Home | News    Saturday 19 February 2005

Libya and Egypt back African answer to Darfur crisis

CAIRO, Feb 19 (AFP) — Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak backed an African solution to the crisis in Sudan’s war-ravaged Darfur region during two rounds of talks in Cairo, presidential spokesman Suleiman Awad said on Saturday.

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, left, and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. (AP).

The two leaders "agreed on the need to support efforts by the African Union to resolve the crisis in Darfur within an African framework," Awad said as Kadhafi left Cairo for Tripoli.

At least 70,000 people and possibly tens of thousands more have died during two years of fighting in Darfur, where the government and its proxy militias have brutally battled a rebellion launched in February 2003.

Awad said the talks also covered relations between Libya and Saudi Arabia, strained after the kingdom expelled Tripoli’s ambassador over a purported Libyan plot to assassinate Crown Prince Abdullah.

"President Mubarak has not stopped to exert efforts aimed at containing this difference or others, either before or during the visit of Colonel Moamer Kadhafi," said Awad after the two leaders held a final round of talks.

Mubarak paid a brief visit to Riyadh last year to try to smooth out strained ties between Libya and Saudi Arabia.