South Africa, Britain differ on approaches to Libyan crisis

15:12, July 19, 2011      

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South African President Jacob Zuma (L) and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron attend a joint press conference after their meeting in Pretoria, South Africa, July 18, 2011. (Xinhua/Li Qihua)

British Prime Minister David Cameron and South African President Jacob Zuma have agreed a solution is needed to resolve the Libyan crisis, but differences in the approach are present, with Cameron standing firm on British support for the NATO air strikes, while Pretoria emphasized a more negotiated settlement.

This came out of a meeting between the David Cameron and Jacob Zuma in the South African Administrative Capital, Pretoria, on Monday morning. Cameron's visit to South Africa is part of an African tour, hoped to improve Britain's business links with Africa's fastest growing economies.

"I think all of us feel we need to resolve the Libyan question. The people of Libya have to decide how they go about ensuring democracy in their country," Zuma said, adding that the African Union was willing to engage further with the European Union on an appropriate solution to the Libyan crisis.

"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.

Cameron stressed that Libya leader Muammar Gaddafi must first leave power before negotiations establishing Libya's future could take place.

During the visit, David Cameron has committed to double bilateral trade with South Africa by 2015.

While the trip was originally set to take five days, it was cut back to two days. Cameron is set to go to Nigeria next.

Source: Xinhua

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