North African summit held in Libya
Nations seek more regional cooperation
February 5, 1998
Web posted at: 11:34 a.m. EST (1634 GMT)
TRIPOLI, Libya (CNN) -- At least eight northern African
countries are participating in a second summit here aimed at
increasing regional cooperation.
The three-day meeting in the Libyan capital of Tripoli was
organized by the country's leader, Moammar Gadhafi. Also in
attendance are Sudanese President Omar el Beshir, Chad's
President Idriss Deby, Niger's President Ibrahim Bare
Mainassara, and Mali's President Alpha Oumar Konare.
Egypt is represented by its minister for manual labor and
emigration affairs, Ahmed al-Amawi; Tunisia by its state
secretary for foreign affairs, Saddok Fayyala; and Burkina
Faso by its minister for water, Salif Diallo.
Algeria and Nigeria were invited but did not attend.
Representatives of the Central African Republic were not
present as the summit opened on Wednesday.
The Second African Summit was summoned by Gadhafi to discuss
"all the region's issues and follow up works to boost
cooperation to unify the continent and face the various
challenges," a report on Libyan state-run television said.
Last September, ministers from Libya, Niger, Nigeria, Chad,
Mali, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Sudan and Tunisia met in Tripoli
and adopted a draft pact aimed at "establishing an economic
and social complementary between the peoples of the region,
and reinforce the human and economic capabilities."
They said the pact, which was to be approved at the current
summit, would enable their countries "to establish
solidarity, security and stability in the region."
Gadhafi has said Libya was ready to open its ports to
land-locked African countries such as Niger and Chad to give
them access to the Mediterranean.
He proposed to cover the Saharan desert with roads but did
not say whether his oil-rich country would finance them.
Reuters contributed to this report.