President of Equatorial Guinea Sought to Guarantee Safety of African Union Observer Committee in Libya

Government Issues Strong Denial of Reports on Libyan State Television

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, March 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The government of Equatorial Guinea today said that Libyan television had misrepresented a telephone call between the country's president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.  

The government said that the President Obiang, who is the current rotating president of the African Union, telephoned Gaddafi to gain guarantees for the security of the AU Observation Committee that was to travel to Libya within hours of the call.

It also stressed that as rotating president of the AU, President Obiang has a responsibility to mediate in places of conflict and communicates only the official position of the AU.

The government statement, issued by Minister of Information Jeronimo Osa Osa Ecoro, said:

"Contrary to what some information disseminated by the Libyan television seems to suggest, the telephone contact established by H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and holder of the current Rotating Presidency of the African Union, with the current President of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, was due, solely and exclusively, to his responsibility as mediator of the AU, and was for the precise purpose of guaranteeing the security of the Heads of State comprising the Observation Committee that will travel in the next few hours to the areas of conflict."

"The Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea wants to clarify absolutely that the telephone contacts established by H.E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo were made exclusively to carry out his current responsibility as Rotating President of the African Union, and were due to his obligation to mediate in places of conflict of the African continent. Precisely, this telephone contact was limited to going over the details of the visit to be made by the African Union's Observation Committee in the next few hours to the areas of conflict, and more specifically, to assure the full and total safety of the Heads of State that will make up this committee.  

"This Government also wishes to recall that the current rotating President of the African Union has already declared that he will not state any personal opinion, or show any unilateral support to any of the parties, in Libya or in other places of conflict within the African continent, since as Rotating President of this institution, his opinion is ascribed completely to the agreed official posture established by the organizations of the African Union."

About Equatorial Guinea

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea (Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial) is the only Spanish-speaking country in Africa, and one of the smallest nations on the continent. In the late-1990s, American companies helped discover the country's oil and natural gas resources, which only within the last five years began contributing to the global energy supply. Equatorial Guinea is now working to serve as a pillar of stability and security in its region of West Central Africa. The country will host the 2011 Summit of the African Union. For more information, visit http://www.guineaecuatorialpress.com.

This has been distributed by Qorvis Communications, LLC on behalf of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. More information on this relationship is on file at the United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.

SOURCE Republic of Equatorial Guinea



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