More than 40 heads of state and government are due in Sirte for the opening of an extraordinary summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) Thursday, February 28, sponsored by Libyan leader Colonel Moamar Kadhafi.
"More than 40 heads of state and government are expected" at this two-day summit, OAU secretary general Salim Ahmed Salim told a news conference in Tripoli Monday evening.
Salim also said that 44 countries have signed the declaration of African Union and that 21 of them have ratified it. The declaration agrees to the idea of a continental union with a supreme body and an executive council. To be adopted, the African Union has to be ratified by two thirds of the African countries, that is 36 of the 53 states in the OAU.
OAU foreign ministers are gathered in the Libyan capital for talks mainly on the body's financial problems and the delay in payment contributions by the member states. "This situation is not healthy," Salim Ahmed Salim told the ministers, urging "member states to assume their full responsibility." The secretary general said their fees were needed to set up the African union's new institutions.
He also praised recent positive developments in Africa, in particular peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and the agreement between separatists and the central government in the Comoros islands.
The ministers will continue their meeting Tuesday before heading for Sirte, where the summit will be held March 1 and 2. — (AFP, Tripoli)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )