Gaddafi meets expelled Italians

2009-06-13 17:18

Rome - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has met with representatives of approximately 20 000 Italians he expelled from his country in 1970 to punish Rome for its 30-year colonial rule.

About 100 of the expelled Italians met Gaddafi under one of the tents set up in a Rome park to host the Libyan leader.

The Italians, kicked out over Italy's 1911-1941 colonisation of Libya, are demanding compensation from Libya.

Relations between the two countries have since improved and a smiling Gaddafi received applause when he arrived at the tent and shook hands with some of the guests.

Gaddafi flew back Tripoli later on Saturday. His four-day visit signalled warm ties with Italy, but was also marked by protests and embarrassment over his controversial rhetoric.