Bulgaria writes off Libya's debts after medics crisis

Bulgaria decided to write off Libya's debts of nearly 57 million U.S. dollars following the extradition of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor, Bulgaria's BTA news agency said.

Bulgaria writes off Libya's debts after medics crisis
Bulgaria decided to write off Libya's debts of nearly 57 million U.S. dollars following the extradition of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor, Bulgaria's BTA news agency said.

The money will be earmarked for treating the Libyan children infected with the HIV virus, compensating the affected families and promoting Libya's health care, the report said, citing a press release by the Bulgarian government.

The medics had been jailed in Libya since 1999 and were sentenced to death for deliberately causing an HIV outbreak at a hospital in the Libyan coastal city of Benghazi and infecting 426 Libyan children with the virus in the late 1990s.

Their death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment on July 17, but they were released and returned to Bulgaria on July 24, following mediation by Bulgaria and the European Union, of which Bulgaria is a member.

The six medics were given an immediate pardon by Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov upon their arrival in Sofia, and Bulgaria also announced to write off Libya's debts.

The release of the medics helped the North African country improve its ties with the western countries.

According to the press release, negotiations will be arranged between the Bulgarian government and a Libyan foundation on the implementation of the fund money.

The Benghazi Foundation, a non-governmental organization, was set up in January 2006. The group, headquartered in Libya, is aimed at collecting international donations to help the infected children.

The affected families had asked for about 13.3 million U.S. dollars for each child, a sum of money the EU refused to pay.

Agencies
Last Mod: 03 Ağustos 2007, 12:27
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