Zuma plans Kadhafi 'exit strategy' talks in Libya: sources

25th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

South African President Jacob Zuma will visit Tripoli next week, his office said Wednesday, for talks that officials told AFP would focus on an "exit strategy" for Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi.

"President Zuma will stop over in Tripoli for a discussion with Libyan leader Colonel Moamer Kadhafi, on May 30," the presidency said in a statement.

Two sources in the presidency, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the talks would focus on Kadhafi's "exit strategy".

"He will see Moamer Kadhafi in Tripoli," one of the sources said.

"The purpose is to discuss an exit strategy for Kadhafi. The meeting is still very much in the planning stages," the source added, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A second official told AFP that South Africa was working with Turkey on the exit plan.

"The plan is to discuss an exit strategy with Moamer Kadhafi. We are working with the Turkish government," the official said.

The announcement of the new diplomatic push came as NATO jets blasted Libya's capital, with the alliance saying it was shifting into high gear in a bid to deliver a decisive blow to Kadhafi's government.

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, but has since criticised NATO's bombing campaign in the country and said that it does not support regime change in Tripoli.

© 2011 AFP

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