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Gaddafi opens Africa-EU summit

29 November 2010, 18:38

Tripoli - Libyan leader Moammer Gaddafi on Monday opened the third Africa-European Union summit in Tripoli with a demand for "Christian, white" Europe to support his efforts to combat illegal migration from Africa.

Representatives of dozens of African Union and EU member states, including Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, are attending the two-day summit - the third of its kind.

Among the key issues up for discussion are Africa's development goals, bilateral trade and the influx of illegal migrants into Europe.

Gaddafi warned the EU he would immediately halt his attempts to curb the influx of illegal migrants into Europe if the Europeans did not stump up technical and financial support.

In that event, the "Christian, white" continent would become "black", he said.

The summit opening was overshadowed by a last-minute pull out by Sudan.

Sudan announced its withdrawal from the summit after EU members protested the participation of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

The International Criminal Court, which is based in the Netherlands, has issued two arrest warrants for al-Bashir on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in the Sudanese region of Darfur.

While Libya is not a member of the court and is not obliged to arrest al-Bashir if he enters Libyan territory, his attendance would have been embarrassing for EU leaders, whose courts are all bound to enforce the ICC's orders.

Mugabe, another figure attracting fierce condemnation in Europe, was also attending the summit.

The authoritarian Mugabe and dozens of members of his inner circle have been under targeted EU sanctions since 2002.



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