Libya could sign anti-tank missiles order with EADS
PARIS (AP) – Libya may soon sign an order with European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co.'s missile unit MBDA for the purchase of antitank missiles, the French daily La Tribune reported Thursday.
Without citing sources or providing details on the value of the order, the paper said the missile maker would benefit from the recent normalization of relations between France and Libya. The improved ties will clear the way for deals that have been under discussion for nearly a year.
MBDA refused to comment on the report. EADS could not immediately be reached for comment.
On Wednesday, the French daily Le Monde quoted Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, son of leader Moammar Gadhafi, as saying that a deal to buy military hardware from France was an element of negotiations that led to the release of six medics detained in Libya.
President Nicolas Sarkozy denied the report with a curt ''no'' and his spokesman David Martinon said ''no armaments contract (was) signed during the visit'' by Sarkozy, who traveled to Libya to normalize ties a day after the medics were freed on July 24.
The Tribune report said that negotiations had been under way for nearly a year but that it was clear no contracts could be signed before the medics were freed.
The five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor had spent 8½ years in prison and were given life sentences on charges they deliberately infected more than 400 children with the AIDS virus – an allegation the six vehemently denied.