S.Africa, EU seek to patch over Libya feud

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The European Union and South Africa agree on a vision for Libya to decide its own future, despite a bitter divide over the current conflict, EU President Herman Van Rompuy said Thursday.

"Even if we had differences in the past, I think we share the future," he said after an EU-South Africa summit, held in the safari paradise of Kruger National Park.

"We both agree that the future of libya belongs to the Libyan people."

Pretoria refuses to recognise the National Transitional Council (NTC) in Tripoli, even though the Europeans have already acknowledged Libya's new leadership as legitimate.

"The NTC is the legitimate representative of the Libyan people for the time being," Van Rompuy said. "They have to broaden as soon as possible the government to make it more representative of the Libyan people."

South African President Jacob Zuma, who has denounced NATO's bombing campaign, insists that a political solution in Libya must include all parties.

But he struck a diplomatic tone after the summit Thursday.

"On global and regional issues, we discussed developments in Africa, including north and South Sudan, Zimbabwe and the Arab spring. On the whole we are very happy with the content and depth of discussions," Zuma told reporters.

"Indeed, today's meeting has helped to further consolidate our continued dialogue and engagement with the European Union."

© 2011 AFP

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