 10th September 2010


Libya

The Colonel’s Roman holiday

Libyan President Moammar el Gadaffi flew into Rome on 29 August for the second anniversary of his ‘friendship treaty’ with Italy, accompanied by 30 berber horses and a speech aimed at converting young Italian women to Islam. Beyond the spectacle, the summit was designed to finalise economic deals between Gadaffi and Prime Silvio Berlusconi. In 2001, Berlusconi claimed he was misquoted when making a speech asserting the superiority of Western civilisation over Islam; the Arab League rejected his attempted apology. Yet Berlusconi’s coalition partner and Northern leader Umberto Bossi is one of the fiercest critics of Islam in European politics.

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