Libya's Gaddafi a Tricky Guest in Paris

[Times-UK] Charles Bremner - - Rarely was a host so happy to see the back of a guest as President Sarkozy was when Muammar Gaddafi and his caravan of 400 followers finally left Paris. For many Parisians, the five-day official visit by the Libyan leader seemed endless after he held court in a big Bedouin tent over the wall from the Elysee Palace. The colonel has reveled in provocation, insulting his hosts, snarling traffic and indulging his whims. He lectured his hosts for abusing the human rights of North African immigrants. Unlike France, Libya has an impeccable rights record, he added. Gaddafi also wants to ease "the tragic conditions of the European woman, who is forced sometimes into a job that she does not want," he told a hall full of fans. At another session, he told the audience that "the [Christian] cross that you wear has no sense, just like your prayers have no sense." Gaddafi insisted on French television that "My close friend Sarkozy" was not telling the truth when he said that he had brought up Libya's record on human rights during their sessions. "Gaddafi is making fools of us," screamed the France Soir front page.

2007-12-18 01:00:00

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