Bulgarian medics greeted with tearful eyes in Bulgaria after eight years
July 24: A French presidential plane carrying five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor reached Sofia airport where they were welcomed with tearful eyes by their relatives and friends.
Mrs. Ferrero-Waldner EU external relations commissioner expressed her joy over the release of the medics calling it ‘a humanitarian decision’.
She termed the phenomenon as ‘a new chapter in the history of Libya-EU relations’.
The release of the medics could be possible due to the back-up of the first lady of France, Cecilia Sarkozy.
Five medics were given death sentences in Libya for the charge of infecting around 430 children with HIV by injecting infected blood in 1999. Every medic denied the charges saying that infection was going on before their arrival due to unhygienic conditions and poor health run.
They were pardoned by the Libyan president no sooner than they landed Bulgaria.
Cecilia Sarkozy and EU commissioner accompanied medics to Sofia airport. Yesterday this eight year long deal was put to an end for the patient efforts made by the EU commissioner.
On July 19 their death sentence was converted to life imprisonment after the parents of the children agreed to an out of court settlement.
Involvement of Sarkozy is considered crucial in the release of Bulgarians as this was also a campaigning issue in the presidential elections in France.
Release was materialized by the deal stuck in Tripoli on improving the ties with EU. The deal includes the promise of import of Libyan farm and fishery products to European market, technical know how to preserve historical as well as archaeological monuments and grants for Libyan students.
Release of the medics came in wake of the deal of compensation in which it was agreed to accord $1million for each infected child along with the arrangement for their long term treatment.
The government was already working to grant a pardon to all the medics as they reach Sofia. So was done as they landed their soil.
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