This past Tuesday, 30 August, marked the third anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on Friendship, Partnership and Co-operation by Italy and Libya. The Agreement was signed in Benghazi in 2008 by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and then Libyan leader Gaddafi. The Agreement included a provision calling for the “intensification of the ongoing cooperation in the context of the fight against terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking and clandestine migration.” (See p. 2 of UNHCR’s Third Party submission to the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Hirsi and Others v. Italy (Application no. 27765/09) for more information regarding the history of the Agreement.) The Agreement, which included a provision for the payment by Italy to Libya of $5 billion in compensation for colonial occupation, paved the way for Libya’s implementation of the provisions of an earlier agreement signed in December 2007 which provided the basis for joint Italy-Libya maritime patrols and Italy’s so-called “push-back” practice. The first push-back operations began in May 2009. As I’ve noted in previous posts, the Libyan NTC has given Italy assurances that a new Libyan government will honour the terms of the Friendship Agreement.
Click here (IT), here (EN), and here (EN) for articles from 2008.
Click here for UNHCR’s Third Party Submission to the ECtHR in the Hirsi case.