South Africa Boycotts Meeting on Libya’s Future

Posted September 1st, 2011 at 10:35 am (UTC-5)
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South African President Jacob Zuma says he is boycotting a Paris conference on Libya's future because he is “not happy” with NATO's military intervention in the troubled country.

Speaking during a state visit to Norway Thursday, Mr. Zuma took issue with NATO's use of airstrikes after the United Nations implemented a no-fly zone in Libya.

President Zuma also charged that individual countries have taken the lead on Libya's future. He said the United Nations should be working with the African Union to create a new Libya.

Meanwhile, Kenya is denying reports that it has recognized the National Transitional Council , the political body of Libyan forces opposed to Moammar Gadhafi.

In a statement sent to VOA Thursday, the Kenyan ministry of foreign affairs said the impression Kenya has recognized the NTC is inaccurate. The statement said Kenya advocates political dialogue that leads to formation of an all-inclusive transitional Libyan government.

Last week, Kenya's acting Foreign Minister George Saitoti said that dialogue should be led by what he called Libya's “interim authority.”

The 54-nation African Union has yet to recognize the NTC as Libya's legitimate government, although some member nations have done so individually.

So far, 13 African countries have recognized the NTC, including Nigeria, Ethiopia and Ivory Coast.

Some 60 countries are taking part in the Paris conference on Thursday, including countries that back the NTC and those that refuse to recognize it.

Officials hope to craft an 18-month roadmap for Libya that is to include a new constitution and elections.