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France Closes Doors to Qaddafi Due to Bulgarian Medics Issue

Date: 25.10.2006

The French Defence Ministry has a "project" for Libyan President Qaddafi's visit to France but it can be realised only after the issue of the Bulgarian nurses is settled, France Press announced.

The five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor have been accused of deliberately infecting hundreds of children with HIV and are undergoing a re-trial by a Tripoli Court.

Libya is interested in buying combat Rafal aircraft and Tiger helicopters and if Muammar Qaddafi visited France he would have the chance to raise the question, the French Defence Ministry said.

If Qaddafi's visit became a fact the president could discuss military cooperation between Libya and France. Libya would then be able to renovate its armament, which was bought long before the arms embargo set upon the country from 1986 until 2004.

France's doors, however, will remain closed unless Qaddafi finds a way out for the five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor.

The doctor and nurses, who had been working at a hospital in Benghazi, were arrested in 1999. They confessed under torture, according to human rights organizations, but later protested their innocence.

One of the world's greatest experts on HIV, Dr. Luc Montagnier, testified that the real cause of the infections was poor hygienic practices at the hospital. The infections emerged before the accused started working at the hospital and continued to spread after they were thrown in jail.

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