Country Report Libya November 2009

Outlook for 2010-11: International relations

Colonel Qadhafi will continue to seek to strengthen ties with the US and the EU, particularly Italy, while sporadically voicing anti-Western rhetoric and engaging with countries viewed as rivals of the US, such as Russia. International relations with a number of countries have been soured following the release of the man convicted of the 1988 bombing of a plane over Lockerbie, Scotland, Abdulbaset al-Megrahi, whose warm reception in Libya aroused international condemnation and caused a number of past disagreements to resurface. However, these disagreements are unlikely to have a significant long-term impact. In practice, economic imperatives, mainly in the oil and gas sectors, are likely to dictate relations with the West. Libya also harbours ambitions, particularly since it took on the one-year position of head of the African Union in February 2009, to lead Africa towards continental unity. The growing wealth of the Libyan Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund, and its increasingly strategic objectives will help to increase Libya's international clout.

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