Libya — The families of the children infected with the AIDS virus in a Libyan hospital voiced outrage Wednesday at the pardon and release of six medics who returned to Bulgaria a day earlier.
"We deeply condemn and are deeply disappointed at the absurdity and disrespect shown by the Bulgarian presidential pardon," the Libyan Association for the Families of HIV-Infected Children said in a statement faxed to The Associated Press.
The five nurses and one doctor were flown to Bulgaria on Tuesday and immediately pardoned by Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov.
Their release was secured during a three-day trip to Libya by French first lady Cecilia Sarkozy and the European Union's commissioner for foreign affairs, Benita Ferrero-Waldner.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited Libya on Wednesday and met with Moammar Gadhafi, the leader of the long-isolated country. Sarkozy promised to boost relations with Libya as a reward for the detainees' release.
In their meetings, he was expected to press for closer economic ties with Libya, which has important oil reserves. They also were expected to discuss cooperation in fighting terrorism and illegal immigration, said Sarkozy spokesman David Martinon.