Italy suspends treaty with Libya

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi gestures next to Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini in Rome, August 29, 2010.

From Alessandra Rizzo, the AP:  Italy has effectively suspended a treaty with Libya that includes a nonaggression clause, amid turmoil in the North African nation, the foreign minister said Sunday.

The suspension removes a possible obstacle to Rome taking part in any peacekeeping operations in its former colony, or allowing the use of its military bases.

"We signed the friendship treaty with a state, but when the counterpart no longer exists – in this case the Libyan state – the treaty cannot be applied," Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said in comments to Sky Italia. "The de facto suspension of this treaty, even without declaring it, is already a reality. …"

There are several U.S. and NATO bases in Italy, and the U.S. 6th Fleet is based near Naples. After the treaty was signed, NATO sought clarification from Rome, and Frattini had to reassure allies at the time that multilateral international treaties that Rome was party to would stand.  (photo: Reuters)

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