The Tour de France was the big news yesterday in France, for good reason: ETA detonated two small explosive devices (the article didn’t specify what kind of devices), and Tour de France leader Michael Rasmussen of Denmark was removed from the race and fired from his team after winning the 16th stage yesterday. Since the Tour ends on Sunday, this was way more than the usual excitement, particularly since this morning the Tour resumed with no-one wearing the yellow jersey.
But for the news addict like myself, there was another item of interest. Sarko’s on a tour of Africa and dropped by Muammar Gaddafi‘s.
Always the fashion plate, Gaddafi wore a white suit with the emblem of African unity prominently pinned over his heart, black shirt and a wide (silk chiffon, maybe?) sash. Sarko looked appropriately French in traditional business garb. The day before yesterday Sarko was in Liberia, were he was warmly welcomed. Today Sarko’s in Senegal, where he probably will have to work a little harder.
As it turns out, the Libya meeting took place a day after Libya released the six Bulgarian medics who had been convicted of deliberately infecting Libyan children with HIV. The medics had confessed under torture and had been sentenced to death. According to the BBC,
The medics’ release was made possible by a deal struck in Tripoli on improving Libya-EU ties, following years of negotiations.
Not one to let a good opportunity go to waste, Sarko – whose trip was strategically timed – showed up, and the Guardian has the headline:
Sarkozy flies to Libya to reap rewards of medics’ release
Mr Sarkozy ignored criticism that he and his wife Cecilia had been grandstanding by intervening at the end of the eight-year crisis when the hard work had been done by the European commission and other EU governments. Mrs Sarkozy joined in negotiations and then flew to Sofia with the freed medics.
Sarko and Gaddafi/Gadafy also agreed to work on a nuclear energy project that will turn sea water into clean drinking water.
Shall we drink to that?