“It was signed yesterday, Friday, in Tripoli by the Minister of Justice, Salah Al-Marghani, and his Iraqi counterpart, Hassan Shimari. Attending the ceremony were the Deputy President of the General National Congress, Juma Ateega, the Third Deputy Prime Minister, Abdussalam Al-Qadi, Minister of State for GNC affairs Muaz Khoja, Ministry of Justice Undersecretary Sharif Zahri, and the administrator responsible for the file of Libyan prisoners abroad, Sulaiman Al-Fortia. Also attending were the families of Libyan prisoners in Iraq as well as a number of Iraqi businessmen in Libya. The deal is seen as being crucial to improving Libyan-Iraqi relations. “This does not mean that Libyan prisoners will be transferred straightway,” said Taha Shakshuki of the Libyan Group for Demanding Libyan Prisoners Abroad. He said the group has been told by the Justiec Ministry that the agreement is in effect a memorandum of understanding which still requires to be approved by the Iraqi parliament. Nor will Libya prisoners be automatically transferred, he explained. Each case will to be approved by the Iraqi authorities………………”
In some ways Libya hasn’t changed that much in terms of relations with other countries. Under Muammar Qaddafi, Libya used to send weapons and money and occasionally ‘volunteers’ to commit acts of violence in other countries. That was especially true until a decade or so ago, when Qaddafi became a close friend of France and Britain and Italy and the United States. That was sometime before the colonel met Condi Rice and very likely made what he would call an “African” pass at her.
Now the new Libya sends the same bounty abroad, except the combination has changed. They send more people and weapons now than money. But the operation is not as centralized as under Qaddafi. They have also sent a lot of weapons and volunteers to the Salafi terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq. I suspect the same is true of Lebanon and other places. Now the Libyan have formed some group called Libyan Group for Demanding Libyan Prisoners Abroad to try to release those terrorists captured by Iraqi and other security authorities. Interesting that the
Libyan group does not specify Iraq or any one specific country:
apparently now they have many in various countries.
The Saudis also have a group advocating on behalf of their Salafi terrorists held in Iraq: there are many Saudi prisoners in Iraq, and you can bet none of them went there as tourists or pilgrims. Other Gulf governments, at least one that I know of, have negotiated with Iraq for the release of some prisoners, mainly tribal youth who were encouraged to go by Salafi clerics. They are given a hero’s welcome by their tribe and hopefully married off quickly to some tribal girl so that they would forget about rejoining Al-Qaeda and the dreams of all those virgin houris and wine in the afterlife.