Circle Of Friends

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CAIRO, Egypt: In his efforts to have U.N. sanctions lifted from Libya, Muammar Gadhafi is wheeling out the loose cannons. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan capped a weekend visit to sunny Libya Monday by hugging Gadhafi at his office in front of television cameras. The two talked and prayed in what Libya said was a show of Muslim solidarity against U.S. sanctions prompted by the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland. In a broadcast monitored in Cairo, Libya's state-run JANA news agency said Farrakhan came to discuss "issues of concern for Islam and Muslims and the causes of freedom worldwide," adding that Farrakhan was touring a number of countries "to expose American injustices over Islamic countries." The cozy visit, Farrakhan's third in a year, ended late Monday. But the seat of honor need not grow cold. Russian ultranationalist and would-be dictator Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, was set to arrive Monday night to renew his country's "solidarity" with Libya against "unjust" international sanctions, Libyan radio reported today. Whether the three are plotting a radical reconfiguration of the Security Council was not immediately known. Oh, to be a fly on the wall in Tripoli.