Italy - Libya

On August 30 2008, after decades of negotiations, the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, meets the leader of the Libyan Revolution, Muammar Gadaffi in Benghazi where they sign the Treaty of friendship, partnership and cooperation between the Italian Republic and the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. Italy undertakes in this way to pay in the next 20 years five billion dollars in reparation to Libya to the colonial past. In the same occasion Italy returns to Libya the statue of the Venus of Cirene.

On February 6 2009 the Italian Parliament promulgates the law 7/2009 that ratifies and implement the Treaty of friendship, partnership and cooperation.

On March 1 2009 the Libyan general people's Congress ratifies in its turn the Treaty of friendship, partnership and cooperation.

On March 2 2009 with the exchange of ratifications between Berlusconi and Gheddafi in Sirte the Treaty of friendship, partnership and cooperation becomes officially effective.

The Treaty of friendship, partnership and cooperation at article 8 asserts that [...] Italy, on the basis of proposals made by the Great Jamahiriya and the following discussions intervened, commits to raise the necessary financial funds to achieve basic infrastructure projects that are agreed between the two countries within the limits of the sum of 5 billion U.S. dollars, for an annual amount of 250 million U.S. dollars for 20 years [...] so as, as written in the Preamble, [...] to definitely close the painful "chapter of the past", for which Italy already expressed in the Joint Bulletin of 1998, its regret for the suffering caused to the Libyan people as a result of Italian colonization, with the solution of all bilateral issues [...]".

While on the level of reparation for the colonial past the Treaty of friendship, partnership and cooperation is considered as an example, there were strong, motivated and correct critics about the cooperation between the two countries in the contrast of illegal immigration as those of ASGI, the authors of the film "Like a man on earth", the Italian Section of Amnesty International, the Combonian Missionaries, of Fortress Europe.

On June 10 2009, the leader of the Libyan Revolution, Muammar Gadaffi, makes his first official visit to Italy meeting the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, declaring, according to the daily La Repubblica of June 10 2009, that [... ] "Italy today is no more that of yesterday" [... ] "With great courage" has admitted its guilt, agreed to give a "sign in condemnation of its past" against the apology and reparations required from Libya. [... ] has confirmed that there is not an "equivalent" to what "colonial Italy has committed against the Libyan people" but "has turned the page of the past" and - has stated - are your "excuses" that "allowed me to be able to come here today". [... ]

On February 26, 2011 the Italian Minister of defense Ignazio La Russa declares that "[...] actually the Italy-Libya treaty does not exist anymore, it is inoperative and suspended. For example, the men of the Guardia di Finanza, which were on patrol boats to control in what the libyans were doing, are in our embassy [...]".

On August 26, 2011 the Italian Minister of foreign affairs Franco Frattini declares that "Italy has a role that will keep in Libya. When conditions will allow, the Treaty of friendship will resume force: the new Libyan authorities have already clearly said that they want to honor it, and to apply it, and so it will be". According to Frattini, the treaty will be applied thanks "to the economic and political collaborations which have been established, since Italy is the second European country to have recognized the National Transitional Council of Benghazi, that today is recognized by dozens of countries throughout the world".

This apparent suspension of the treaty coincides with the main phases of the Libyan civil war (the resolution 1970 of the United Nations Security Council authorizing the first international measures against Libya is approved on February 26, 2011, while on August 26, 2011 Tripoli has fallen in the hands of the forces of NTC) and it clarifies once more the real interests of the Italian Government.

For further information:

Italy's immigration deal with Libya sparks uproar

Libya/Italy: Bilateral cooperation should not be at the price of human rights

Prof. Del Boca: Gaddafi the target of a cynical war

5000 Qataris soldiers helped Libyan rebels

Italy-Libya: reactivation of the Treaty of Friendship

You are here: Reparations Italy - Libya