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Moammar Gadhafi Visits Spain


Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, seeking reconciliation with the West after renouncing terrorism and nuclear weapons, has begun an official visit to Spain.

The Libyan leader met Monday in Madrid with Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. After the meeting, the two were joined by Foreign Minister Miguel Engel Moratinos and several business leaders for an official dinner.

Mr. Gadhafi was also scheduled to meet with King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia as well as business representatives.

Mr. Gadhafi is expected to sign several agreements, including an immigration accord, and investment deals. Diplomats say several major business contracts will also be negotiated.

The official part of his visit follows a two-day private trip to southern Spain's Andalusia region.

The Libyan leader arrived in Spain from France, where he signed nearly $15 billion in contracts with Paris. The deals included Libya's purchase of a civilian nuclear reactor and 21 Airbus jetliners.

International economic sanctions against Tripoli were lifted in 2003.

The move followed Mr. Gadhafi's decision to dismantle a secret nuclear arms program and pay compensation to the families of victims of a 1988 airplane bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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