Mandela, Mubarak exchange awards
Libya's standoff with West on agenda at meeting
October 21, 1997
Web posted at: 3:13 p.m. EDT (1913 GMT)
CAIRO (CNN) -- South African President Nelson Mandela and
Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak were expected to discuss
Libya's standoff with the West on Tuesday, one day ahead of
Mandela's visit to Tripoli, over U.S. objections.
Mandela arrived in the Egyptian capital on Monday on the
first leg of a four-nation tour.
A L S O :
Map of countries on Mandela's tour of North Africa
At a ceremony in the Ittihadiya palace in the northern suburb
of Heliopolis on Tuesday, Mubarak and Mandela awarded each
other their countries' highest honors: Mandela received the
Collar of the Nile and Mubarak the Order of Good Hope.
Mandela thanked Egypt for its support during the apartheid
years of white-minority rule in South Africa.
In his brief speech, Mandela referred to his first visit to
Egypt in 1962 when he was still a freedom fighter. He also
praised the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser, whom he met
then, adding that Nasser was a great source of inspiration
for him at the time.
Egypt was also the first country Mandela visited after his
release from prison in 1990.
Mubarak referred to his guest as "a man of pride who chose
too meet his destiny head on and chose to battle the forces
of darkness alone."
Before the ceremony, Mandela laid wreaths at the tombs of
Egypt's unknown soldier, former Egyptian President Anwar
Sadat and Nasser.
Later in the day, the two leaders a held closed-door meeting
that presidential sources said would cover the Middle East
peace process and pressing African issues as well as economic
Mandela and Mubarak also were expected to discuss United
Nations sanctions on Libya over the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am
plane over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people.
The U.N. imposed the air and military embargo on Libya in
1992 after it refused to hand over two suspects wanted in
Britain and the United States in connection with the
On Monday, South African Foreign Minister Alfred Nzo called
for an end to the sanctions.
Mandela's decision to visit Libya at part of his tour has
angered the United States, which includes Libya on its list
of nations that sponsor terrorism.
Mandela dismisses the U.S. criticism as racist, saying the
visit fulfills a moral commitment to the North African nation
and its leader, Moammar Gadhafi, for supporting the African
National Congress during its fight against apartheid.
To comply with the air ban, Mandela will travel overland from
Tunisia on Wednesday to reach Libya. He also will visit
Morocco during his first tour of North Africa since his
election in 1994.
Correspondent James Martone contributed to this report.