Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, has accepted a “road map” for a ceasefire with rebels, according to a delegation of African leaders.
The announcement followed a meeting between the leaders and Gaddafi on Sunday in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, just hours after NATO air raids targeted his tanks, helping the rebels push back government forces who had been advancing quickly towards their eastern stronghold.
The African Union (AU) delegation was due to meet the rebels on Monday.
The terms of the road map were unclear, including the matter of whether it would require Gaddafi to pull his troops out of cities as demanded by the rebels.
“We have completed our mission with the brother leader, and the brother leader’s delegation has accepted the road map as presented by us,” Jacob Zuma, the South African president, said.
The AU mission, headed by Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, the Mauritanian president, arrived in Tripoli on Sunday.
Besides Zuma and Abdel Aziz, the delegation includes Amadou Toumani Toure, Denis Sassou Nguessou and Yoweri Museveni – respectively the presidents of Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.
Gaddafi made his first appearance in front of the foreign media in weeks when he joined the AU delegation at his Bab al-Aziziyah compound.
The committee said in a statement that it had decided to go along with a road map adopted in March, which calls for an end to hostilities, “diligent conveying of humanitarian aid” and “dialogue between the Libyan parties”.
Speaking in Tripoli, Ramtane Lamamra, the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, said the issue of Gaddafi’s departure had come up in the talks but declined to give details.
“There was some discussion on this but I cannot report on this. It has to remain confidential,” he said.
“It’s up to the Libyan people to chose their leaders democratically.” Agencies