Zuma reaffirms position on Libya

The presidency yesterday reaffirmed South Africa’s position with regard to the conflict in Libya, calling for an immediate ceasefire and an end to attacks on civilians.

“We have noted comments by a Zimbabwean newspaper that have generated interest in South Africa’s position on Libya,” said spokesman Zizi Kodwa.

“South Africa’s position on Libya is clear and unambiguous. As a member of the African Union, we are committed to the position of the AU Peace and Security Council,” he said.

According to Kodwa, the Sunday Mail in Zimbabwe reported that the country was losing confidence in Zuma as a negotiator. The paper said South Africa should follow the position of the AU rather than the United Nations.

“It doesn’t make sense. The article is erratic,” Kodwa said.

“South Africa remains committed to working within the ambit of the AU to find a lasting political solution to the Libyan crisis,” he said.

Zuma was part of a high-level negotiating committee on Libya.

Kodwa said South Africa had strong historical ties to Libya, which were forged during the liberation struggle.

“It is for this reason that we stated that [UN Security Council] Resolution 1973 should not be abused, and should be implemented in letter and spirit to protect Libyan civilians and not to advance other objectives,” he said.

He said Zuma had spoken out unambiguously against the killing of civilians in Libya, and reaffirmed the country’s rejection of regime change and the foreign occupation of Libya.

“Should the Zimbabwean government wish to understand our position on Libya, or any other, they will contact the South African government through the normal channels, as they always do.”

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