AU Summit Dodges Issue of Gadhafi’s Future

Posted July 1st, 2011 at 8:10 pm (UTC-5)
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African leaders have agreed on a road map designed to help end fighting in Libya, but the proposal leaves open whether there is any future role for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

African leaders attending a summit in Equatorial Guinea say the plan calls for a cease-fire between Libya's government and rebel forces, and a transition to democratic elections. But the proposal makes no call for Mr. Gadhafi to step down — a key demand of Libyan rebels from the Transitional National Council.

The African leaders also offered to host talks between the Libyan government and rebels. There was no immediate reaction from either side to the offer.

Talks on the crisis in Libya dominated the two-day African Union summit in Equatorial Guinea, which ended Friday.

Representatives of both the rebels and Mr. Gadhafi's government attended the summit.

AU leaders have been hesitant to call for Mr. Gadhafi's resignation and have criticized the International Criminal Court for issuing arrest warrants against the Libyan leader and his son. They have also been critical of NATO airstrikes against government forces.

On Thursday, the current head of the African Union opened the summit by calling for less foreign intervention in African affairs.

Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema said foreign moves to defend human rights in Africa have only deepened problems on the continent.

Mr. Obiang also said the AU is suffering financially and needs to find its own funding to stop outsiders from having to step in.