S.Africa's Zuma phones Kadhafi

18th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

South African President Jacob Zuma phoned Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi at the weekend, his spokesman said Monday, after the collapse of a truce he had brokered with a team of African leaders.

Zuma's spokesman Zizi Kodwa told AFP that the two leaders spoke after the South African president returned from a China summit of major emerging economies in the BRICS grouping, which also includes Russia, India and Brazil.

"The conversation was between the two leaders," Kodwa said. "I can't disclose the conversation between the two leaders."

"It took place over the weekend," he added.

After the summit Thursday, the five nations spoke out against using force in Libya and across the Arab world, with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev saying force was not authorised by the United Nations.

Zuma visited Tripoli on April 10 as part of a high-ranking African Union delegation to broker a truce between Kadhafi and rebels, but a peace plan fell through when the rebels insisted the strongman step down.

South Africa voted for the UN resolution authorising the no-fly zone over Libya, while the other four BRICS countries abstained.

Foreign minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa's vote had not emerged as a sore point during the summit in China.

"In our bilateral meetings, not a single member said they were aggrieved by South Africa voting the way we did," she said. "There was no awkwardness whatsoever."

© 2011 AFP

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