Gaddafi thanks Qatar for mediating end to medics' row

Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi has thanked the Qatari emir for helping to mediate a deal that led to the release of six foreign medics convicted of infecting children with the AIDS virus, state-run JANA news agency reported Wednesday.

Gaddafi thanks Qatar for mediating end to medics' row
Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi has thanked the Qatari emir for helping to mediate a deal that led to the release of six foreign medics convicted of infecting children with the AIDS virus, state-run JANA news agency reported Wednesday.

Gaddafi phoned Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani late Tuesday and "thanked him for the role he played in the efforts made by France to secure an agreement with the Gaddafi Foundation ... and the European Commission," JANA said.

The agency did not elaborate but said Sheikh Hamad expressed his "happiness" and said the role he played "reflected the profound links between Qatar and Libya."

France and the European Commission had also paid homage to the emir's mediation, which led to the release Tuesday of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor after eight years of detention in Libya.

A source close to the negotiations in Tripoli said French President Nicolas Sarkozy had asked the Qatari emir to intervene with Gaddafi to help secure a deal for the release of the medics.

The six had been given death sentences, commuted to life imprisonment, for allegedly infecting 438 children with HIV-tainted blood in a Libyan hospital. Fifty-six of the children have since died.

The deal to release them was secured after the European Union struck a deal to improve ties with Tripoli.

The Gaddafi Foundation, run by Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi's son Seif al-Islam, said about one million dollars per child had been paid although Sarkozy said Europe did not pay "the slightest financial compensation" for the medics' release.

AFP

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Temmuz 2007, 14:12
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