Wednesday, July 20, 2011

UK, South Africa explicitly differ on Libya

Source: Press TV

South Africa has relayed the African Union's (AU) strong opposition to the NATO war against Libya during the British Prime Minister's one-day trip to the country.

President Jacob Zuma and David Cameron openly disagreed over whether to continue with the war against Libya, British media reported.

The South African leader told the UK premier that he 'wanted to see negotiations aimed at ending the five-month-old conflict in Libya.'

Zuma pushed for NATO alliance to give the AU "roadmap," which involves talks between the Libyan revolutionaries and ruler Muammar Gaddafi, the chance to succeed.

"Once there was a fight, the AU took a very clear position -- that military intervention would not solve the problem. You needed political intervention," Zuma said.

"How must Gaddafi go? Where must he go? Why must he go? These issues must be put on the table, and the Libyan people must decide," added Zuma, whose government has accused the West of trying to assassinate Gaddafi.

However, David Cameron moved to downplay the difference, claiming that he and Zuma both wanted the same results -- a peaceful and democratic Libya. But, Zuma explicitly stated that there are differences on how to achieve a solution.

"The Prime Minister and I agree that a solution is needed but we differ on how to go about that. What is important to us from the AU perspective is that any product in Libya should be preceded by negotiations and an end to the violence and the killing of civilians -- that is our position," Zuma said.

This is while Cameron stresses that Libya ruler Muammar Gaddafi must first leave power before negotiations establishing Libya's future could take place.

NATO has been bombing Libya for nearly four months under a United Nations mandate to protect civilians from being killed at the hands of forces loyal to Gaddafi.

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