The Staggers 23 February 2011 Gaddafi and friends: in pictures World leaders may now be condemning the Libyan leader for his use of violence, but it hasn’t always Print HTML The photograph above, of Tony Blair embracing Gaddafi during a trip to Libya in 2007, is now notorious. Peter Popham argues today that "throwing down the welcome mat to this monster is one of the scandals of the age". Above, Gordon Brown shakes hands with Gaddafi at the G8 summit in 2009. Gaddafi embraces the Italian premier, Silvio Berlusconi. Their countries signed a controversial friendship pact in 2008. The two men reportedly spoke on the phone earlier this week. Also at the G8 summit in 2009, Gaddafi shakes hands with the US president, Barack Obama. Here, Gaddafi shares a stage with Nelson Mandela. Vladimir Putin is pictured with Gaddafi during a 2008 trip to Libya to rebuild Russian-Libyan relations. With Spain's Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, pictured in 2007, when the Libyan leader travelled to Madrid to sign a series of lucrative deals with political and business leaders. Above, the former French president Jacques Chirac is shown during a 2004 trip during which he pledged to build a "true partnership" with Libya. And, finally. one friend that Gaddafi would rather forget. He is pictured here talking to the Tunisian president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali back in 2000. The other two are Morocco's King Mohammed VI and the Algerian president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, still in office today after nearly 12 years. › Gaddafi’s speech: the highlights Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman. From only £1 per week Subscribe More Related articles “They cut, we bleed”: activists Sisters Uncut protest closures of women's services Meet the remarkable British woman imprisoned for fighting against Isis Why is Germany so obsessed with Hamlet?