South Africa's Zuma pays tribute to Norway carnage victims

31st August 2011, Comments 0 comments

South African President Jacob Zuma, a key figure in the anti-apartheid fight, on Wednesday paid tribute to the 77 people killed in Norway by a extremist who said he was on a crusade against multiculturalism.

On a state visit to Norway, Zuma laid a spray of flowers in front of the Oslo cathedral, alongside the Norwegian royal couple, to commemorate the victims of rightwing extremist Anders Behring Breivik's twin attacks on July 22.

Zuma's two-day visit will center on strengthening bilateral relations but also on climate issues, ahead of the Durban conference on global warming at the end of the year, and Libya.

South Africa has been critical of the NATO air campaign in Libya, in which Norway took part.

South Africa has led protests that NATO has used the UN resolution in favour of the air exclusion zone over Libya to pursue it own interests, going beyond protecting the safety of the civilian population.

As a member of the African Union, Pretoria -- which has still not recognised the Libyan rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) -- attempted in vain to negotiate an accord between the rebels and Moamer Kadhafi's regime.

From a commercial standpoint, Norway's relationship with South Africa has intensified over the last few years, with bilateral trade growing fourfold between 2005 and 2010, according to South African data.

On Wednesday, Zuma was also set to visit the Nobel Peace Prize center and discuss with members of anti-apartheid associations.

Many activists involved in the fight against apartheid have won the prestigious peace prize. Albert Lutuli won in 1960, followed by Desmond Tutu in 1984, and Nelson Mandela who won together with former South African President Frederik De Klerk.

On Thursday, Zuma will attend a seminar on capturing and stocking carbon dioxide before conferring with Norwegian government officials and speaking on "Peace and Reconciliation" at the Nobel Institute.

© 2011 AFP

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