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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 09:51 GMT
Gaddafi warns Africa over unity
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi
Mr Gaddafi fears there may be a conspiracy to veto African unity
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has threatened to turn his back on Africa if the continent's leaders again reject his proposals for closer unity.

He said Libya would instead look towards Europe and the Arab world.

Col Gaddafi was speaking just ahead of the opening of a summit of African Union leaders in Ethiopia on Thursday.

He also said Libya was prepared to move its African investments, which he said amounted to more than $5bn (2.5bn), to Arab and Mediterranean states.

The Libyan leader has for a long time advocated the creation of a United States of Africa - with its government including a foreign minister, defence minister and minister of trade.

The AU, which succeeded the Organisation of African Unity in 2002, was conceived by Mr Gaddafi as part of this vision.

New-found friendship

The BBC's Rana Jawad in Tripoli says Col Gaddafi expressed his concerns on the future of Africa at a two-hour news conference at his residence in the Libyan capital.

The summit will either put an end to stalling on the unification of Africa or prove there is a conspiracy which vetoes African unity
Muammar Gaddafi

He accused the AU of failing to achieve tangible results in unity because of its endless delays in progressing towards forming a government for the continent.

After decades of sanctions and isolation, the Libyan leader seems comfortable with his new-found friendship with the West, our reporter says.

He said Libya would consider more economically strategic alternatives like Europe and the Arab world if his vision was rejected.

"The (summit) will be decisive. It will either put an end to stalling and time wasting on the unification of Africa or prove there is a conspiracy which vetoes African unity," Mr Gaddafi said.

Our correspondent says the Libyan leader failed to name individual countries he blames for the lack of progress.

But he praised the French-speaking African states as well as Nigeria, under its former leader Olusegun Obasanjo, for wanting African unity.



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