S. African President Zuma to meet Libya’s Gaddafi

May 25th, 2011 - 8:20 pm ICT by BNO News  

JOHANNESBURG (BNO NEWS) — South African President Jacob Zuma will travel to Libya next week to meet with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in an effort to end the current crisis, the presidency said in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement said Zuma will first visit Nigeria this weekend to attend the inauguration of President-elect Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday. From there, Zuma will stop over in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.

In Tripoli, Zuma is scheduled to meet with Gaddafi on Monday in his capacity as a member of the African Union High Level Panel for the Resolution of the conflict in Libya. He will be accompanied by the South African Minister of State Security, Siyabonga Cwele.

The presidency initially provided no other details about the meeting but later released an update after several media organizations reported incorrect information. “The Presidency has noted incorrect news wire reports saying President Jacob Zuma is visiting Libya next week as part of a Turkish Government mission,” a statement said.

The presidency also said Zuma is not meeting Gaddafi to discuss an “exit strategy”, but instead is meeting to pursue a roadmap which was adopted by the Peace and Security Council of the African Union on March 10.

This roadmap calls for the immediate cessation of all hostilities, the cooperation of the Libyan government to facilitate the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to the needy populations, and the protection of foreign nationals, including the African migrants living in Libya. It also calls for the adoption and implementation of the political reforms necessary for the elimination of the causes of the current crisis.

Libya has been engulfed in a civil war since an uprising against Gaddafi’s regime began in mid-February. Libyan forces have been accused of violently cracking down on anti-government protesters, resulting in a NATO-led mission to impose a no-fly zone over the North African country. NATO forces have also carried out airstrikes.

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