Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi said his regime's long estrangement from the United States was finally over as he marked the 39th anniversary on Monday of his overthrow of the Western-backed monarchy. "The whole business of the conflict between Libya and the United States has been closed once and for all," Kadhafi said in an anniversary speech to the General People's Congress.
"There will be no more wars, raids or acts of terrorism," said Kadhafi, according to AFP. During August, Libya reached a compensation deal with the families of the 270 victims of the 1988 bombing of a US airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, the deadliest attack blamed on Kadhafi's regime.
Kadhafi stressed that Libya was not looking for US friendship. "All we want is to be left alone," he said.
The Libyan leader hailed a new era in relations with former occupier Italy after Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi apologised on Saturday for the damage inflicted on Libya during the colonial era and signed a five-billion-dollar investment deal by way of compensation. "It's a major political, moral and material victory from which we are going to benefit all our lives," Kadhafi said in the speech.
In his speech, the Libyan ruler again pledged to scrap most government ministries and hand their budgets directly to the people to spend themselves. He said that the plan, which he first announced in a speech in March, was a response to complaints from the public of widespread corruption in the administration.
"Libyans should all be ready to receive a share of the oil revenues starting from the beginning of next year," Kadhafi told the General People's Congress. "You always accuse the peoples' committees (ministries) of corruption and poor management. These complaints will never end. So everyone (should) have their share (of oil revenues) in their pockets and manage."
Kadhafi acknowledged that the scheme risked causing "chaos" for the first couple of years, but he said he it was necessary as any bureaucracy inevitably spawned corruption.