Gadhafi’s Deal

What did Libyan leader Gadhafiget in exchange for freeing the five Bulgarian nurses and thePalestinian doctor accused of infecting 460 Libyan children with AIDS?Quite a lot, it seems. Details are still murky, and news reportsconflict with government declarations, but here’s a roundup of Libya’sgains:

  • Two arms deals, worth somewhere around $405 million with European arms giant EADS. As Gadhafi’s son noted, “this is the first armaments deal by a western country with Libya.”
  • An accord with France to build a nuclear reactor for civilian use. A French official confirmed that French company Areva, the world leader in nuclear energy, would be involved.
  • Pledges and donations worth $477 million to a fund that will compensate the families of the infected children. Bulgaria waived Libya’s $57 million debt, diverting it to the above fund.
  • Equipment for a new hospital inBenghazi, where the infections took place, and 5 years of training forLibyan medical staff over five years, to be provided by France.
  • The written assurance that the medics involved will not sue Libya for torture, maltreatment and abusive detention.
  • The possible extradition back to Libya of one of the Lockerbie bombers, currently detained in Britain.
  • Better access to EU markets for Libyan exports and restored relations with the European countries.

The medics had been detained for more than eight years, sentenced to deathtwice and, quite likely, tortured. It’s interesting to notice that besides Gadhafi, the big winners hereare European arms and energy corporations, for whom the previouslytaboo Libyan market has been opened up. For more on the subject, readFrida GhitisHow (Not) to Stop a Rogue Regime, as well as John Rosenthal’s piece on the Iraqi Hostage Industry.