Germany, Britain urge EU not to work with Kadhafi

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Britain and Germany Wednesday said European Union governments should "not work or co-operate" with Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi as EU ministers prepared for talks on the North African nation.

In a joint letter, British Foreign Secretary William Hague and German counterpart Guido Westerwelle said the crisis in the EU's "southern neighbourhood" presented a challenge on the scale of the 1989 revolutions.

In the letter, sent to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, the pair urged the bloc to agree a declaration that "the EU and its member states will not work or co-operate with Kadhafi and that he has to step aside to allow for a true democratic transformation of the country.

"Our vision is a comprehensive partnership of equals between the peoples of Europe and its neighbourhood, underpinned by deeper and wider economic integration," it said.

"We can achieve this by a custom-made co-operation of the European Union with those that want this partnership and see in it as an opportunity to support the changes they want themselves."

EU ministers were to meet Thursday at Ashton's request as they were not invited to Friday's summit of EU leaders, despite their pivotal role in the ongoing crisis.

© 2011 AFP

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