Italy agrees to reparations for Libya

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Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has signed an agreement to pay Libya $5 billion and make “complete and moral acknowledgement of the damage inflicted on Libya by Italy during the colonial era.”

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has signed an agreement to pay Libya $5 billion and make “complete and moral acknowledgement of the damage inflicted on Libya by Italy during the colonial era.”

“In this historic document, Italy apologizes for its killing, destruction and repression against Libyans during the colonial rule,” Col. Muammar Gaddafi said.

Berlusconi said the deal, which sees the money being released over 25 years, ends "40 years of misunderstanding." Libya was occupied by Italy in 1911 before becoming a colony in the 1930s.

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.

Rome and Tripoli have spent years arguing over compensation for the colonial period. Libya will be the first African country to be compensated for crimes committed during colonialism.

Special to the NNPA from GIN

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Copyright 2008 NNPA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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