AU reassured by Libyan council promises

Filed on September 2, 2011

PARIS- The African Union is encouraged by promises made by Libya’s transitional council at a conference in Paris on Thursday and will now discuss with its member states the possibility of recognising the interim leadership, a senior official said.

National Transitional Council Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil told delegations from about 60 countries and international bodies that Libya would not let them down and he called on the Libyan people to remain peaceful and respect the state of law.

“We were reassured today by the commitments made by Mr. Jibril on the protection of African workers, reconciliation and creation of a national unity government,” Noureddine Mezni, the spokesman for the AU Commission’s chairman, told Reuters.

“There were concerns among member states for the African workers in Libya and the creation of a unity government ... We will now take what was said today to our members,” he said after the meeting on Libya’s future.

Tens of thousands of foreign workers have fled Libya since the armed revolt against Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year-rule began in February, with Africans afraid they have become targets for fighters who accuse them of being mercenaries for Gaddafi.

Many countries, including Russia, now formally recognise the NTC as the legitimate power in Libya but several African states, including South Africa, have yet to do so. South Africa boycotted Thursday’s conference, hosted by Britain and France.

“We have left the freedom to the member states to recognise the NTC,” Mezni said.

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