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Egypt's PM Sharaf attends African Union summit in Equatorial Guinea

Libya takes priority at the African Union summit which proposes a road map for a peaceful solution, as Libyan rebels attend as special guests

AFP , Thursday 30 Jun 2011

The 53-nation African Union opened Thursday a summit in Equatorial Guinea dominated by finding a way out of the conflict in Libya amid calls for its leader Muammar Gaddafi to step down.

African leaders gathered outside the capital Malabo for the two-day meeting at which presidents mediating in the conflict will seek their backing for a roadmap towards a settlement.

The summit gathered about 30 African leaders, with Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva also present, officials said.

The opening ceremony featured a moment of silence in memory of two former heads of state who died this year, Frederick Chiluba of Zambia and Ange-Felix Patasse of the Central African Republic.

A panel of five leaders, including Jacob Zuma of South Africa and Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania, fine-tuned late Wednesday their proposals for a Libya roadmap to present to the summit for its aproval.

The mediators -- who also include Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo and Mali leader Amadou Toumani Toure -- wanted a "peaceful solution", African Union peace commission commissioner Ramtame Lamamara told AFP.

Egyptian PM Essam Sharaf is delegated by Supreme Council of the Armed Forces Field Marshal Hussein Tantawy to represent Egypt in the summit.

Components of the roadmap included humanitarian aspects, a ceasefire, an inclusive and consensual transition and "political reforms necessary to eliminate the causes of the current crisis", he said.

Representatives of the Libyan regime were at the summit, with a delegation of rebels present as special guests.

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