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Zuma: Gadhafi agrees to peace 'road map'

TRIPOLI, Libya, April 10 (UPI) -- African Union officials, saying Sunday Moammar Gadhafi agreed to a "road map" to peace, moved on meet with rebels seeking to oust the Libyan strongman.

Various news outlets reported South African President Jacob Zuma said after he and other African leaders meeting with Gadhafi in Tripoli that the Libyan government had accepted their proposal to end the civil war and they would head to Benghazi to meet with the rebel leaders. The peace plan calls for an immediate cease-fire, allowing humanitarian aid and initiating talks between the rebels and the government.

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"The brother leader [Gadhafi] delegation has accepted the road map as presented by us," the BBC quoted Zuma as saying.

"We have to give the cease-fire a chance."

Financial Times reported diplomats expressed skepticism the AU plan would find success if it involves Gadhafi's continuing participation in the government.

"The road map involves a cease-fire, a national dialogue and reform and implicit in it is some sympathy for Gadhafi," one diplomat told the British newspaper.

The opposition's National Council says it is not willing to negotiate with the regime and that Gadhafi and his family must leave the country.

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"Our position has not changed, but we have not seen what the AU is talking about," Financial Times quoted an opposition spokesman in Benghazi as saying.

CNN reported Gadhafi appeared in public after an initial meeting and waved to supporters as he left in a car. Gadhafi then went to a second meeting with the delegation.

The attempt at a diplomatic end to the fighting came as pro-Gadhafi forces pushed into Ajdabiya and NATO said its warplanes destroyed 25 Libyan tanks Sunday, the BBC said.

CNN said NATO airstrikes hit Misurata overnight and Sunday and that rebel and government forces both had suffered casualties during the weekend fighting.

NATO said Gadhafi's forces have used civilians as human shields, CNN said.

Zuma arrived in Tripoli Sunday along with Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure, Congo Republic President Denis Sassou Nguesso and Ugandan Foreign Minister Henry Oryem Okello.

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