South African President Jacob Zuma will visit Tripoli next week,his office said on Wednesday,for talks that officials said would focus on an “exit strategy” for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
“President Zuma will stop over in Tripoli for a discussion with Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi on May 30,” the presidency said in a statement.
Two sources in the presidency,speaking on condition of anonymity,said the talks would focus on Gaddafi’s “exit strategy”.
“The purpose is to discuss an exit strategy for Gaddafi. The meeting is still very much in the planning stages,” one source said,speaking on condition of anonymity.
A second official said that South Africa was working with Turkey on the exit plan.
“The plan is to discuss an exit strategy with Muammar Gaddafi. We are working with the Turkish government,” the official said.
Zuma’s spokesman Zizi Kodwa insisted that discussion of an exit strategy was “misleading,” saying the visit was taking place within African Union efforts for Libya to adopt “the political reforms necessary for the elimination of the causes of the current crisis.”
Zuma had led an African Union mission to Tripoli in April but the bid to halt the civil war collapsed within hours.