Gaddafi says no future attack on Libya from Italy base

Other News Materials 3 September 2008 04:51 (UTC +04:00)

NATO member Italy agreed it would not be used as a base for any attack on Libya under a weekend deal to deepen ties between the two countries, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said.

During negotiations over the friendship pact signed on Saturday by Gaddafi and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Italian officials accepted a clause stating that neither country would attack the other, Gaddafi said, according to state news agency Jana on Tuesday.

"We told them this is not enough ... because in 1986, (U.S.) aggression against Libyan territories had come from Italy," the Libyan leader said.

As a result, he said, Italy agreed not to allow the use of its territories in any hostile action against Libya.

U.S. aircraft bombed Tripoli, Benghazi and the home of Gaddafi in April 1986, attacks which Libya said killed more than 40 people including his adopted baby daughter.

The United States has military bases in Italy. NATO's members agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by a non-member.

Under the weekend deal, Italy agreed to pay $5 billion to compensate Libya for misdeeds during its 1911-1943 colonial rule.

Libya said it would grant Italy privileges in investments in oil, gas and other business in return. The North African country is emerging from years of sanctions imposed for what the West saw as its support for terrorism.

Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said on Tuesday its treaties with other countries remained, though the pact with Libya called for both sides to refrain from attacking each other.

"We've specified with great clarity that there are multilateral international treaties that obviously remain," he told reporters at a conference in Florence.

"There is an agreement with Libya that includes a reciprocal obligation against committing acts of aggression, which Italy categorically excludes."

Berlusconi's office in Rome earlier said the agreement with Libya was in harmony with Italy's treaties with other countries, Reuters reported.