'Divisions' stopped AU coming to Libya meet: Hague

30th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Divisions within the African Union prevented the pan-African body from attending an international conference on Libya in London, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday.

AU head Jean Ping did not attend Tuesday's meeting of 36 countries, the United Nations, the Arab League and NATO despite being earlier announced as a participant by the British hosts.

Hague told parliament: "It is true of course that the African Union did not attend.

"There were divisions within the African Union as to whether they should do so. We are in constant touch with the African Union."

British media cited Western diplomats saying Ping, a Gabonese diplomat, had come under pressure from countries close to Moamer Kadhafi's regime, such as Mauritania, which urged him to play no part in the meeting.

The AU would be expected to play a leading role in finding a haven for Kadhafi if any deal to offer him exile was reached.

© 2011 AFP

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