Talks between South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and Libya’s Col. Muammar Gaddafi ended on Monday without a sign of progress.
Earlier, Libyan officials said they hoped an agreement between the two countries and within Libya would be reached soon. The outcome appeared to leave the Tripoli government and the rebels in a stalemate.
The six-hour talk in the Libyan capital between Zuma and Gaddafi included an immediate cease-fire, which will be followed by talks with the rebels.
But there was no sign that the Libyan ruler had made any concession on the issue like he abandon power and seek exile outside Libya.
The Libyan leader, despite a series of strikes on his compound in Tripoli during the past month, has remained strong hanging on to power.
The failure of Monday’s talks was the first diplomatic mission since the last one in April by Zuma, which left Gaddafi silent for hours after the South African president left the country.
Zuma later told reporters that Gaddafi insisted that Libyans must be given a chance to talk among themselves about the country’s future. However, the Libyan government has rejected the possibility of Gaddafi going into exile.
Zuma on Monday said Gaddafi was ready to recognize the African road for peace under the April plan that calls for an immediate cease-fire, including halt of NATO bombings, international supervision and begin negotiations between the government and the rebel forces on the political unrest.
Gaddafi had accepted this plan in April, but soon ignored it and resumed his attacks against the rebels.
The rebel leaders, who had rejected the plan in April, reiterated their stand on Monday.
Zuma’s departure will leave the Libyan government in a weak and isolated.