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Zuma: AU Does Not Recognize New Libyan Government

S. African President and Chairperson of the AU Committee on Libya, Jacob Zuma, left, talks with Ramtane Lamamra, African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, August 26, 2011.

South African President Jacob Zuma says the African Union still does not recognize Libya's transitional government.

Zuma made the remarks to the National Assembly on Tuesday, one day before an AU panel on Libya meets in Pretoria.

He again criticized NATO's bombing campaign in Libya, saying a United Nations resolution authorized NATO only to protect airspace over Libya.

During a meeting last month, the AU's 15-member Peace and Security Council rejected calls to recognize Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC).

The African Union has since called for the formation of an inclusive transitional government in Libya.

The AU panel on Libya to meet Wednesday includes the leaders of South Africa, Mauritania, Mali, Congo-Brazzaville and Uganda.

At least 20 African countries have individually recognized Libya's new government, even though the African Union has refused to do so.

Former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was a powerful figure in the African Union during his 42-year rule. He served as its chairman in 2009 and was a chief financial backer. Mr. Gadhafi's oil-rich country paid dues that amounted to 15 percent of all contributions made by member states.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.