South African President Jacob Zuma meeting with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Monday. Man at centre is an unidentified official. Photo: AFP/South African Government /Ntswe Mokoena
Muammar Gaddafi will not leave Libya despite growing international pressure and intensified strikes on his regime, the South African presidency said yesterday after mediation talks in Tripoli.
President Jacob Zuma held “lengthy discussions” with Col Gaddafi on Monday but failed to close the gap between the Libyan leader and rebels on a peace plan proposed by the African Union (AU).
“Colonel Gaddafi called for an end to the bombings to enable a Libyan dialogue. He emphasised that he was not prepared to leave his country, despite the difficulties,” Mr Zuma’s office said in a statement.
“He expressed his anger at the Nato bombings, which have claimed the lives of his son and grandchildren and continue to cause a destruction of property and disruption of life.”
President Zuma, who is heading the AU mediation process in Libya, met Col Gaddafi at his home on Monday and also went on a tour to see “the destruction caused by the bombings and the deepening humanitarian crisis,” the statement said.
It added that the Libyan leader’s personal safety “is of concern”.