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Gaddafi, the new everybody’s best friend!

Everything started in December 2007 when the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, with his first visit to France in 34 years, took a serious step towards rebuilding his status around the world.

Unlike other countries, France did not hide its ambition as the deal with the French president Nicolas Sarkozy was clear: On one hand demonstrate Gaddafi’s new respectability, and on the other hand offer the French leader a chance to secure lucrative contracts in a relatively untapped market.

Frustrated, the USA reacted by sending the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to an official visit (the African tour was the official reason) in Libya in September 2008 (by the way, the last secretary of state who made such a trip was John Foster Dulles in 1953, before Rice was born).

Then , it was the turn of the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi who accorded a red-carpet welcome to the Libyan leader Gaddafi in June 2009 (officially, the visit was to sign a deal under which Italy will pay five billion dollars in compensation for the colonial period). Well…

To crown it all, the UK has recently realeased the Lockerbie bomber Megrahi (a Libyan). But, while the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was thanking and praising his “courageous friend” Gordon Brown for releasing the bomber, Lord Mandelson (the business secretary) was denying any “blood money” or “trade deal” behind the release. Who to believe? !!!

Whatever the case, what it’s certain is that, nobody wants to stay behind. The  Libyan oil is attracting all leaders around the world and Gaddafi, once qualified by Reagan as a “Mad dog”, can now be called the “New Everybody’s Best Friend”.

Business is business!!!

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October 1, 2009 Posted by | Articles In English, International Politics | 2 Comments

Civil Society Organisations: The Game-changer?

It was reported last week that civil society engagement in the World Bank operations has been evolving from being institutionally based to being more issue oriented.

Indeed, increasingly, civil society organisations that have been interacting with the World Bank seem to have shifted their advocacy stance from a do-no-harm to a do-good approach that seeks to influence the World Bank to further adopt socially and environmentally sustainable development approaches.

So, what has been the real contribution of these civil society organisations?

Coming soon…still thinking

October 1, 2009 Posted by | Articles In English, International Economics | , | Leave a comment