South African President Jacob Zuma will visit Tripoli next week; his office said Wednesday, for talks that officials told AFP 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."
"He will see Muammar Gaddafi in Tripoli," one of the sources said.
"The purpose is to discuss an exit strategy for Gaddafi. The meeting is still very much in the planning stages," the source added, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A second official told AFP 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.
The announcement of the new diplomatic push came as NATO jets blasted Libya's capital, with the alliance saying it was shifting into high gear in a bid to deliver a decisive blow to Gaddafi's government.
Zuma visited Tripoli on 10 April as part of a high-ranking African Union delegation to broker a truce between Gaddafi and rebels, but a peace plan fell through when the rebels insisted the strongman step down.
South Africa voted for the UN resolution authorising the no-fly zone over Libya, but has since criticised NATO's bombing campaign in the country and said that it does not support regime change in Tripoli.