President Jacob Zuma has returned from Tripoli, Libya where he held talks with the Leader, Col Muammar Gaddafi on how to end the conflict in that country.
The two leaders held lengthy discussions at the Libyan leader’s home in Tripoli, and President Zuma will give a report on the visit to the chairperson of the African Union Ad-hoc High Level Committee on Libya His Excellency President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania.
President Zuma reiterated the African Union peace plan, especially the need for a ceasefire on all sides to enable a political dialogue amongst the Libyan people to begin.
Col Gaddafi reiterated his agreement to a ceasefire and a dialogue of the Libyan people to find a political solution. He expressed his anger at the NATO bombings, which have claimed the lives of his son and grandchildren and continue to cause a destruction of property and disruption of life. Col Gaddafi called for an end to the bombings to enable a Libyan dialogue. He emphasised that he was not prepared to leave his country, despite the difficulties.
President Zuma was taken on a tour to see the destruction caused by the bombings and the deepening humanitarian crisis. The personal safety of Col Gaddafi is of concern. The President is satisfied with the progress made and is happy with the frankness of the discussions which have enabled him to gain an understanding of where the Libyan government stands on issues and the way forward.
“We call on all leaders in Libya to exercise decisive leadership to find a solution to the crisis in the country, and to put the interests of their country first. Nothing other than a dialogue among all parties in Libya can bring about a lasting solution. We will also reiterate the AU call for the NATO and other parties to respect the AU’s role in searching for a solution in the matter”, said President Zuma.
President Zuma met representatives of the Benghazi-based Transitional National Council in Pretoria recently.
Enquiries: Clayson Monyela on 0828067405 and Zizi Kodwa on 082 330 4910.
Issued by The Presidency
May 31, 2011
The Presidency – Website