South African president in renewed Libyan peace bid

09:41, May 26, 2011      

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South African President Jacob Zuma, a member of the African Union (AU) high level panel on Libya, will visit Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in Tripoli on May 30, the South African Presidency said on Wednesday.

In April Zuma led an African Union mission to Tripoli in a bid to help end the conflict between Gaddafi and rebel forces.

While the Times newspaper in Johannesburg speculated that on his next trip Zuma will discuss an exit strategy for the beleaguered Libyan leader, the South African presidency statement merely said Zuma will make the journey "for a discussion".

The South African Press Association (SAPA) reported that Zuma will travel first to Nigeria to attend the inauguration of that country's president-elect Goodluck Jonathan.

From Nigeria he will stop over in Tripoli in his capacity as a member of the AU high level panel for the resolution of the conflict in Libya, presidential spokesman Zizi Kodwa said in a statement to SAPA.

Following the disclosure on May 19 that South Africa photographer Anton Hammerl had been slain by Libyan forces on April 5, both the South Africa government and the country's ruling African National Congress (ANC) have criticized the Libyan government for its handling of the matter.

South Africa's international relations minister, Maite Nkoana- Mashabane, said Libya of lying, adding that Libya had known all along that Hammerl had been shot dead in April, but kept reassuring South African officials that he was safe.

Talk Radio 702 reported in Johannesburg said Zuma's visit to Libya will be made in cooperation with the Turkish government.

Source: Xinhua
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