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Sunday, June 13, 1999 Published at 16:49 GMT 17:49 UK

World: Africa

Mandela welcomes 'brother leader' Gaddafi

The two leaders have developed a close relationship

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is in South Africa as the last official guest of President Nelson Mandela, who is due to leave office in the coming week.

Nelson Mandela
For Colonel Gaddafi, the visit is part of his first foreign trip since the lifting of international sanctions on Libya - an event which was made possible when President Mandela persuaded Colonel Gaddafi to hand over for trial the two Libyans accused of the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing.

Colonel Gadaffi and President Mandela's developed a close relationship after Mr Mandela's release from jail in 1990.

Mr Mandela acknowledged the Libyan leader's initiatives in seeking a solution to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, comparing these to his own efforts to resolve the Lockerbie dispute.

"We look forward with joy and anticipation to the full re-entry of Libya into the affairs of our continent and the world," the South African president said.

He was speaking at a reception in Cape Town to welcome Colonel Gaddafi, whom he described as "my brother leader".

Colonel Gaddafi bestowed the Libyan Decoration of Steadfastness on Mandela in appreciation of his "unlimited courage and prolonged steadfastness".

Arms seized

Ahead of Colonel Gaddafi's arrival in Cape Town, South African police seized about 30 guns and rifles from his security staff.

A government spokesman said they were allowed only five weapons - the rest would remain under guard at the airport.

The Libyan leader was earlier in Zambia, where he said he had persuaded President Laurent Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo to meet face-to-face with rebels at peace talks in Zambia later this month.

Colonel Gaddafi told the Zambian President, Frederick Chiluba, that the Congolese leader had agreed to meet the rebels and added that there was a chance for a ceasefire in the Congo.

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