SA, China discuss AU plan on Libya
Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao have spoken by telephone to discuss African Union proposals for ending the conflict in Libya, his spokesperson said on Friday.
"I can confirm that the two presidents have been in contact. President Zuma briefed his Chinese counterpart about the African Union decisions and proposals on Libya," presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj told AFP.
"These were well received by the Chinese president," he said.
"I have since read a report that China supports the African Union's peace proposals for Libya," Maharaj said.
"If this is so, we are happy that the Chinese government is supporting the AU peace plan," he said. "It augurs well for the process."
Zuma is part of the African Union team trying to broker a peace deal in Libya, proposing a ceasefire and negotiations on democratic reforms, with provision for a multinational peacekeeping force organised by the United Nations.
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi late on Thursday ruled out talks with rebels fighting to end his four-decade rule. Rebels insist Gaddafi must step down before talks can take place.
Zuma said on Monday that a decision on Gaddafi’s future should be part of negotiations among the warring parties.
"We feel as African countries that the Libyan people must decide" about Gaddafi’s future, Zuma said.
"What happens to Gaddafi must be decided by the Libyan people. You need to negotiate how, why and where he must go," Zuma said.